How does this project assist African filmmakers?
This project has allowed M-Net to strengthen it relationships with African filmmakers and producers. We have established mutual trust and respect and have also served to assist filmmakers to improve their understanding of the value of copyright and importance of improving their internal capacity to enhance levels of export readiness for future projects.
What challenges were faced in building this ground-breaking film library?
1.) The lack of export readiness for the majority of these films was probably the most daunting challenge. We struggled to obtain the most basic elements like pictures, dialogues sheets, music cue sheets, production agreements etc. These elements are critical in the process of distributing and promoting a film.
2.) We were also challenged by lack of robust rights management, copyright enforcement and protection.
Which established and emerging African filmmakers are featured in the library?
The library includes films by:
Ousmane Sembene from Senegal, directed Borom Sarret a short drama released in 1963, La noire de… a feature who won the Jean Vigo Prize in 1966 and a more recent film Moolaade, which claimed several international awards in 2004. These are but a few of the many Sembene titles we hold in our library.
Youssef Chahine, Egyptian pioneer of Arab cinema, explores in his film Le Destin the link between religion and violence in the Islamic culture of 12th Century Spain. Other Arabic films by Chahine – all with English subtitles – are Saladin, The 6th Day, The Land and The Sparrow.
Djibril diop Mambéty, another Senegalese director made this low-budget short film, Badou Boy. Set against the backdrop of a bustling Dakar in the late 1960’s, Mambety pays homage to the spirit of silent movies. Other Mambety titles include Hyenes, Le Franc and Touki Bouki, which won the International Critics Awards at Caanes in 1973.
Our Library also boasts films made by other African directors such as Haile Gerima, Knaw Ansah, Flora Gomes, Jean Rouch and Idrissa Ouedragou. How is The African Film Library making access to these films easier? This film library is the first of its kind and allows almost anyone to view a wealth of African film with complete ease. Previously many of these films, shorts and documentaries were almost impossible to access once they had completed their commercial run. AFL will continue to evolve as it matures. As they say in show business: The best is yet to come.
What is the African Film Library?
The African Film Library is the world’s largest collection of award-winning African movies from across the continent. It features a large variety of genres and languages, guaranteed to cater to the tastes of a wide global audience.
Why did the AFL come about?
1.) There clear demand from Africans, both living in their home countries and abroad, to have access to a great selection of high quality, award-winning African movies. AFL aims to be the leading destination for these movies, making them available to a global audience.
2.) Africa has great stories to tell, and AFL aims to bring these stories to you. We’re challenging and redefining perceptions about war, famine and poverty in Africa
3.) Restoring, preserving and promoting Africa’s rich excellence of film and television production
4.) Promoting a sense of African identity and pride amongst filmmakers and audiences alike
What does AFL mean to M-NET Electronic Media Network?
Many in the independent filmmaking sector have hailed M-Net’s African Film Library initiative as a significant advance in the growth and development of the African Film industry. The majority of top African cineastes, including the likes of Ousmane Sembene, have entrusted M-Net with status of custodian or guardian of their films.
We are very proud to be assigned this task and responsibility to showcase.
Do the AFL films represent a catalogue that meets the demands of African viewers across the continent and other part of the world?
Each film has its own audience both in Africa and around the world – our role is to find those audiences and provide them with high quality access to the films that they would enjoy.
How is The African Film Library making access to these films easier?
This film library is the first of its kind and allows almost anyone to view a wealth of African film with complete ease. Previously many of these films, shorts and documentaries were almost impossible to access once they had completed their commercial run.
AFL will continue to evolve as it matures. As they say in show business: The best is yet to come.