University hosts first Yale Africa Film Festival

The MacMillan Center’s Council on African Studies, in partnership with Yale African Graduate & Professional Students and the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale hosted the inaugural Yale Africa Film Festival this weekend. The festival screened three main movies — “Mma Moeketsi”, by award-winning South African director Rea Moeti; “Kasala” by Nigerian Ema Edosio; and “Bigger than Africa” by Toyin Adekeye.

Q&A sessions with the movies’ respective filmmakers followed each film screening. The festival also showed two documentaries: “Ephasini Lamabhudango” — ”My Dream World” — and “Awani: A Colonial History of Women.” The festival featured a panel discussion on “Impact and Opportunities in African Filmmaking” and other social events.

“The importance of this film festival goes two ways. One is that, by hosting this film festival, it increases the brand of Yale in Africa,” said Ifeanyi Okafor SOM ’19, co-president of the Yale African Graduate & Professional Students group and a member of the festival’s planning team. “The other way is that this helps the film industry in Africa. By using the platform of Yale, we can increase African filmmakers’ access to international recognition, and to help them tell the diverse stories that they want to.”

Okafor added that although this was the first time that the Yale African Graduate & Professional Students group was hosting the festival, it was “important that [they] started this.” He said that the group wants to “sustain and grow in momentum” and expects that in ten years the festival will become “very big.”

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