The Berlin Annual African Film & Media Festival 2013
“Africa on Screen: Through the Eyes of Africa”
(Berlin, Germany; August 22nd – 25th, 2013)
Africa’s sustained growth and development has permeated into many areas of society across the continent. In wake of rapid advancements in new communication technologies across Africa, a greater number of people have access to media and film than ever before. Improved infrastructure and telecommunications have stimulated the emergence of a booming film industry in many parts of the region, and have allowed the media to achieve a far greater circulation of readers and viewers, resulting in a more educated, informed population and presenting the people of Africa with greater opportunities for personal development both within the continent and internationally. In the area of African media, the increased advances in technology and communications have strengthened the ability of different forms of media to be used as original platforms to encourage further interaction between Africa and the wider international community not only in a cultural sense, but also in regards to politics, economics, and society.
The expansion of the African film industry is clearly demonstrated by the numerous African Film Festivals taking place across the world, as well as the growth of “Nollywood”, Nigeria’s film market, which is now the second largest producer of films worldwide. This mass production of cinema has permitted the transmission of African film abroad, in turn offering the international community an insight into the African way of life. This has, perhaps inadvertently, served as a nation branding tool for Nigeria and Africa as a whole, redefining the image of the continent abroad. By telling their stories, African artists are effectively battling stereotypes and common perceptions that dominate discourse in the West. The growth and variety of African mass media have also resulted in the rise of many prominent journalists and writers who, despite limited resources, have now made their mark in digital media and internet reporting.
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has therefore established the Berlin African Film & Media Festival 2013 in order to explore the rise to prominence of cinema and mass media in Africa and to debate the potential domestic and international effects of these rapidly growing industries. The conference will explore the power of cinema to bring people together and provoke universal emotion; a power that must be cultivated and developed to ensure African filmmakers continue to receive recognition and that their work gains as much exposure as possible. Through the mediums of fiction, documentaries and short films, the festival aims to take participants on a journey of Africa, and showcase the talents of artists. In addition, film screenings, interactive discussions and musical performances, all portrayed through diverse African perspectives, will further engage artistic expression and innovation, providing an all-round intercultural experience for participants and offering unique insights into the political, social, cultural, religious and historic elements of contemporary Africa.
Based in Berlin, the festival will be hosted at a number of important political, historic, and cultural locations across the city, and will consist of excursions to the country’s top institutions and landmarks. Featured locations during the Symposium will include: German Parliament, Berlin City Hall, European House Berlin, the German Foreign Office, the Brandenburg Gate, and various foreign embassies.
The festival is open to applications from artists, civil society, governmental and diplomatic officials, civil society practitioners, young professionals, students and scholars, private sector representatives, journalists, and other interested stakeholders from across the world.
If you would like to reserve a position and participate in the festival, please click on the “Apply Now” link below and fill out the online application form:
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy encourages academic research and analysis of issues related to the goals of the conference, and would therefore like to welcome conference participants to submit a paper they would like to be considered for presentation at the conference.
All Conference participants will be awarded an official certificate of attendance upon completion of the program, which will provide details of the high-profile speakers who took part in the event, and list the topics which were discussed.
During the program participants will have a number of opportunities to network with one another, with the speakers, and with ICD Advisory Board Members and partners. Conference participants will become part of the ICD Alumni, a growing international network of people of diverse interests and backgrounds from around the world who share a commitment to intercultural exchange. Members of the ICD Alumni Group will benefit from the following opportunities: Alumni online forum, Advisory Board Networking, ICD support for individual Leadership Initiatives, free access to all ICD research, videos and photos as well as other event documentation. Participants will be able to remain in touch with each other through the ICD Networks. (more »)
Performers and speakers during the Festival will include NGOs, HR Activists, filmmakers, screenwriters, producers, actors, artists, civil society organizations, politicians, diplomats, academics, authors and journalists as well as figures and experts of Cultural Diplomacy.
Cultural exchange centering on the exploration of art is not a novel trend; however the growth of cinema in Africa has gained remarkable momentum, despite obstacles such as censorship and restricted funding. African film is rapidly emerging and occupying an increasingly prominent position in world cinema, providing a genuine chance for promoting African cultural awareness. The Berlin African Film & Media Festival 2013 will therefore celebrate Africa’s multifaceted cultural and artistic landscape through the gathering of a wide range of artists and leaders from a variety of fields, including politics, diplomacy, activism, the media and the private sector, with the goal of superseding imagined cultural boundaries and increasing the exposure of African talent worldwide. The continued growth of both film and media will allow Africans to share their perception of the myriad of cultures present within Africa, as well as their image of Africa as a whole. This increased cultural exchange will lead to a deeper global understanding of African issues and developments, as well as providing an accessible and effective forum for the promotion of Cultural Diplomacy between African nations and countries around the globe.
The Festival will give special emphasis to the following areas: