African Metropolis - 7 filmmakers, 7 cities, 7 stories

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Seven African directors will each make a short film that explores their own African Metropolis, the legendary cities of Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Kinshasa, Lagos, and Nairobi.

The initiative is presented by executive producer Steven Markovitz and the Goethe-Institut South Africa, with further support from the Hubert Bals Fund of the International Film Festival of Rotterdam.

Selected from among 40 entries, the seven filmmakers attended the Durban International Film Festival (DIFF) in July 2012, where they participated in the 5th Durban Talent Campus’ screenwriting workshop, run by renowned script editor Jacques Akchoti, and networked with filmmakers from across the continent. The completed short films will be launched at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam and Durban International Film Festival in 2013.

African Metropolis traverses the continent, from east to west, north to south. All seven films will reveal unexplored settings in which the drama of life is played out.

Nairobi, Kenya

From Nairobi, Jim Chuchu directs Homecoming, where the end of the world is a good chance to make amends and gives the characters the courage to do the unexpected.
Jim is a director/photographer from the stylish world of fashion, art and music, as well as a member of "Just a Band".

Johannesburg, South Africa

In Berea, Johannesburg director Vincent Moloi tells the story of the ageing Aaron Zukerman, who is trapped in his dilapidated inner city apartment as the crazy outside world closes in on his memories and happiness. A visit from a beautiful stranger is his last link to the here and now.
Vincent is an acclaimed documentary filmmaker and former MIPDOC African Trailblazer.

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo

Carole Maloba’s Kisita is set against the backdrop of middle-class Kinshasa, an aging wife hangs on to her role as the most important woman in her husband’s life. But her dominance is threatened by her beautiful – and flirtatious - daughter who seems hell-bent on stealing her man and her position. Carole Maloba studied film in Kinshasa, after which she embarked on a career in broadcasting, specialising in sound and editing. She has worked on various documentary films and Kisita is her directorial and fiction debut.

Lagos, Nigeria

From Lagos, director Folasakin Iwajomo presents a noir thriller, The line-up, which confronts the perils of the poverty trap and the abuse of the desperate, in an allegory for the exploited. How far would you go to pay for a child’s life-saving operation? A video editing lecturer Iwajomo’s has won recognition for his short films including being nominated at the DFF 2010, winning best screenplay at the In-Short Film Festival 2011 and winning MTV Shuga one minute short film competition for his film Point Blank .

Cairo, Egypt
Award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed El Ghoneimy will film The Cave in Cairo. It tells the story of Adham, a young lad from Alexandria who travels to Cairo to pursue his musical career and rebound with his old friend, Amr, a member of his former band who has since attempted to settle his life.
Ahmed El Ghoneimy ‘s short fiction film Bahari won the best short film at the "Recontres de l’image 8eme edition" in Cairo and the Jury prize at the 28th Hamburg Short Film Festival.

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
Abidjan director Philipe Lacote’s short film To Repel Ghosts centres on the celebrated artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who travelled to the Cote d’Ivoire city two years before his death. An exhibition opening turns into a journey through the city to visit a soothsayer- and results in a revelation that he is little prepared for.
Lacote has made a number of documentary films and is about to embark on his first feature entitled Run. He was part of the Cannes Film Festival Cinefondation programme.

Dakar, Senegal
Senegalese-Martinican filmmaker Marie Ka is the only woman director in the group. Set in Dakar, The Other Woman tells of a 50-year-old housewife who discovers her true self when she allows her husband’s second wife into her home.  Marie founded the Picture Box production company in 2005 and also works as a scriptwriter winning awards at Fespaco and the Francophone Film Festival of Angouleme.