Film Festival to lead Africa Month Celebrations at University of Fort Hare

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A Netflix and UNESCO production, “African Folktales, Reimagined,” six short films created by six filmmakers from six African countries will be screened during a film festival hosted by the University of Fort Hare (UFH) in celebration of Africa month. 

The production is a multilingual anthology series of much-cherished African folktales that are boldly reimagined. The films are a result of a groundbreaking partnership between Netflix and UNESCO, through the launch of the 'African folktales, reimagined' short-film competition in 2021 to find some of Sub-Saharan Africa's up-and-up coming filmmakers.

According to UNESCO, the aim of the competition is to promote diverse local stories and bring them to the world. The competition was also a step towards creative equity - as part of the Netflix Creative Equity Fund, which aims at enabling new voices from underrepresented communities within entertainment to bring their perspectives to a global audience.

The six winners were announced in March this year and they are from Mauritania, Tanzania, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and South Africa.

“The University of Fort Hare is very proud of the unique collaboration between UNESCO and Netflix,” said JP Roodt, UFH Director: Institutional Advancement (Marketing and Communications).

“There is also a close link between the University of Fort Hare and UNESCO.  The UNESCO Oliver Tambo Chair of Human Rights is based at the University of Fort Hare and advances human rights, respect for democratic values, peace, and social justice. Similarly, the brilliant young African filmmakers and storytellers explore themes of gender-based violence, poverty, African cultural identity and common heritage in their short films,” he said.

Roodt said that Africa Month Film Festival at Fort Hare aligns with the University’s one of the institutional goals of enhancing student experience on our campuses while diversifying and expanding Africa Day celebrations at the institution too.

At the time of authoring, nearly 700 UFH students and staff have confirmed their attendance to the festival.

For the East London Campus the screening will be held at ABC Hall (Main Building) on Thursday, 25 May at 5PM, and the Alice Campus open-air film screening will be held on Friday, 26 May on the lawn in front of the main building and starts a 4PM.

The festival will be preceded by an Africa Day celebration event at the Alice Sports Complex on Thursday where the University community will be treated to arts and culture performances and African food and traditional attire will be exhibited.

A keynote address will be delivered by Bishop Joshua Maponga. According to Dr Hlulani Mabasa, UFH International Affairs and Partnerships Director,  about ten ambassadors have confirmed their attendance for the event.