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African Film Weekend 2019 

A mix of 10 contemporary full- and short-length films portraying diverse stories of African migration.

The 2019 African Film Weekend is presented by Richmond’s Dr. Kasongo Kapanga and guest curator Dr. MaryEllen Higgins of the State University of Pennsylvania, Greater Allegheny. All films will be screened in Ukrop Auditorium, located in the Robins School of Business - free and open to the public.


Friday, September 20

3 p.m.
An Opera of the World
Dir. Manthia Diawara, Mali/France, 2018, 70 min.
Based on the African opera Bintou Were, this film serves as a mirror for the director to build an aesthetic and reflexive story, through song and dance, about the current and yet timeless drama of migration between North and South, and the ongoing refugee crises.

7:30 p.m.
Soleil Ô
Dir. Med Hondo, France/Mauritania, 1970, 102 min.
A well-educated native of Mauritania dreams of “going back” to the land of his ancestors with the hope of finding a better life for himself. However, his experience of racial inequalities throws him into great disillusionment.

Saturday, September 21

8:30 a.m.
Three Short Films:

  • Afrique Sur Seine, dirs. Mamadou Sarr & Paulin Souman Vieyra, France, 1955
  • Boneshaker, dir. Nuotama Frances Bodomo, US, 2013
  • Entitled, dir. Adeyemi Michael, UK, 2018
  • Traveler Returns, dir. Elianette Foumbi, Côte d'Ivoire and USA

9:30 a.m.
Chez Jolie Coiffure
Dir. Rosine Mfetgo Mbakam, Belg./Cameroon, 2018, 70 min.
A product of a one-year filming in an African woman’s salon in Belgium, this highly revealing documentary depicts the daily lives of immigrant West African women in “a space they can call their own.”

11 a.m.
Borders (Frontières)
Dir. Apolline Traoré, Burkina Faso/France, 2017, 90 min.
During a trip, four women from different regions of Africa develop a timely friendship. They are united by a series of struggles that they face while trying to stand on their own as independent women.

2 p.m.
To Return (Revenir)
Dirs. Kumut Imesh & David Fedele, Ivory Coast/France, 2018, 81 min.
Part investigation and part journal, this documentary retraces the road taken by an illegal immigrant (Imesh) who went from the Ivory Coast to France.

4 p.m.
Dir. Jean-Philippe Gaud, Morocco/France, 2018, 95 min.
In this delicious comedy, young Elias follows his passion for the culinary arts (and a young woman named Salma) from his Moroccan family and village to new adventures abroad in Paris.

Sunday, September 22

7:30 p.m. Re-screening
An Opera of the World
See Friday afternoon description above.

Thursday, September 26

4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Lecture: "The Hirak: 2019 peaceful protest movement in Algeria"
Professor Alek Baylee Toumi, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
After holding power for twenty years, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, unable to walk or speak, was “nominated” again, by Le Pouvoir (Power) as its presidential candidate for the upcoming election.  In February 2019, to prevent a fifth term of this 82 years old president, the Hirak (movement) was born.

Tuesday, October 22

5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Lecture: "People Power: Social Media and Political Space in Uganda, East Africa"
Professor Ernest Okello Ogwang, Department of Literature, and First Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) Makerere University, Uganda.

Tuesday, October 22

6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Lecture: "French-Speaking African Immigrants in Ontario Entrepreneurship Resilience and Integration"
Professor Virginie Mesana, University of Ottawa.
The research documents the experiences of French-speaking immigrant entrepreneurs and self-employed workers outside the province of Quebec, in the following three regions: the Great Toronto Area (Ontario), the City of Ottawa (Ontario) and the City of Winnipeg (Manitoba).

Contact Us

If you have questions about the African Film Weekend, contact Kasongo Kapanga or June Wise at (804) 289-8096