PLANET AFRICA 2001
Once again, TIFF’s Planet Africa program brought the best and brightest of new black talent from around the world. This year Gaylene Gould takes over the programming reins with an exciting lineup including two Planet Africa Alumni filmmakers.
“B-Boys on the hunt for missing rap stars, ghetto-fabulous tales of wanton women, prison uprisings, lost loves and outrageous comedies.”
– Gaylene Gould
September 6 - 15, 2001
Planet Africa Programmers' Note
Many have asked what is the specific nature of the world within Planet Africa exists, and what relationship does it have to the rest of the cinematic globe. The answer is simple. Whether smashing every conceivable rule – like the feisty, tenacious Karmen (our audacious opening film) – or struggling with the internal battles that arise when defining identities and reconfiguring home (L’Arance, Paris: xy, Inch’Allah dimanche), Planet Africa brings the breadth of the human experience to audiences. The ways in which ordinary people can be convinced to inflict genocide on their neighbours (100 Days) isn’t a specifically African Experience, nor is the classic story of David fighting Goliath in the struggle against injustice (The Killing Yard). The inexplicable development of even the most incongruous relationship (Malunde) and our personal quests for spiritual salvation (E Minha Cara/That’s My Face) are most definitely part of universal law.
Since its inception, Planet Africa has thrown a special spotlight upon these experiences and approaches in order to revive a fresh approach to the classic cinematic gaze. Boundless energy and ideas are springing forth from countries such as Ethiopa, whose entry this year is a powerfully epic little film entitled The Father. Countries such as Burkina Faso, Rwanda and Zanzibar have produced many more hidden gems. This year has also seen a conglomeration of pan-African film projects designed to reunite the continent and to have a powerful impact on the rest of the world. These include “Mama Africa”, a series of six short films by women from across the continent, and the MNET’s (South Africa’s TV network) impressive collection of short films. Two of the strongest films from these programmes – Bintou, by Africa’s wickedest diva, Fanta Nacro, and the mesmerizing Surrender – are included in the programme.
Planet Africa has also dug deep into the pool of young and returning talent. Award-winning filmmaker Alain Gomis follows up last year’s Festival debut with his brilliant feature L’Afrance. Zeka Laplaine returns with his second feature Paris: xy, and Thomas Allen Harris, who was part of Planet Africa’s inaugural programme, is having a world premiere with us again with E Minha Cara. Planet Africa has become known for profiling young talent and Adama Roamba’s contribution, Mouka, suggests the start of a glittering career. The experiences of pioneering, veteran filmmakers like Euzhan Palcy have provided an historical context for these exceptional films to build upon, and it is an honour to be carrying the latest film (The Killing Yard) from such an important diasporan figure.
Talent, of course, comes in many shapes and sizes and we are eagerly anticipating the road blocks created by young women coming out in droves to see multi-platinum hip hop star Nelly make his acting debut in the loop, twisted coming of age drama Snipes.
Nelly will be joined by outstanding actors Sam Jones III, Dean Winters, Morris Chestnut and Djeinada Diop Gal.
It’s all about reinvention and we’re convinced that if you’ve enjoyed Planet Africa’s inventiveness in the past, you won’t be disappointed this year.
Planet Africa, program introduction
26th Annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
TIFF PA PROGRAMMING TEAM:
Gaylene Gould, Planet Africa Programmer
Orla La-Wayne Garriques, Planet Africa Program Assistant
FILMS & FILMMAKERS:
100 Days | Nick Hughes | RWA/UK
L'Afrance (As a Man) | Alain Gomis | FRA
Bintou (short) | Fanta Regina Nacro | BFA
E Minha Cara (That’s My Face) | Thomas Allen Harris | USA
The Father (short) | Ermias Woldeamlak | ETH
Inch'Allah Dimanche | Yamina Benguigui | FRA
Karmen | Joseph Gaï Ramaka | FRA/SEN/CAN
The Killing Yard | Euzhan Palcy | USA
Malunde | Stefanie Sycholt | ZAF/DEU
Mouka (short) | Adama Roamba | BFA
Paris: XY | José Laplaine (aka Zeka Laplaine) | FRA
Snipes | Richard Murray | USA
Surrender (short) | Celine Gilbert | USA