Planet Africa 2001
911 - The ??th edition of Toronto International Film Festival featuring over 250 films and the newly launched section Planet Africa.
The festival ran September 6 – 16, 2001
"1995 Planet Africa lands on the scene and the scene is changed forever. For the first time African films gain a strong voice at a major international film festival. For the first time the African diaspora speaks together in all its voices. We start small, but we start."
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, Morries 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
É Minha Cara by Thomas Allen Harris
100 Days by Nick Hughes
L'Afrance by Alain Gomis
Bintou by Fanta Regina Nacro
The Father by Ermias Woldeamlak
Inch'Allah Dimanche by Yamina Benguigui
Karmen by Joseph Gaï Ramaka
The Killing Yard by Euzhan Palcy
Malunde by Stefanie Sycholt
Mouka by Adama Roamba
Paris: XY by Zeka Laplaine
Snipes by Richard Murray
Surrender by Celine Gilbert
Black Film & Video Network (BFVN), Grecia Mayers