May 2014 will see the launch of African Metropolis at cinemas in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The compilation of six short fiction films, set in six major African cities, tells urban tales about life in African metropolises. Screenings start on 9 May at The Bioscope in Johannesburg and on 30 May at Labia
Theatre in Cape Town. African Metropolis will also be released on DVD.
African Metropolis is a compilation of six short fiction films, set in six major African cities, a unique partnership towards new African cinema.
The films from Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi tell urban tales about life in African metropolises. Over 50 percent of the continent’s total population now lives in cities and vital urban cultures are forming and transforming – fast, and with growing complexity. In African cinema, the shift is towards urban stories, with less focus on the traditional, rural Africa that dominated in the past.
About the Short Films
Homecoming | Kenya
Written & Directed by Jim Chuchu
Producers: Rebecca Chandler, Wanuri Kahiu, Idil Ibrahim Executive Producer: Steven Markovitz
Running Time: 11:11 min
Language: English / Kiswahili; Subtitles: English Production: Awali Entertainment Ltd
“Fantasy, science fiction and infatuation fuse as an obsessed neighbour invents ever- stranger scenarios for wooing the girl of his dreams.”
Nothing is what it seems as Max – a nerdy voyeur – turns fiction into truth and the mundane into the unexpected in his quest to get the attention of Alina – the girl next door. The city of Nairobi is threatened with imminent extinction, and now is his chance to save her and verbalise his unspoken desire. However, a mysterious stranger stands in the way of his happiness. Will Max overcome his fear and save the girl? Is Alina looking for a hero? A quirky, light-hearted look at
obsession and the desire to be seen.
The Cave | Egypt
Written & Directed by Ahmed Ghoneimy Producer: Tamer El Said
Executive Producer: Steven Markovitz Running Time: 22:56 min
Language: Arabic; Subtitles: English Production Co: Zero Production
In a changing world, fitting in is the hardest thing to do.
Ghoneimy’s slice-of-life film follows angry young musician Adham through the contrasting landscapes of an ever-evolving Cairo. For Adham, working class with limited opportunities, the city is an arena where the strong survive and the weak fall by the wayside. When he reaches out to an old friend, he finds he has moved on – and up – and the foundation of their relationship is not what it once was. A sharp, poignant comment on the rapidly transforming social environment that is contemporary Egypt.
The Line-Up | Nigeria
Directed by Folasakin Iwajomo Producer: Victor Okhai
Writer: Kemi Adesoye
Executive Producer: Steven Markovitz Running time: 13:46 min
Language: English/Pidgin/Yoruba; Subtitles: English
Production Co: International Film and Broadcast Academy Lagos
How far would you go to pay for your sister’s life-saving operation?
Ten men in a taxi, strangers to each other, head to an unusual line-up, where they must strip and subject themselves to blindfolds and inspection by a mysterious woman and her charge. Only seven go home that night, big money in their pockets. But what of the other three? The ritual is replayed again and again, and the attrition continues. For one man the rumours of how much ‘the chosen’ make spurs him on – he is desperate for the money to pay for his sister’s operation. But what is the price of being chosen? Iwajomo’s spooky, disturbing film confronts the perils of the poverty trap and the abuse of the desperate, in an allegory for the exploited.
L’autre Femme (The Other Woman) | Senegal
Written & Directed by Marie KA Producer: Marie KA
Executive Producer: Steven Markovitz Running time: 12:49 min
Language: French; Subtitles: English Production Co: Picture Box
A housewife in her fifties discovers her true self when she has to accept her husband’s second wife into her home.
From Senegal comes a brave film set in the secret world of multiple spouse households. KA’s film homes in on the story of Madeleine and her husband’s new, young second wife, who develop a relationship far beyond conventional norms. The intimacy has the potential to blow apart a stable domestic situation, but it also has the potential to rewrite the story of both women’s lives. A bold and exquisitely tender film, beautifully acted and sensitively filmed against the backdrop of colourful, beguiling Dakar.
To Repel Ghosts | Ivory Coast
Written & Directed by Philippe Lacôte Producer: Claire Gadéa
Executive Producer: Steven Markovitz Running Time: 20:42 min
Language: Nouchi / French; Subtitles: English Production Co: Banshee Films & Wassakara Productions
During a visit to Abidjan, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat comes face to face with demons, ghosts, doubt – and his own death.
On 12 August 1988, Jean-Michel Basquiat passed away. Nevertheless, his memory remains very much alive. This film pays homage to him by telling the unknown story of his trip to the Ivory Coast. Basquiat arrived in Abidjan at a time when he was exhausted. Haunted by his ghosts. All his hope lay in this first encounter with Africa…
Berea | South Africa
Directed by Vincent Moloi
Producer: Makgano Mamabolo
Writers: Lodi Matsetela, Makgano Mamabolo Executive Producer: Steven Markovitz Running Time: 13:25 min
Production Co: Puo Pha Productions
Alone in his high-rise apartment, Aaron Zukerman’s Berea is long gone, but the old man has one last link to the here and now – a weekly visit from a beautiful stranger.
Long after his friends and family have moved on, Jewish pensioner Aaron Zukerman remains in his inner-city apartment, his world getting ever smaller and smaller, as the city closes in on his memories and happiness. His focus is on a weekly assignation with a kindly prostitute, for which he prepares days in advance. But when her unexpected replacement arrives one Friday, an initially angry response sparks a chain of events that ultimately changes the way the old man sees his world. A gentle, poetic ode to the power of reinvention.