African and Caribbean Cinema

Articles : African and Caribbean Cinema

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Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, June 13-17, 2005

News : African and Caribbean Cinema

Sony Launches the FX6 Full-frame Camera in Africa

Sony Africa has officially introduced the FX6 (model ILME-FX6V) camera, the latest addition to Sony’s Cinema Line. “The new FX6 is the latest example of Sony’s drive to continuously push the boundaries of imaging technology based on the needs of our customers,” says Murat Gebeceli, Head of Digital Imaging at Sony MEA. “With the advancement […] (

‘Small Axe: Alex Wheatle’ Film Review: Steve McQueen Captures the Process of an Artist Discovering Himself

“You can’t look forward without looking back.” That’s a valuable piece of advice given to the protagonist of “Alex Wheatle,” but it’s also a summation of what director and co-writer Steve McQueen is doing with his extraordinary “Small Axe” series. (“Alex Wheatle,” the fourth of five titles, premieres on Amazon Dec. 11.)

With its vivid portrayals of the horrors of institutionalization, “Alex Wheatle” is perhaps most reminiscent — so far — of the McQueen audiences have come to know in films like “Hunger” and “12 Years a Slave.” (I have not yet seen the fifth and final “Small Axe” entry, “Education.”) But even as its lead character endures physical and psychological torment at the hands of authorities, the film is very much of a piece with the ebullience of “Small Axe,” as the ongoing themes of community, music and defiance play a huge role in the story.

The real-life Wheatle published his first novel in 1999, but the film begins in 1981, with Alex (Sheyi Cole, in his screen debut) going to prison for his role in the Brixton Riots, in which London’s Caribbean community fought back against the police who routinely terrorized the neighborhood. Through flashbacks, we learn that Alex is no stranger to the system, having been raised in foster care. He is routinely beaten and humiliated at the hands of an orphanage headmistress who’s right out of the pages of Dickens or Roald Dahl. (We hear the latter author in a radio interview as Alex finally ages out of the facility.)

Watch Video: 'Small Axe' Trailer: John Boyega, Letitia Wright Tackle London Racism in Anthology Series

When Alex arrives in Brixton, he’s a fish out of water in the neighborhood; neighbor Dennis (Jonathan Jules, “Fighting With My Family”) takes it upon himself to fix Alex’s wardrobe, hair and inability to speak the Jamaican dialect. “I’m not African,” Alex tells the barber who has referred to him as such. “I’m from Surrey.” Alex also insists to Dennis that the police are there to protect them, but a few run-ins with abusive cops politicize him, as does the reggae music that he devours from the local shop before becoming a musician himself.

But it’s the experience in jail — specifically, his relationship with Rastafarian cellmate Simeon (Robbie Gee) — that turns Alex’s life around. This fatherless man gets a mentor who not only opens his eyes to modern and historical oppression but also teaches him to control his anger and to find peace within himself.

Also Read: 'Small Axe: Red, White and Blue' Review: John Boyega's London Cop Tries to Change the System

In the same way that the “Small Axe” entry “Mangrove” rewrites the rules of the courtroom drama, “Alex Wheatle” doesn’t hit the usual beats of an author biopic. The film is set well-before the writing begins, but it leaves us with a full picture of the building blocks of a life and of a point of view. As opposed to a film like “Mank,” which contextualizes the creation of a specific work in its broader history and within the life of the writer, “Alex Wheatle” is more concerned with the circumstances and the personal growth that makes a writer a writer in the first place.

Newcomer Cole does extraordinary work, showing us the evolution of Alex from a somewhat dorky and clueless graduate of the system to someone who will be dedicated to improving and, when necessary, fighting that same system. His scenes with Jules, Gee and Elliot Edusah (“1917,” as a fellow foster care grad) capture a genuine sense of intimacy in a film that has no female love interest. (The romantic side of Alex is never addressed here, but in a brisk 65 minutes, McQueen and co-writer Alastair Siddons have plenty of other ground to cover.)

Also Read: 'Small Axe: Mangrove' Film Review: Steve McQueen Exposes the Police Brutality of the Past, and the Present

As with the other “Small Axe” titles, the production credits are impeccable, giving us neighborhoods and living rooms and nightclubs that feel period-specific and thoroughly lived-in. Editor Gary Davy (“Hunger”) is tasked with maintaining a throughline as the script jumps backward and forward in time, but the transitions are always smooth and organic. (And kudos to Ronald Bailey and the sound department for the vivid mix of a moment I cannot begin to describe here, but you’ll know it when you hear it.)

In a year in which the line between cinema and television has been quite blurred, particularly when it comes to streaming platforms, there has been debate over whether “Small Axe” qualifies as a collection of movies or of TV episodes. Whatever people want to call it, it’s one of the great achievements of 2020.

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Arab and African Filmmakers Are Increasingly Focusing on Genre Films and Series

2019 has been an excellent year for films from Africa and the Middle East, with a higher presence in A-list festivals, and kudos for films such as Mati Diop’s “Atlantics,” which won the Grand Prix at Cannes. The “new wave” of Arab and African cinema includes a small group of films that explore links with […] (

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Cinematographer Roberto Schaefer on Gideon Raff’s Thriller ‘The Red Sea Diving Resort’

TORUN, Poland – While Gideon Raff’s Netflix thriller “The Red Sea Diving Resort” shot largely in South Africa and Namibia, the project was a welcomed opportunity for cinematographer Roberto Schaefer due to his own memorable travels through Ethiopia. The film, which screened in the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival’s Contemporary World Cinema section, is loosely based […] (

Director of ‘Atlantics’ On How She Merged Migration With Surrealism and Romance (

Oscars Documentary Race Welcomes 159 Films, From ‘Apollo 11’ to ‘The Apollo’ (

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‘RBG,’ ‘Free Solo,’ ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Land Producers Guild Awards Documentary Nominations (

Kenyan High Court Lifts Ban on Lesbian Love Story ‘Rafiki,’ Making Film Eligible for Oscars (

Starz Acquires Matt Tyrnauer’s ‘Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood’ and 8 Other Docs (

Terry Gilliam’s Epically Troubled ‘The Man Who Killed Don Quixote:’ A Brief History (

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South Africa:The Last Jedi Rakes in R10 Million in Local Cinema

[News24Wire] In a stunning South African box office haul, Disney's Star Wars: The Last Jedi raked in close to R10m. (

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Links : African and Caribbean Cinema


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African movies showing young talent in music and movies depicting the African culture past and present. Free African film previews to see online and reviews to read.


MediaRights is a community organization dedicated to maximizing the impact of social-issue documentaries and shorts. We help adult and youth filmmakers reach audiences, educators and librarians bring films into their curricula and nonprofits and activists integrate media into their campaigns.

paff-orgPan African Film & Arts Festival

Pan African Film & Arts Festival is the largest and most prestigious Black Film Festival in North America. It is also the largest Black History Month event in the United States, with over 150 new industry and independent Black films and more than 100 fine artists and craftspeople from the United States, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, South America, the South Pacific and Canada. In addition to films and artists, PAFF showcases musicians, poets, storytellers and performance artists.

imagesofblackwomen-comImages Of Black Women

Images of Black Women is an international film festival celebrating and promoting African Caribbean women on screen and behind.

caraibefilms-comCarabe Films

Carabe Films Compagnie - Christian Lara

festivalcinemaafricano-orgFestival del cinema africano

Since 1991, the "African Film Festival" has been held in Milan in March for a period of seven days. In 2004 the Festival took the name of African, Asian and Latin American Film Festival, extending the selection to include films from these three continents. Parallel events, or taking place immediately afterwards, are scheduled in other Italian cities.

africanfilm-com-festivalAnnual African Diaspora Film Festival

New York Annual African Diaspora Film Festival


Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) is the largest African film festival.

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Films from Africa and the African diaspora

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