The Festival de Cannes honours Jean-Paul Belmondo


The Festival de Cannes honours Jean-Paul Belmondo

The Festival de Cannes will welcome Jean-Paul Belmondo on Tuesday 17 May with a special evening held in his honour.

“We are delighted that he has agreed to attend this gala evening in celebration of his talent and career. His range and personal charisma, the precision of his acting, his cocky wit, the ease with which he carries himself have made him, along with Jean Gabin and Michel Simon, one of the greatest French actors of all time (…).

Viva Riva reigns at 7th Annual African Movie Academy Awards

The thrilling Congolese gangster epic movie “Viva Riva” outshined competitors to win 6 awards from 12 nominations at the 7th Annual African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) Sunday night at the Gloryland Cultural Centre, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.

Viva poster

Riva is a small time operator who has just returned to his hometown of Kinshasa, Congo after a decade away with a major score: a fortune in hijacked gasoline. Wads of cash in hand and out for a good time, Riva is soon entranced by beautiful night club denizen Nora, the kept woman of a local gangster. Into the mix comes an Angolan crime lord relentlessly seeking the return of his stolen shipment of gasoline. Director Djo Tunda Wa Munga’s Kinshasa is a seductively vibrant, lawless, fuel-starved sprawl of shantytowns, gated villas, bordellos and nightclubs and Riva is its perfect embodiment.
~ From South by South

The film by Congolese director Djo Tunda Wa Munga won the awards for Best Film and Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Cinematography and Best Production Design.
The Ghanaian film “Sinking Sands” won 3 awards, for the Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Make-up.
“Aramotu” won awards for Best Nigerian Film and Best Costume Design.

The Best Actor Award went to Themba Ndaba of South Africa for his role in “Hopeville” and the Best Young Actor was Edward Kagutuzi for “Mirror Boy”.

It was another disappointing AMAA for Nollywood diva Genevieve Nnaji whose role in Tango With Me was not good enough to beat Amake Abebrese of Ghana who won the Best Actress award for her role in “Sinking Sands”.


The following is the complete list of nominees and winners for the 2011 Africa Movie Academy Awards

Best Film
Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga (Congo)

Best Director
Viva Riva – Djo Tunda Wa Munga

Best Actress In Leading Role
Amake Abebrese – Sinking Sands

Best Actor In Leading Role
Themba Ndaba – Hopeville

Best Actress In Supporting Role
Marlene Longage – Viva Riva

Best Actor In Supporting Role
Hoji Fortuna – Viva Riva

Best Young Actor
Edward Kagutuzi – Mirror Boy

Best Child Actor
Sobahle Mkhabase (Thembi), Tschepang Mohlomi (Chili-Bite) And Sibonelo Malinga (Khwezi) – Izulu Lami

Best Film In African Language
Izulu Lami – Madoda Ncayiyana (South Africa)

Best Nigerian Film
Aramotu – Niji Akanni

Best Screenplay
Sinking Sands

Best Editing
Soul Boy

Best Cinematography
Viva Riva

Best Achievement In Sound
Shirley Adams

Best Visual Effects
A Small Town Called Descent

Best Soundtrack

Best Make Up

Sinking Sands

Best Costume Design

Best Production Design
Viva Riva

Best Film For African Abroad
In America: The Story Of The Soul Sisters – Rahman Oladigbolu (Nigeria/USA)

Best Diaspora Short Film
Precipice – Julius Amedume (UK)

Best Diaspora Documentary
Stuborn As A Mule – Miller Bargeron Jr & Arcelous Deiels (USA)

Best Diaspora Feature
Suicide Dolls – Keith Shaw (USA)

Best Documentary
Kondi Et Le Jeudi Nationale – Ariana Astrid Atodji (Cameroun)

Best Short Documentary
After The Mine – Diendo Hamadi & Dinta Wa Lusula (DRC)

Best Short Film
Dina – Mickey Fonseca (Mozambique)

2011 Eko International Film festival to focus on Nollywood



The second edition of Eko International Film festival (EKOIFF), is coming up in the mega city of Lagos from July 9-14, 2011.
This year’s Theme of Eko International film Festival is ‘‘Nollywood – maximizing the Nigerian Film Industry”.

The President/Co-Founder Mr. Hope Obioma Opara said the preparations for the second edition are already in progress with a new advisory board made up of accomplished professionals in the Nigerian film industry.

hope 4
Mr. Hope O. Opara

“The members of the Advisory Board will be announced at the press conference coming up soon. The second Eko International Film Festival will attract more filmmakers from different parts of the world,” said Mr. Opara.
“Organizing film festivals is an industry on its own besides script writing, acting, producing and directing. It is an international fiesta that attracts the convergence of film makers, the news media and film marketers for a major reason, competitions at various levels of film production and distribution deals.
“You can’t promote Nollywood in Nollywood, because an international film festival is a platform to expand our distribution network, forming synergy and collaboration with the outside world in a global village. It will also attract workshops for upcoming film makers to learn from professionals.”

The first edition was held last year at Genesis Deluxe Cinemas in Lekki, Lagos, which attracted more than 26 films submitted from eight countries of the world and this year’s festival in as much as it is exclusive for film professionals, the screening will be open to the public to watch movies at different cinemas for five days, televised on different TV stations and shown on websites, seen on millions of mobile phones and PCs in Nigeria and the rest of the world 24 hours daily.

Eko International Film Festival is expecting film practitioners and other stakeholders from all parts of the world including Nigerian practitioners as well to compete for the awards .Invitations have also been sent to other film festivals around the world to come and participate.

Eko International Film Festival is organized by Supple Communications Limited, Publisher of Supple magazine (the leading online film festivals and movies magazine in Africa) in partnership with M21 Entertainment of Europe, the owners of, the leading portal for the film and festival circuit, established in 1995 and, the first social network for the film and festivals professionals.

The benefits of Eko International Film Festival are bringing more foreign participants to Nollywood and more visitors which will increase attraction of international tourists to the tourist destinations in Lagos state and other parts of Nigeria.

Eko International film festival will appreciate the support of corporate organizations and the government for the growth and development of the movie and entertainment industry.
For more information visit:


Hope Obioma Opara
Eko International Film Festival.

Tribute to Elizabeth Taylor, Queen of Hollywood

Farewell Elizabeth Taylor, Queen of Hollywood

Elizabeth Taylor Gold
Dame Elizabeth Rosemond “Liz” Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011)

Our beloved Elizabeth Taylor, the beautiful and wonderful Queen of Hollywood passed on yesterday at 79.


Elizabeth Taylor was the quintessential American Sweetheart of Tinsel town from her very first film Universal Pictures’ There’s One Born Every Minute, at the tender age of nine in 1942 to MGM’s National Velvet that shot her to limelight in 1944. She was fantastic in many other films, but it was in Cleopatra the  1963 film directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz that she attained her golden age in Hollywood and earned her crown as the Queen of Hollywood.

She won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice and many other coveted awards for her awesome talents as an actress of all seasons from the Golden Era of Hollywood to the end.

Liz was world famous for getting married eight times to seven husbands.
She passed away on March 23, 2011 in the loving arms of her four children at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California.
May the beautiful soul Elizabeth Taylor rest in peace.

The following are statements from the Elizabeth Taylors AIDS Foundation and Elizabeth Arden.

23 Mar 2011 14:42 Africa/Lagos

Statement on Elizabeth Taylor

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2011

LOS ANGELES, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Legendary actress, businesswoman, and fearless activist Elizabeth Taylor died peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. She was surrounded by her children- Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton. She was 79 years old. In addition to her children, she is survived by 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

The actress had been hospitalized six weeks ago with congestive heart failure, a condition with which she had struggled for some years. Though she had recently suffered a number of complications, her condition had stabilized and it was hoped that she would be able to return home. Sadly, this was not to be.

Her son, Michael Wilding, said tonight:

“My Mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humor, and love. Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world. Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mom having lived in it. Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.”

A private family funeral later this week. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation ( People wanting to send personal messages can log onto

It is respectfully asked that the public allow the family privacy at this difficult time.

Details of a memorial service will be announced at a later date.


CONTACT: Sally Morrison, The Pool, +1-424-901-8803,

Web Site:

23 Mar 2011 15:05 Africa/Lagos

Elizabeth Arden Statement on the Passing of Elizabeth Taylor

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, March 23, 2011

NEW YORK, March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Elizabeth Arden, Inc. (Nasdaq: RDEN), a global prestige beauty products company, has issued the following statement regarding the passing of Elizabeth Taylor.

“It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, the legendary actress, activist and businesswoman. As her business partner in the fragrance industry, we have held her in the highest esteem and have had tremendous respect for her extraordinary compassion, creativity and business acumen.

“With the launch of her first fragrance in 1987, Elizabeth Taylor’s Passion, she built a fragrance empire and one of the most successful brands in fragrance history. White Diamonds remains a best seller almost 20 years after its 1991 introduction, a testimony to her transcendent and enduring appeal. Our best tribute to Elizabeth Taylor will be to continue the legacy of the brands she created and loved so much.

“Her sense of humor, passion for life, never-ending dedication and generosity of spirit will be remembered by all of us. She will be deeply missed.”

E. Scott Beattie

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

About Elizabeth Arden:

Elizabeth Arden is a global prestige beauty products company with an extensive portfolio of prestige beauty brands sold in over 100 countries. The company’s brand portfolio includes Elizabeth Arden skincare, color, and fragrance products, PREVAGE® anti-aging formulas, the celebrity fragrance brands of Britney Spears, Elizabeth Taylor, Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Hilary Duff, and Usher; the designer fragrance brands of Juicy Couture, Alberta Ferretti, Alfred Sung, Badgley Mischka, Bob Mackie, Geoffrey Beene, Halston, John Varvatos, Kate Spade, Lucky Brand, and Rocawear; and the lifestyle fragrance brands Curve, Giorgio Beverly Hills, and PS Fine Cologne.

SOURCE Elizabeth Arden, Inc.

CONTACT: Gretchen Dowling, Elizabeth Arden, +1-212-261-1249,

Web Site:

2011 BOBTV opens in Abuja with list of Awardees


The 8th edition of the Best of the Best in films and TV programmes(BOBTV) begins today at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Abuja.


Nollywood icon Amaka Igwe is the brain behind this important fiesta of movies and TV programmes.

The 8th BOBTV is attracting visitors and participants from within Nigeria, Ghana, Canada, Zimbabwe, Namibia, England, United States, South Africa and other countries.

See the details in the following press release on the event that will end on Thursday march 17, 2011.

The organisers of BOBTV, Africa’s premiere film and television programmes expo, have released the list of “Best of the Best” honours for 2011. The list includes chairman of the Silverbird group, Ben Murray Bruce, nollywood movie marketer Ossy Affason, copyright lawyer Efere Ozakor and Make-up and special effects virtuoso Dagogo Diminas.

Acknowledging hardworking professionals who have contributed to the growth of the movie and television industry in Nigeria has always been an integral part of BOBTV. The recipients will be showcased and celebrated at the 8th African Film and TV Programmes Market, BOBTV 2011, scheduled to hold from the 15th to the 17th of March at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja.

Ben Murray Bruce, Director of the Silverbird group, owners of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria franchise, Silverbird Television and Rhythm 93.7 radio stations, was chosen in recognition of his mammoth contribution to the entertainment industry in Nigeria.

Ossy Affason’s immense contributions to Nigeria’s movie market can’t be understated. The renowned movie marketer and distributor of Nollywood movies has been chosen for his pioneering contribution to movie marketing in Nollywood.

Entertainment lawyer Efere Ozakor, who took a different approach to entertainment law in Nigeria was chosen for his outstanding contribution to the provision of legal framework for the Nigerian broadcast and entertainment industry.

Dagogo Diminas, make-up and special effects pioneer, with over two decades of experience has been chosen for his pioneering excellence in special effects in Nollywood.

This year’s recipients join the prestigious “Best of the Best” honours list that includes Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, Chief Peter Igho, Ms. Liz Benson, Mr. Andy Amenechi, Sam Loco Efe, Chika Onu, Dr. Umar Farouk Jibril, Antar Olaniyan and Engr. Tony Ikoku. Mr. Lekan Ogunbamwo, Mr. Sam Dede, Bukky Ajayi, amongst others.


MultiChoice DSTV


M-NET (DStv channel 101/102)


The Hurt Locker: An intense portrayal of elite soldiers who have one of the most dangerous jobs in the world: disarming bombs in the heat of combat. When a new sergeant, James, takes over a highly trained bomb disposal team amidst violent conflict, he surprises his two subordinates, Sanborn and Eldridge, by recklessly plunging them into a deadly game of urban combat. James behaves as if he’s indifferent to death. As the men struggle to control their wild new leader, the city explodes into chaos, and James’ true character reveals itself in a way that will change each man forever. Starring Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty, DStv audiences can tune in to The Hurt Locker on M-Net on Sunday 13 March.

Bounty Hunter: A bounty hunter learns that his next target is his ex-wife, a reporter working on a murder cover-up. Soon after their reunion, the always-at-odds duo finds themselves on a run-for-their-lives adventure. Milo Boyd, a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter, gets his dream job when he is assigned to track down his bail-jumping ex-wife, reporter Nicole Hurly. He thinks all that’s ahead is an easy payday, but when Nicole gives him the slip so she can chase a lead on a murder cover-up, Milo realizes that nothing ever goes simply with him and Nicole. The exes continually one-up each other – until they find themselves on the run for their lives. They thought their promise to love, honor and obey was tough – staying alive is going to be a whole lot tougher. Starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, the movie will be screened on M-Net on DStv on Sunday 20 March.

Sherlock Holmes: Detective Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart partner Watson engage in a battle of wits and brawn with a nemesis whose plot is a threat to all of England. After finally catching serial killer Lord Blackwood, legendary sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his assistant Dr. Watson can close yet another successful case. But when Blackwood mysteriously returns from the grave and resumes his killing spree, Holmes must take up the hunt once again. Contending with his partner’s new fiancée and the dimwitted head of Scotland Yard, the dauntless detective must unravel the clues that will lead him into a twisted web of murder and deceit – and the deadly embrace of temptress Irene Adler. Starring Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law and Rachel McAdams, DStv audiences can watch Sherlock Holmes on M-Net on Sunday 27 March.

UNIVERSAL CHANNEL (DStv channel 108)

Meteor Storm: A devastating disaster movie starring Michael Trucco (Battlestar Galactica), Kari Matchett and Eric Johnson (Flash Gordon). When a rogue comet orbits the Earth, astronomer Michelle Young is enthralled by the once-in-a-lifetime celestial event. However, her wonder soon turns to terror when the comet causes meteors to fall from the sky and bombard the city of San Francisco delivering an unstoppable torrent of chaos to the city streets. While the city’s disaster official tries to evacuate the terrified population, Michelle investigates why San Francisco is at the centre of this cataclysm and how to halt the destructive storm. The movie will be screened on the Universal Channel on DStv on Thursday 24 March at 20:00 CAT.

DStv audiences can also look out for season 1 of CSI New York on the Universal Channel: A riveting police drama moving the award-winning formula to New York, where forensics experts and detectives must scrutinise the evidence found at crime scenes and track down the culprits. The New York team is headed up by Detective Mac Taylor, (Gary Sinise: Forrest Gump, Apollo 13), a no nonsense ex-Marine Major who is traumatised by the death of wife in the 9/11 attacks on the city and suffers from chronic insomnia. Mac is partnered by Detective Jo Danville, an experienced investigator driven by her empathy by the victims of crime. DStv audiences can watch CSI New York on the Universal Channel on Mondays at 20:00 CAT.


Clear and Present Danger: Harrison Ford (the original Star Wars trilogy, Blade Runner) returns as Jack Ryan in yet another compelling spy thriller based on Tom Clancy’s bestsellers. This time, the enemy is within his own government. As a high-ranking CIA official, Ryan is drawn in to investigate the murder of one of the president’s closest friends. However, unbeknown to him, he is being double-crossed from within his own ranks as the US government becomes embroiled in an illegal war against a Colombian drug cartel. Anne Archer is back as Ryan’s wife, and the film also stars Willem Dafoe (SpiderMan 3, The Boondock Saints). Clear and Present Danger was nominated for two Oscars®, and won a Blockbuster Award for favourite actor as well as an ASCAP award. Screening on Sony Entertainment Television on DStv on Sunday 13 March at 20:35 CAT.

The Sum of All Fears: Ben Affleck (Pearl Harbour, Good Will Hunting) is the latest actor to assume the on-screen role of Tom Clancy’s fictional CIA analyst Jack Ryan, who in this film must thwart a potential all-out war between the USA and Russia. Russia’s president dies and an enigmatic unknown succeeds him, opening the door for a return to frosty Cold War-era relations between East and West. Tensions escalate even more when the CIA starts suspecting that Russia is developing nuclear weapons – and that the target is the States. This fast-paced thrill-fest also features Oscar® winner Morgan Freeman (Shawshank Redemption, Invictus) and Liev Schreiber (The Manchurian Candidate, CSI). Screening on Sony Entertainment Television on DStv on Sunday 20 March at 20:35 CAT.

The Pelican Brief: Based on a John Grisham page-turner, this gripping thriller stars Julia Roberts (Pretty Woman, Erin Brockovich) as a character that Grisham apparently wrote with Roberts specifically in mind. She stars as a law student who stumbles across the truth behind the assassination of two Supreme Court justices. The massive conspiracy she uncovers places her life – and those of others – in grave danger, and the only ally she can turn to is a journalist (Denzel Washington – Training Day, Malcolm X). The two stars both went on to win Academy Awards® for their roles in subsequent films. The Pelican Brief won an ASCAP Award and is a solidly entertaining thriller, brimming with intrigue and boosted by solid performances by the two young leads. Watch The Pelican Brief on Sony Entertainment Television on DStv on Sunday 27 March at 20:35 CAT.

Also tune in for the season 3 of the series Leverage on Sony Entertainment television. Oscar® winner Timothy Hutton (best supporting actor for Ordinary People) returns to our screens as Nathan Ford, a former insurance fraud investigator who now heads up an elite group of modern-day Robin Hoods – who target the corrupt, the unjust and the downright greedy to right the wrongs that have been perpetrated on innocent citizens. The third season of this stylish drama series opens with Ford still in prison, having been captured by the FBI. The other members of his crack team of con artists, professional thieves and computer whizzes plot to help their mastermind escape – but find themselves blackmailed by a mysterious stranger into taking down an infamous criminal in the process. The series also stars Gina Bellman (Coupling, Jekyll) and Christian Kane (Angel, Into the West) as members of Ford’s highly skilled group of grifters who use their criminal prowess to settle scores. The series continues on Sony Entertainment Television on DStv on Thursdays at 20:30 CAT.

BBC ENTERTAINMENT (DStv channel 120)

Top Gear is the world’s premier motoring show. A consistent ratings hit in the UK, the show is no less popular across the globe having been licensed to more than 50 international broadcasters, and has local versions in Russia, Australia and the USA. The Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, is a fan and the programme has a global audience of around over 100 million. The 15th series sees the Top Gear team, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard (The Hamster) Hammond and James (Captain Slow) May carry out weekly power tests on the world’s most exciting super-cars, take part in daring challenges and look back at some of the stranger aspects of motoring history.

James May explores how close he can drive to the tip of a volcano in the first episode of the new series, while Jeremy Clarkson visits Yorkshire to investigate why there aren’t more 3-wheeled cars in the world by taking the iconic Robin Reliant for an eventful test drive. Meanwhile, Richard Hammond is in Sweden to take part in a race against hardcore snowmobilers. All of the favourite elements from previous series are back as well, with the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car section featuring some Hollywood A-listers in Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz, as well as Jeff Goldblum (The Fly), Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) and Formula 1 star Rubens Barrichello. The stars will also be driving a new car this year, but what will happen to the old Chevrolet Lacetti? Full of stunts, challenges and special features, Top Gear is self-deprecating, inclusive and passionate – there are no boring statistics and impenetrable conversations about camshafts and tyre pressures. Instead you get authoritative information and entertainment.
Series 15 airs on BBC Entertainment on DStv on Wednesdays in March at 20.30 CAT

DISCOVERY CHANNEL (DStv channel 121)

Stan Lee’s Superhumans: As part of ‘Incredible People’ night on Discovery Channel, we will take a closer look at ordinary people who possess extraordinary abilities and remarkable skills due to their genetic differences. Our exciting line-up of premiere programming features Stan Lee – the man behind some of the biggest comic book heroes of all time – who will go in search of people with genuine, real life super-powers in Stan Lee’s Superhumans. Here, Stan will visit Daniel Browning-Smith, the world’s most flexible man, and a man claiming to be immune to electrocution. Watch as these ‘superhumans’ undergo scientific testing to help explain their astonishing gifts, and then they are put to the ultimate test to demonstrate what separates them from every other person on the planet. From Tuesday 15 March at 20:00 CAT on the Discovery Channel on DStv.

AirCrash Confidential: Every air crash is a catastrophe that leaves behind bereaved families and ruined lives. With each air disaster that occurs a lesson is learnt, and it is because of each disaster that we now know how to build safer planes, evacuate passengers more swiftly, and avoid air collisions altogether. AirCrash Confidential investigates various aviation disasters that have occurred over time, and reveals how and why tragedies still happen today. This gripping new series will explore why, despite repeated warnings, terrorists remain one step ahead of airport security, and how sometimes only a seating plan error has managed to save hundreds of people from being blown up in mid-air. Using powerful personal accounts from survivors, pilots and witnesses as well as comments from aviation experts and CGI special effects, each episode will explore how human error can never be entirely eliminated. Tune in on the Discovery Channel on DStv on Thursdays (10, 17 and 24 March) at 20:55 CAT.


Kourtney and Kim Take New York: Kourtney and Kim are heading to New York to open a new Dash store, but it’s never all business with these stylish sisters. There’s also world-class shopping, A-list nightclubs and drama with Scott. And now that Kim’s newly single, she’s taking the New York dating scene by storm. Get ready for a sinfully good season. Kourtney and Kim Take New York premieres on E! on DStv on Sunday 27 March at 23:00 CAT.

Plus tune in for more Kendra: What a difference a year can make! Following the most tumultuous twelve months of their relationship, Kendra and Hank Baskett have emerged stronger and more committed than ever to one another. From cross country moves in pursuit of Hank’s football dreams to sharing with fans the truth about her troubled youth, to finding the proper balance between raising baby Hank and her very demanding career, Kendra has remained steadfastly determined to “do it all.” In this third season, Kendra and Hank move their new family to Philadelphia as Hank starts the new football season with the Eagles. Tune in to Kendra on E! on DStv on Sundays at 23:00 CAT.

SONYMAX (DStv channel 126)

Scare Tactics: Hosted by Shannen Doherty of Charmed and Beverly Hills 90210 fame, this is a “candid camera” style reality show. It involves a hidden camera being set up to record pranks played on unsuspecting victims by their so-called friends and family – but with a touch of the macabre thrown in for scary effect. Special effects and stage make-up are used to recreate terrifying scenes and horror-movie clichés to scare the living daylights out of victims. Of course, their reactions are being recorded from multiple angles. So look out for a faux UFO abduction, Bigfoot attack, psycho hitchhiker and runaway zombie in season one! Scare Tactics continues on SonyMax on DStv from Monday – Friday at 20:30 CAT.

The District (Season 2): This gritty police drama series has earned plaudits – and multiple award nominations – for its uncompromising look at the world of crime and justice. New York police chief Jack Mannion (played by Craig T. Nelson – CSI: New York, My Name is Earl, The Proposal), pledges to halve Washington DC’s crime rate with his no-nonsense approach. But it’s not only the thugs he has to battle in his quest to revitalise the force – he comes up against politics, apathy, internal corruption and cumbersome red tape as well. Inspired by the real-life experiences of Bill Bratton and Jack Maple, who reinvigorated the NYPD, the series also stars the late Lynne Thigpen (Anger Management, Law & Order), Roger Aaron Brown (Nip/Tuck, Supernatural) and Sean Patrick Thomas (Lie To Me, Save the Last Dance). DStv audiences can watch The District on SonyMax from Monday – Friday in March at 16:45 CAT.

I Dare You! The Ultimate Challenge: Gasp at the world’s greatest daredevils undertaking death-defying (and sanity-defying) stunts in an attempt to shatter records while keeping DStv viewers on the precipice of their seats. You’ll experience testosterone and adrenaline by the bucket load in this high-octane reality thrill-fest, hosted by Lee Reherman (Wizards of Waverly Place) and featuring commentary by legendary stuntman Evel Knievel. Not a show for the faint-hearted! Tune in on SonyMax on DStv on Tuesdays in March at 22:00 CAT. AFRICA (DStv channel 144)

Scandal: Break-ups and no make ups in the month of March…Cole (Emmanuel Castis) and Shakira’s (Dawn Matthews) relationship hits rock bottom after his CD launch. Cole has been spending too much time in Donna’s company, especially when they both find they have so much in common. Cole plants a chaste kiss on Donna. Will this send Shakira off the rails when she finds out? We all know what happened to Abigail when Shakira did not get her way with Cole. On the other side of town, Mo and Alex have reached the end of the road. Following the death of Thabang, they are now in a tug of war over Kgomotso. Will they ever find their way back to each other or is their relationship doomed? DStv audiences can tune in to Scandal on Africa from Mondays – Thursdays at 19:30 CAT.

Rhythm City: From love triangles to two-edged swords and death traps, this month’s Rhythm City instalments are jam-packed full of drama, suspense and shocking revelations. With swords sharpened and guns polished, the Vilakazis press on with their strategy to kill Franco Genaro (played by Jamie Bartlett). But this becomes increasingly compromised as Suzuki stalks Miles to ask for more money to carry out the plan. Miles finds himself cornered and ends up embezzling funds out of Hustle Records, with startling consequences that will have him consider suicide. On the other hand, Lucilla jumps into bed with the devil, Tshinawa, so that he can help Miles swim out of his pool of troubles. Will Genaro’s knowledge of this deception rattle the Vilakazis further? Watch Rhythm City on Africa on DStv, weekdays at 18.30 CAT.

Breaking The Magician’s Code: Follow the intriguing Masked Magician as he dares to break the magician’s code: the code that binds magicians to never reveal how they perform their illusions. The Masked Magician defies fellow magicians and reveals the secrets behind tricks that have captivated audiences for centuries. You can’t afford to blink with Breaking The Magician’s Code on e. Saturday at 18.05 CAT.

My Name is Earl: Everyone’s favourite hillbilly with a Karma-cleansing quest is on e.Africa every Sunday in the popular sitcom, My Name is Earl. The loveable Earl (Jason Lee) is determined to correct his past mistakes. Joining him along his quest to cleanse his karma are a few dim-witted friends: hapless brother Randy (Ethan Suplee) and the very sexy Catalina (Nadine Velazquez). Even Darnell (Eddie Steeples), the owner of the Crab Shack where Earl drinks beer, offers his support. But it’s Earl’s ex-wife Joy (Jamie Pressly) who won’t lift a finger to help unless there’s something in it for her. Despite his seemingly limited intelligence, Earl is oddly effective – and the comedy series, like Earl himself, has a voice and style all its own. Tune in on Sundays at 19:30 CAT.

Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola II: March brings with it a brand-spanking-new season of the satirical show, Late Nite News with Loyiso Gola and will continue to reduce audiences to tears of laughter. Late Nite News anchor Loyiso Gola is known for his no-holds-barred comedy and this new season won’t be any different. Tune in to Late Nite News with Loyisa Gola on Africa on DStv on Wednesdays at 21.30 CAT.

BBC LIFESTYLE (DStv Channel 180)

10 Years Younger USA PREMIERE (Series 4): This US version of the hit show 10 Years Younger aims to turn back the clock for people who are looking a little worse for the passage of time. The causes of premature aging are varied and many, but the 10 Years Younger USA team of specialists, including fashion stylist Jorge Ramon, make-up artist Damone Roberts, and hairstylists Gina Derry and April Barton, are on hand to help out. They are backed up by a team of doctors and dentists who assist with strictly non-surgical procedures to complete the new look. Each person featured on the show is placed in the ‘big box’, which is situated on the busy streets of either New York or Los Angeles, to find out their perceived age from members of the public. The team then have ten days to take them from fuddy-duddy to fabulous before sending them back into the ‘big box’ to see how much their perceived age has dropped. Prepare to be amazed. From Wednesday 23 March at 21:45 CAT, series continues on BBC LifeStyle on DStv every Wednesday and Thursday at 21:20 and 21:45 CAT.

STYLE (DStv channel 183)

Fashion Police (Continuing Series): Joan Rivers brings her notorious and no-holds-barred celebrity fashion and pop culture commentary to E! viewers. From hot new trends to red carpet risks, Joan will take viewers through a complete recap of the week’s celebrity fashion and ultimately decide who sizzled – and who fizzled. Catch Joan Rivers and her fashion team, including Brit Kelly Osbourne and E!’s Giuliana Rancic, dissect the week’s celebrities, events, and of course, style, all showcasing Joan’s uniquely hilarious point of view. Tune in for Fashion Police on Style on DStv on Sundays at 20:00 CAT.

FOOD NETWORK (DStv Channel 185)

Food Network Challenge (Series 9): Food Network Challenge is back with a new season of even tougher challenges for top chefs. Each evening from 14 – 20 March, watch the best in cookery showdowns as small-town cooks to world renowned cooks do battle. In the first episode, four of the best food stylists in the business come to Challenge to prove who has the skills to take home prize and title. The competition takes place over three rounds: breakfast, mystery lunch box, and romantic dinner for two. They don’t need to make the food taste good; they need to make it look irresistible. The competitors whose presentations garner the best photographs will take home ten thousand dollars and the all important coveted gold medal. Later in the series, two teams of pastry chefs face off to build giant gingerbread houses. Not only do they have to make sure the six foot tall creations stand tall in just eight hours, the teams have to decorate the houses in the fairytale spirit. With reputations and cash prizes at stake it’s always heated in the Food Network Challenge kitchen. Let battle commence! Tune in to the Food Network Challenge on the Food Network on DStv from Monday 14 March at 18:30 CAT.

ESPN (DStv channel 230)

March has more live coverage of world-class basketball from the National Basketball Association (NBA) on ESPN, opening at full speed with the Boston Celtics hosting past league MVP Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns. The Celtics’ All-Star lineup boasts not only the trio of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, but also rising star Rajon Rondo and NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal. Next up on the 5th is a doubleheader spotlighting some favourites for this year’s title as Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic host the Chicago Bulls, followed by a ‘Best of the West’ meets a ‘Beast of the East’ as the San Antonio Spurs take on the Miami Heat.

The Heat nabbed all the preseason headlines with the debut of their electric threesome of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but they’ll have to play sharp all season to stay ahead of the hot Celtics and Magic – not to mention the impressive Bulls and Atlanta Hawks – in the East. In the West, the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers have some serious obstacles in their path back to the NBA Finals, among them the Spurs, Utah Jazz, Dallas Mavericks – in action against the New Orleans Hornets on the 10th – and the Oklahoma City Thunder, home to last season’s scoring leader, Kevin Durant.

ESPN’s coverage of the NBA airs live all season. Games feature a same day re-air in the afternoon/evening.

Schedule: CAT LIVE coverage – Host team shown first
Mar 3 02:30 Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns
Mar 3 19:30 Boston Celtics vs. Phoenix Suns (R)
Mar 5 02:00 Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls
Mar 5 13:00 Orlando Magic vs. Chicago Bulls (R)
Mar 5 04:30 San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat
Mar 5 15:00 San Antonio Spurs vs. Miami Heat (R)
Mar 10 03:00 Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Hornets
Mar 10 19:30 Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Hornets (R)
Mar 12 03:00 Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks
Mar 12 13:00 Chicago Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks (R)
Mar 17 02:00 Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Mar 17 21:00 Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (R)
Mar 19 01:30 Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat
Mar 19 13:00 Atlanta Hawks vs. Miami Heat (R)
Mar 24 02:00 New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic
Mar 24 19:30 New York Knicks vs. Orlando Magic (R)
Mar 26 01:30 Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Mar 26 13:00 Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers (R)
Mar 31 01:00 Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic
Mar 31 19:30 Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic (R)
(R) Re-air

BBC KNOWLEDGE (DStv channel 251)

Richard Hammond’s Invisible Words (3 episodes): Just beyond the perception of our naked eyes lies an invisible world of secret forces that touches every aspect of life on Earth and shapes it in unseen ways. Now, for the first time, this hidden world is revealed. The human eye is a remarkable piece of precision engineering, but all around us is an astonishing and beautiful world we cannot see. Some wonders are outside the visible spectrum, others are too fast, too slow, too small or too remote for our eyes and brains to interpret. From lightning sprites and shockwaves to heater bees and the crystalline structure of a spider’s web, Invisible Worlds uses cutting-edge camera technology – some specially adapted for this series – to reveal the full glory of these secret forces and hidden powers. Combining bold ideas with lucid scientific insights and stunning footage, Invisible Worlds is packed with surprising facts as well as phenomena never seen before on TV. See the deadly discharge leaking from high-voltage power lines as repairmen risk their lives to fix it, the intense heat and energy of a forest fire, the hidden patterns and colours of a flower garden as an insect sees them, how German scientists have unlocked the secrets of animal movement, and a black hole at the centre of our universe. Richard Hammond’s Invisible Words continues on BBC Knowledge on DStv, every Wednesday at 22:30 CAT.


Crime 360: Viewers go inside investigations as theories and evidence are brought to life through state-of-the-art 3D photography. We’ll follow each case from start to finish; experiencing the crime scene in three dimensions and the evidence at the microscopic level. DStv audiences can tune in on Wednesday 16 March at 20:30 CAT.

The First 48: In medicine, they call it the ‘critical hour’, in criminal investigations; they call it the first 48 hours. If detectives don’t have a lead, a suspect or an arrest within 48 hours, their chances of solving the case are cut in half. The new series continues to follow homicide detectives during these initial critical hours as they race against time to solve their cases. New Episodes – Tuesdays at 20:30 CAT.

ANIMAL PLANET (DStv channel 264)

Swarm Chasers: Surprisingly some of the most terrifying and awe-inspiring events in the natural world do not involve animals with jaws and claws. Swarm Chasers explores a phenomenon that can turn even the most innocuous creatures into killers – the instinct to swarm. In this action-packed series, hosts Steve and Greg head into the eye of the greatest animal plagues on the planet to experience their devastating power and discover what it takes to transform organisms into ferocious and deadly mobs. First up, Steve and Greg meet leading scientists and tacticians in the military-style war on locusts, then head to the blowtorch heat of the Australian outback, swarm-chasing a well-known pest that has terrorised humanity since the dawn of civilisation. Next, rodent expert Dr Steven Belmain is on an expedition to a dangerous region of Bangladesh to try and unravel a bizarre mystery that has plagued locals for generations – a swarm of black rats. Tune in to Swarm Chasers on Animal Planet on DStv from Wednesday 16 March at 22:00 CAT.

DISNEY CHANNEL (DStv channel 303)

Snow Buddies: Get ready for nonstop adventure with the premiere of the heart-warming movie, Snow Buddies on Disney Channel on Saturday 19 March at 09:00 CAT. The five adorable talking puppies venture to the frosty arctic for a thrilling dogsled race across Alaska. Join the Buddies – the big fella Budderball, rappin‟ B-Dawg, courageous RoseBud, mellow Buddha, dirty dog MudBud, and their new Alaskan friend, Shasta – for fun, action and excitement in a wonderful family film about the power of teamwork and following your dreams. Don’t miss the lovable Snow Buddies on Saturday 19 March at 09:00 CAT, the movie will be rescreened the same day at 19:10 CAT. There will also be a chance to see the film on Friday 25 March at 18:45 CAT.

CBEEBIES (DStv channel 306)

Buzz & Tell: Perfect for preschoolers, Buzz & Tell is a fun and entertaining question and answer show which sees a team of puppet contestants battle it out to win points, overseen by a walrus quiz master. Walter Flipstick is the highly professional but often exasperated puppet walrus TV presenter in this quick fire comedy quiz. He’s joined by various panels of puppet contestants that include, among others: Charles Cheese, a diminutive and highly excitable cheese-loving mouse, Mr Biscuits, an earnest but jovial cuddly toy of unknown origin who is obsessed with biscuits, Henrietta Peck, a motherly and worldly wise hen who often lays an egg when struggling to answer a question, and Orange Bernard, a jolly but irredeemably dim orang-utan. The quiz consists of a number of rounds such as guess the missing word, a picture round, guess the sound, a numbers round and a general knowledge round. Questions are designed to be simple with straightforward one word answers. However, Walter’s contestants are not the brightest. While the puppets shout out lots of silly responses, children at home will enjoy shouting out the correct answer. Buzz & Tell is a fast and funny take on a well known format which is totally new to the preschool audience. Its combination of loveable and harmlessly silly characters, vibrant backgrounds, crazy sound effects and unique interactivity make for a frantic five minutes which children will come back to day after day. Series continues every day in March at 08:10 and 14:35 CAT.

CHANNEL O (DStv channel 320)

O-Xpress: The O-Xpress brings you the hottest, freshest tracks and the biggest names the industry has to offer from the likes of R. Kelly, P Square, Jigga, Mary J. Blige, T-Pain, Ikechukwu, Chris Brown, Beyonce, Naeto C and many more. Make sure you catch the O-Xpress, exclusive to Channel O. Tune in on Thursday 31 March.

Also this month, tune in for Featuring Banky W. This specialized Xpress features gifted songwriter, producer and vocalist, Banky W. An artist who has been able to connect with his fans on a personal level, he has created a large following worldwide. Born Olubankole Wellington in the United States, he grew up in Lagos and is regarded as one of the biggest Nigerian artists to date. Screening on Friday 18 March (21:00 CAT in East, West and Central Africa) and on Friday 25 March (20:30 CAT in Southern Africa).

CNN (DStv channel 401)

Earth’s Frontiers: This month, Earth’s Frontiers travels to Uganda to find out how genetic modification can prevent the global food crisis. As the fourth largest crop in the world, Uganda produces 10 million tonnes of bananas annually, second only to India. In an attempt to help to stem Africa’s growing food crisis, Earth’s Frontiers investigates the first trial of its kind in Africa as scientists adopt plans to inject banana plants with a protein to make them resistant to deadly bacterial diseases. However, local opposition could jeopardise the project. The programme finds out whether genetically modified crops will ever be embraced by African society. Wednesday 23 March at 09:30 and 19:30 CAT; Saturday 26 March at 09:30, 14:00 and 20:30 CAT; Sunday 27 March at 07:30 and 19:30 CAT; Monday 28 March at 05:30 CAT.
Duration: 30 minutes

CNN Marketplace Africa: This week on CNN Marketplace Africa, David McKenzie meets women in Kenya who have formed Chamas – investment collectives. The boardroom is like any other high-powered boardroom in Nairobi: sales pitches; big property deals; power investments. But there is one key difference: no men. This is Unathi investments, a group of Kenyan women who have banded together to form a Chama, or investment collective. When it comes to investment, they are leaving the men behind. Chamas started as revolving funds, now, these groups are putting together deals in the millions. One Chama is even listed on the stock exchange, and around nine million Kenyans belong to Chamas. David meets the women of Unathi investments and finds out just how powerful Chamas have become. Friday 25 March at 21:45 CAT; Saturday 26 March at 03:45 and 08:15 CAT; Sunday 27 March at 09:15 CAT.

Please note that programming, dates and times are subject to change. In addition, please note that different channels are available in different DStv bouquets and in different countries.

News from 2011 Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival

10 Mar 2011 14:49 Africa/Lagos

Indie Romantic ‘Bro-comedy’ Selected to Screen at the 2011 Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2011

LOS ANGELES, March 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — HEAD OVER SPURS IN LOVE has been selected to screen at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival on March 26th. This delightful romantic comedy stars the next “it” boys of Hollywood, Daniel Bonjour, South African native heartthrob and Jesse Johnson, the handsome and talented son of Don Johnson and Patti D’Arbanville.


Daniel Bonjour began his acting career in Johannesburg landing his first starring role in the action adventure, Dragon Quest, and more recently starring in the new wave cult classic, Midnight Movie. Daniel’s evident talent and striking good looks have attracted various filmmakers including Bryan Singer for My Eleventh.

Jesse Johnson grew up surrounded by Hollywood veterans. His career started with guest roles on his father’s hit show Nash Bridges; from there he graduated to feature film roles in Redline and the Australian indie Prey. His California good looks and charming appeal have groomed him for a successful career. He can next be seen in the Spanish film, Para que sirve un oso? opposite Geraldine Chaplin, granddaughter of Charlie Chaplin.

“We’re thrilled to be programmed at the LAWIFF,” states Ana Zins, director of HEAD OVER SPURS IN LOVE, who knew the difficulties of getting programmed and attracting industry attention with her indie romantic comedy. “I knew commercial-mainstream indie romantic comedies have a tougher time getting programmed into film festivals, but I was determined to stay true to my sensibilities as a filmmaker. I also knew casting relative unknowns in the lead roles was a risk when it came time to take the film out into the market place. But with this extraordinarily appealing talent and their amazing chemistry, I’m confident my decision has paid off.”

The story revolves around the premise that asks the question, “What if… the girl who got away… the love of your life… came back into your grasp just before your wedding to the girl you’ve just settled for?”

The film also stars the beautiful Leena Huff (Cougar Town and Life), the adorable Jen Lilly (Castle and Criminal Minds), and the hilarious Hal Ozsan (90210), also starring Richard Riehle (Office Space) and Richard Karn (Home Improvement).

Zins produced the film under her Mighty Girl Productions banner with co-producer E. Colleen Saro. Zins also wrote the film with writing partner Sheryl P. Umayam.

HEAD OVER SPURS IN LOVE, which is currently seeking distribution, will have a VIP premiere and red carpet on Thursday March 24th, where distributors, press and media are invited.

For more information and to RSVP please contact: Alexis Hoyt at:

The trailer can be seen at:

Tickets for the March 26th Screening are on sale now and may be purchased at:

Mighty Girl Productions is an independent film production company located in Los Angeles. HEAD OVER SPURS IN LOVE is the first full-length feature the company has produced.

SOURCE Mighty Girl Productions

CONTACT: Alexis Hoyt, +1-310-472-6200, for Mighty Girl Productions

Web Site:

All the Winners of the 22nd edition of FESPACO

2011 fespaco

All the Winners of the 22nd edition of Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO).

– Golden Stallion of Yennenga: “Pegasus” Mouftakir Mohamed (Morocco), a value of ten million CFA francs more a standard.

– Silver Stallion of Yennenga: “A Screaming Man”” by Mahamat Saleh Haroun (Chad), a value of five million CFA francs plus a standard

– Bronze Stallion of Yennenga: “The Ideal Guy” Owell Brown (Ivory Coast), worth 2.5 million francs more a standard.

– Prize of the European Union: “Our foreign” Sarah Bouyain (Burkina Faso), a value of eight million francs CFA.

– Best documentary film school: “Oh whites” of Fatima Ouattara (Burkina Faso), worth two million CFA francs more than a diploma.

– Best Fiction Film School: “White gold” Adama Room (Morocco), worth two million CFA francs.

– Award for Best Actress: “Journey to Algiers by Abdelkrim Bahloul (Algeria), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Award for Best Actor: “A step below the corruption of Sylvestre Amoussou (Benin), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Best screenplay: “Journey to Algiers by Abdelkrim Bahloul (Algeria), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Award for best picture: “Mosque” Daoud A. Syad (Morocco), worth one million francs CFA.

– Best Sound: “Pegasus” Mouhamed Mouftakir (Morocco), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Award for best music, worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy, awarded to Wasis Diop for his contributions in these three films in official selection of Fespaco.

– Best scene: “Da Monzon conquer Samanyana” Sidy Diabate (Mali), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Award for Best Editing: “The weight of the oath” Kollo Daniel Sanou (Burkina Faso), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Award for best poster: “Tried the place …” Dahmane Ouzid (Algeria), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Third Prize Documentary: “Indochina in the footsteps of a mother” of Idrissou Mora-Kpai (Benin), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Second Prize Documentary: “The Witches of Gambaga” Yaba Badoe (Ghana), worth two million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– First prize in the documentary: “The unbroken spirit” Jane Murago-Munene (Kenya), a value of three million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Award for best work in series TV / Video: “Ishmael the blundering” Mamadou N’Diaye (Senegal), worth two million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Special jury prize for a fictional TV / Video: Champions of Our Time by Kusari Mak (Nigeria), worth one million CFA francs plus a trophy.

Prix the best piece of TV / Video “Hoperville” of Trengoue John (South Africa), worth two million CFA francs.

– Oumarou Ganda Prize: “Our foreign” Sarah Bouyain (Burkina Faso), worth two million CFA francs.

– Paul Robeson Prize: “The Loves of a zombie,” Arnold Antonin (Haiti), worth two million CFA francs plus a trophy.

– Foal Bronze “Tienye n”, Daouda Coulibaly (Mali), worth one million CFA francs more a foal.

– Foal money: “Taboo” Merien Riveill (Tunisia), worth two million CFA francs more than a colt.

– Colt Gold Yennenga “Garagouz” Abdenour Zahzah (Algeria), a value of three million CFA francs more a foal.

Moroccan filmmaker wins the Golden Stallion of Yennenga at 22nd FESPACO

Pegase Trailer from jumpcut on Vimeo.


“Pegase” by Mohamed Mouftakir from Morocco late Saturday won the Golden Stallion of Yennenga, the grand prize of the Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso.

President Blaise Compaore gave out the awards at the closing ceremony of the 22nd FESPACO witnessed by over 22,000 people, including the participants and invited dignitaries at the Stade du 4-Août Stadium in Ouagadougou.

Pegase poster
Pegase winner
“The prize is a pride, it’s recognition. It’s encouraging,” said Mouftakir.

“Pegase” is a nightmarish tale of the rape of young Rihanna and incest by her father who believes she is demon-possessed.

The following are the other prizes and winners.

The runner-up Silver Stallion
“Un homme qui crie” (“A Screaming Man”) by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun. “A Screaming Man” won the Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

Bronze Stallion
“Le mec ideal” (“The ideal guy”) by Ivory Coast’s Owell Brown.

The Jury Prize
“Notre etrangere” (“The Place in Between”), by Sarah Bouyain.

The Best Actor Award
Sylvestre Amoussou of Benin,
He also directed “Un pas en avant, les dessous de la corruption”, a film that takes a look at the misappropriation of international aid.

The Best Actress Award
Samia Meziane in “Voyage a Alger” (“Journey to Algiers”) by Algerian Abdelkrim Bahloul.

The African Diaspora Prize
“Les amours d’un zombie” (“The Loves of a Zombie”) by Arnold Antonin from earthquake-scarred Haiti.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Can Documentaries Change The World?

Femi Odugbemi
Femi Odugbemi


A lecture by Nigerian Filmmaker Femi Odugbemi presented at the Centre for African and African-American Research, Duke University Durham North Carolina United States on Monday 21st February 2011.

I want to begin by saying Thank you to Professor Randy Matory, Chair of the Centre for your kind and generous introduction. I also want to appreciate members of your staff especially Ms. Bernice Patterson and
others who have welcomed me with great hospitality and generosity.

I am excited to be here and I appreciate your kind invitation. I am also excited really because I have come to understand that this University and this Centre has a strong documentary studies programme. I am a filmmaker and a culture activist. I am deeply interested in African cultural history and practices and also the emerging transcontinental cultures that are changing the face of what is known and unknown about our world today. The work that your centre here does in cultural anthropology especially in the Yoruba traditions and
mythologies is important to me and I am glad to have had a chance to be here.

I have just screened for you excerpts from my films “BARIGA BOY” and “ORIKI.’ In them are the core ideas around which I have concentrated my work as a filmmaker. My philosophy is that I am not just a filmmaker, I am an African Filmmaker. That is an identity that I take seriously and it is an identity that inspires my content. I believe that my art and my identity are interconnected and must feed each other. The idea and the context and culture of the artiste shapes his work. Filmmaking as all artistic undertakings, is a cultural practice and every form of its interpretation enriches and projects the experiences of a culture as captured from the artiste’s perspective.

The Nigerian Nollywood film industry was born of this understanding and has over the last 12-15years it has found a global audience amongst Africans and immigrants in the diaspora. Whilst we readily admit its technical deficiencies, Nollywood films have become a critical connector for many. Across the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Cuba, as far as China and Australia and all across Africa, Nollywood as a filmmaking phenomenon is less about the fictional narratives and more about the interactivity of its visual

The Nollywood movie industry is young, revolutionary and organic. It is young in the sense that movie making became a phenomenon in Nigeria only in recent years. It is revolutionary in the sense that it represents a radical break with the past. It did not have much history to go by and yet it has made international impact. More importantly, it is organic in the sense that it has a life of its own and it grows on its own steam. The Nigerian movie has its primary audience within the society in which it is produced, and this has been its most important attribute.

In every effective way, Nollywood is a form of pseudo documentary-making, showcasing the issues and conflicts and complexities of living the African experience in a way that is practical and to which Africans are connecting. While fiction, its narratives and sources are based on realities and actualities. It is a powerful form that has also inspired a new generation of filmmakers across the continent who are energised by the opportunity to make their voices heard. In this emerging globalization, cultural distinctions and dissection aid understanding as well as protect and preserve diversity. Documentaries are critical to helping us express our individualities within the blurred boundaries of the global community.

Cultures are in real and present danger of extinction. I am Yoruba. And my culture for instance is ancient with an amazing history full of spiritual mythologies. Its essence are profiled in family values, community, respect courtesy and individual responsibilities of integrity, industry, diligence and courage. For hundreds of years that culture has survived through history passed on by word of mouth. Today technology makes it possible to document this culture, to interrogate it and project its mysteries in a way that inspires a sense of belonging and pride.

Documentaries are also important today less as mere recordings or archiving tools of events and history and more for how they shape our thinking and mediate our experiences. That is a very important consideration if you accept the idea that whilst technology and globalization has made our lives easier it has blurred our
understanding of what is truth. Everything is complex and whilst you may have access to the facts of a situation, the truth of it has many sides. I believe the capacity of the documentary form to go beyond the news cycle and present to us perspectives gives us a deeper understanding that is useful in an era where the news cycles are overtly political.

Western colonialists in Africa used documentaries to shape group behaviour and manipulate perception and history. In Africa today the narrative of the global information order preserves an unfortunate sound bite that feeds our economic ostracization. The perspectives of experiences defined is at best narrow and one-sided. For Africa the global information order presents a narrative of wars, death, corruption and diseases. The question is ‘who is telling the story of Africa and its realities and from what perspective?’ Can African filmmakers bring better understanding within and outside the continent with documentaries that give a more rounded definition of the African experience?

Today Africa continues to be a hotbed of economic and socio-political change. From Tunisia to Egypt and now Libya. The primary questions are as urgent as they are fundamental: How can filmmaking serve the interests of Africa? How can it force the development agenda of Africa into global consciousness? How can it educate the world about the tremendous opportunities in Africa and highlight the importance of this continent? What are Africa’s strengths in a fiercely competitive global economic environment? And how do we create and grow a sustainable business model for African films to thrive? These questions underscore an important part of my own personal philosophy.

My work, not just as a filmmaker, but as an “African Filmmakers” is very important and vital to the sustenance of my own identity and even more ambitiously, my work is vital to the economic and social transformation of my community.

There is a dialogue on-going. Africa is in a conversation with itself concerning the shape of its future. A new order identifying new voices and new leaders, propagating new values of accountability, transparency, fair competition, social justice and economic empowerment is emerging. It is a revolution of immense significance
that is bringing a new optimism and pride about our future.

Documentary filmmaking can be at the centre of shaping these discourses — guiding and laying bare the issues.

The images of Africa’s emerging new order of political social and economic regeneration needs to get out there. The responsibility cannot be that of those outside of the experience. African filmmakers have a responsibility to mediate these perspectives because they have the priviledge of their craft and the audience it attracts. Back in 1935 the pioneering British documentary filmmaker Paul Rotha declared that “above all documentary must reflect the problems and realities of the present.” Rotha was a socially-conscious director who believed that the role of the documentary filmmaker was to help change the world for the better. I subscribe to that but will add that that the filmmaker must also question the nature of truth and reality. That is a key contention as governments and economic manipulators fully understand and use the documentary medium well as propaganda tools rather than for its more affecting power to educate, elevate and inspire. Today its boundaries are being stretched to keep up with the unreality of the real world. But the documentary form is a generous basket and it holds a lot of different things, afterall It is structured reality.

Many recent documentaries also denote a generational shift in both style and subject matter away from the political towards the emotional. There is a sense in which also the grand narratives globally are that people are living in an age of uncertainty and documentary increasingly reflects that because documentaries as an art form is traditionally progressive. Which is why as Professor Awam Akpam affirmed at the iRep documentary festival in Lagos in January, documentaries are way too important to be left in the hands of institutions. It should be in the hands of the population.

Today everything is happening at the speed of light – fast foods, fast cars fast communications, fast revolutions as we have seen all over the Middle East recently. All human experiences are moving at a rapid
pace requiring not only documentation historically, but perspectives and interpretations and individual voices to be heard. There is definitely a new energy for documentaries by people who need to tell their stories and can suddenly afford to do so. We are living in a time when young filmmakers in particular are increasingly turning towards documentary as a way to make sense of the world they live in.

They are more alert about and suspicious of the mainstream media and eager for a form that talks to them about real events in a real way even if that form is rough or even low-key. It’s a very exciting and ground-breaking time for the transformative power of the visual arts.

People are looking for bigger truths. There is a hunger for narratives that are personal, broad in scope and with integrity in its perspectives. How much change can documentary films really inspire?
I say it can change the world!

Thank you.

Femi Odugbemi is an Award-winning Filmmaker.
He is CEO of DVWORX Studios Lagos and former
President of the Independent Television Producers
Association of Nigeria.