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Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television, in partnership with Film Independent at LACMA, announces the lineup of Caméras d’Afrique: The Films of West Africa, a month-long film series focusing on the last 50 years of West African cinematic talent. Curated by Film Independent at LACMA curator Elvis Mitchell, Caméras d’Afrique runs October 3–28 and includes a diverse slate of 21 narrative and documentary films, many of which have never been screened in the U.S. The series also features panel discussions and Q&As with select filmmakers.
Caméras d’Afrique will kick off at LACMA with a double feature of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s Bye Bye Africa and the U.S. premiere of Grigris, Haroun’s critically acclaimed film that showed at this year’s Cannes International Film Festival. Haroun will be on hand for a Q&A moderated by Mitchell.
On Saturday, October 5, the series continues at LACMA with screenings of Mama Kéïta’s L’Absence (followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker) and Gaston Kaboré’s Buud Yam (followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker), as well as a panel discussion moderated by Mitchell about the state of West African cinema.
Other program highlights include the L.A. premiere of Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns), Djibril Diop Mambéty’s 1973 French New Wave–inspired Touki Bouki, Idrissa Ouédraogo’s 1990 Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix winner Tilaï (The Law), and the 2013 FESPACO Golden Stallion winner Tey (Today), followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and star Saul Williams.
“This series brings me such joy,” said Mitchell. “Primarily because there's nothing more exhilarating to me than to expose people to exciting new filmmakers and films, let alone bring attention to the art of an area that deserves more attention than it's received in America. The works we're playing demonstrate that film at its best, like any other art form, is idiosyncratic and universal.”
Screenings will be held throughout October at LACMA’s Bing Theater on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Free community screenings and select Q&As moderated by Mitchell will take place on the Loyola Marymount University campus every Monday night.
“We are thrilled to be able to present Caméras d’Afrique: The Films of West Africa. Patrons will have the rare opportunity to see the latest films that have received accolades from the top European and African film festivals as well as classics from the past 50 years," said LMU SFTV Dean Stephen Ujlaki, adding, “Connecting our students to the rich filmography of West Africa, long a Francophone region, will expose them to different forms of storytelling, inspiring their own unique visions.”