May 8, 2017

TAFF premieres a brand new trophy inspired by the World Cup

The brand new trophy was inspired by TAFF Executive Director's love for sports.
The African Film Festival is at its second inception this year. There will be at least 25 countries participating and 40 forty films according to the festival’s executive director, Mr. Kelechi Eke. Planning a film festival in not without it’s unique challenges, even more so, planning a festival that uniquely caters to films made by African independent filmmakers or filmmakers of the African decent. Be it as it may, Mr. Eke is beating the odds. Response has been outstanding across the continent of Africa as well as the USA, Europe and Australia. The film festival is now attracting the likes of Academy Award nominee Angela Bassett who Executive produced and narrated a film to be screened during the closing night on July 3, 2017 at Dallas City Performance Hall (DCPH). Oscar caliber films have also been selected to be screened during the festival. African Film Legend, Richard Mofe Damijo is slated to host this years festival awards gala.

The highlight of this year’s festival is the brand new trophy that filmmakers will covet, inspired by Mr. Eke’s love for soccer. The golden masterpiece is born out of the need to inspire African independent filmmakers to continue pursue cinematic excellence. To demonstrate just how they are doing that, award categories include “Best Poster” and “Best Trailer” to encourage putting more thought to the overall finished work. TAFF has opened a world stage for quality African films and now, the world is watching. In a recent interview, Mr. Eke shed some light on the making of the new trophy and what’s in store for this year’s festival.
Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe Winner Angela Bassett's film Remand will screen on the closing night on July 3, 2017 at DCPH, Dallas Texas.

The African Film Festival is gaining momentum this year, how do you feel about that?
Great. Feels good. The excitement, the anticipation by filmmakers and film lovers is quite encouraging. All the work that we put in last year is paying off going into the second year—the quality of films, the caliber of filmmakers that we’re able to attract this year, makes it even more exciting.

This year, you have a brand new trophy, what’s the inspiration behind it?
Well, the direction we’re going with TAFF is to make it one of the biggest, (pure) African film festivals in the United States and in that effort, what comes to mind as the biggest and the best, as a sports aficionado is the World Cup or the Super Bowl. I dubbed the trophy as the World Cup of African films. As a soccer player, what really inspired that trophy is looking at the World Cup itself, I spent quite some time, lots of nights thinking of how to bring out Africa and film at the same time in that trophy, you know—like the World Cup. I was able to do that with a film strip at the base of the cup, then springing out the map of Africa. It was quite a unique concept. Finally, when the vision came to me, I drew it out back and forth with the manufacturers to make sure they got my design exactly as I envisioned it. After 2 months of trial and error, they got it right and once they got it I said “Yes, this is it. This is what I designed, this is what I was looking for” and you know, something to encourage filmmakers to work hard and anticipate lifting one of those trophies. That’s really the inspiration. 

Did you experience any challenges in the making of this year’s trophy?
One of the challenges is actually accepting the weight of the trophy, as the winners will find out. It’s weight is just like a dumbbell, you know, but Africans are strong and picking up a 5kg dumbbell wouldn’t be a big deal to them and of course when they’re holding on to it, they feel like they’re holding something. But, 5kg is roughly 10 pounds. It was kind of a challenge on whether to reduce the size or leave it as is. Its about 14 inches tall, so a little over a foot, you know, so it’s something that you wouldn’t put in your back pocket and move on. Once [filmmakers] fly into Dallas and take that trophy across the airport, everybody that sees them will stop and say “hey where did you get that trophy?” That was part of the motivation and will be, for the filmmakers to feel the same way and carry that good-sized trophy home. The challenge was the size decision and I don’t think I want to make it any smaller than it is.

Amazing story! So, what has been the response to this new trophy?
Overwhelmingly great, and I welcome constructive criticism but I’ve had none. A poll out of a thousand people and one hundred percent responded with two thumbs up. All the feedback has been positive, everybody is excited to see it. It was pretty much the same design as last year, but the difference was trying to bring out the cultural African roots, we actually had a sculptor carve each of those trophies by hand so those were pretty unique. This time around, in manufacturing this design, people actually said that we’ve upped our game, that’s the best film trophy that they’ve ever seen and that’s actually what I want out of it. So, it’s not about the trophy, it’s just one of the motivating factors for filmmakers to want to win one and when I heard one of the seasoned filmmakers actually make that comment that “hey, this trophy will motivate me to want to make a good film to get one” I said “yes, that’s exactly the purpose of this trophy.”


Very interesting. We can’t all wait to see who takes this trophy home this year. So tell me, what are the plans for this year’s festival, do you have any special guests or events?
Yes, we have a special guest, Richard Mofe Damijo will be hosting the show and we have filmmakers such as Lancelot Imasuen coming, and quite a few filmmakers from across the globe: Ghana. Gambia, Senegal, South Africa, Nigeria etc. There are American filmmakers as well that are making African films that will be in the house. We have a couple of them here in Dallas, the makers of Cornerstone, for example with be here. The makers of Massai: 10th Tribe of Israel, a Kenyan story plan to be here. They are all Americans telling African stories, so we call them African filmmakers (laughs), so they’ll be here. There’s so much diversity, we have films from the Cape coast, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. We have films from Senegal all the way to the horn of Africa—Tanzania. So, it cuts across the continent and that’s exactly our mission—to bring these films together and unite people and bridge cultures. It’s exciting, it’s hard to pinpoint any one of the filmmakers without mentioning the others because all of them are equally important to the organization. So we look forward to having a great time with those that finally get to make it.  

Any special events?
For the first time in film festivals history (I can boldly claim), instead of a workshop this year, we will actually do practical workshop to shoot a film. So, we’re looking forward to that from June 24th, before the festival opens to the general public on June 30th, we will be shooting a short film called “4” and “4” is only four minutes, and it dubs the question “what will you do if the world where to end in four minutes?” So, we’ll be carrying out an audition for that starting May 20th, that’s exactly 2 weeks from today and then on June 24th, we will shoot the short film leading to the festival. The short film covers our networking, seminars, workshop where seasoned filmmakers will be there early to actually guide budding filmmakers to accomplish this task and if we’re able to do that, that would be quite a feat. Now we’re taking it from just film screenings to practical filmmaking, so it’s a revolutionary effort in our second year, a great vision and we’re looking forward to pulling it off.

This is all amazing! And, I have say that now I can’t wait for this festival, we’re all anticipating it at this point. So how can one purchase tickets to this year’s festival?
The tickets are available at Ticket DFW. It is also available on our website. Another exciting thing coming up on the closing night is the showing of Remand, a short film executive produced and narrated by Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Angela Bassett. We’re hoping she can join us on the closing night to kind of see people’s excitement or reaction on the film the she was part of. That’s how far we’ve gone, when we’re getting the attention of the likes of Angela Bassett whom we all respect in the film world, it says a lot about the direction of where The African Film Festival is going. We’re quite excited.

And we are excited for you! We’re proud of what you’ve accomplished and we say keep it up! We look forward to what unfolds int he near future.
Thank you.


The African Film Festival is slated for June 30-July 3 2017. Don’t miss it. Get your tickets now.

April 27, 2017

RMD is hosting TAFF 2017!

Legendary actor Richard Mofe Damijo will host The African Film Festival in its second year.

The legendary actor is slated to grace the stage on the closing night on July 3, 2017 at the Dallas City Performance Hall (DCPH) in a black-tie/traditional event that will be marked by glitz and glamor and guaranteed to bring out the best in the film industry. The best in the African independent film industry will be awarded with a golden trophy reminiscent of a great Egyptian fortress. "The inspiration for this year's trophy is my love for soccer." TAFF Executive Director gushes excitedly, "I can't believe how wonderful it turned out." We share your love too Mr. E.D and we can't wait to see who takes home this golden trophy this year. For this year's selected films, click here

About Richard Mofe Damijo

Richard Mofe Damijo is from Warri, Delta State. He always had a penchant for acting right from childhood belonging to his school's drama club and majoring in Theatre Arts in the University of Benin. He would star in many popular films, theatre and TV shows. He gained major popularity in the highly acclaimed soap opera RipplesOut of BoundsScores to Settle, Private Sin, are just a few notable films under a long resume that spans over twenty years. Some of his latest work are The Wedding Party and 30 Days in Atlanta.

He dabbled into politics becoming the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism in Delta State, Nigeria.

Get your tickets now. Go here.

July 11, 2016

The African Film Festival has established a landmark in Dallas

Last July 4th weekend was the longest day that I have had in a long time as the days ran into each other. It was a whirlwind at The African Film Festival in Dallas, a three-day marathon of events that included screenings of African films that terminated at the closing night Awards Gala. It was a non-stop meet and greet of filmmakers, special guests, attendees and volunteers that had me feeling like Bobby Fischer. I could tell that the attendees really enjoyed themselves by the look of satisfaction and happiness on their faces.  One patron said to me, "Wow! I wasn't expecting this, I am very happy I came." "I definitely will be coming back... With my friends!" They all applauded the effort and vision it took to put this together.

The city of Dallas became the epitome of cultural diversity. To put it in perspective, TAFF received almost eighty films this festival year and selected forty-two. Twenty-five countries participated to include filmmakers from non-African countries that told African stories. Now that is outstanding for a platform starting out its inception year. 
Kelechi shows a 10 minute preview of festival screenings after receiving a proclamation by the mayor from the city of Dallas and addressing the crowd, Regina Onyeibe stands by (above top l)
I also heard from many Dallas residents and film enthusiasts who were merely curious, when they learned the platform's mission to bring the African continent to this city, they were excited. Many wanted to lend their support however they could, we are still getting volunteer requests! Many wanted to buy our t-shirts as a way to support. The love had become overwhelming. In a conversation with a friend, I eluded to the fact that one can be busy putting things into place as part of one's vision not realizing the many lives that are being affected.

Friday, July 1st started out like any other normal day. Then in the late afternoon, filmmakers and guests all gathered on the 6th floor, in the flag room at Dallas City Hall. They were greeted by tribal dancers (Djeli Kunda West African Dance Company of Moussa Diabate Dance Group) that really turned the ambience and gave the feeling that Africa has come to town. We were all fascinated by the dance group as they beat their drums, sang and danced to the rhythm of their song. We all made long videos and took pictures. There was media presence, I met Greg Flakus, correspondent for Voice of America, my good friend Tosan Aduayi of Trendy Africa was there, as well as Victory media. We were all excited for this event that has finally crept up into our time.  Then came the ushering in of the guests of honor. Ms. Patience Ozokwo, who came straight from Nigeria for the event, our host for the gala—filmmaker and actress Uche Jombo, led by our Executive Director, Kelechi Eke just in the knick of time as West Africa Liaison for Dallas, Ms. Regina Onyeibe, began her speech and properly ushered in TAFF 2016 along with some of her friends and colleagues, notable was a Liberian businessman from JP Morgan and Chase. The Mayor of Dallas delivered a proclamation to Kelechi, The African Film Festival had become a Dallas landmark. The audience got a taste of the genius of Ben Amushie reciting some of his poetry. Finally Kelechi addressed the crowd giving them a little glimpse of his journey getting to this particular day and a taste of what the audience were in for in a 10 minute preview of films to be showcased at the festival. Looking into the audience, I could tell they had become enthralled, no one moved until the end of the clip, I heard whispers of wonderment under their breath. I realized then and there that peoples' lives were going to be affected.  Friday, July 1st left a big indication of what the weekend was shaping up to be.

The celebration continued on to Texas theatre for the Short films showcase. Eight short films were juxtaposed into a feature length showcase approximately 3 hours long. Films were from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa and South Sudan.
Clockwise from top L: Ms. Patience Ozokwo addresses the crowd after receiving TAFF African Legend Award, screening at Pan African Connection, Filmmakers Arthur Iyok, Arthur Musah and friend, Mr. Eke and Best Actress winner and filmmaker Constance Ejuma, TAFF Leadership recipient Yeharerwerk Gashaw and TAFF Host and actor Benjamin A. Onyango, representing Cameroon on the red carpet.
Saturday, July 2nd began early as patrons lined up at our various screening locations—Aldeez, Cardillac Dream Studios, Pan African Connection and Texas Theatre. Some of our filmmakers brought along their audience, our special guests had arrived from various parts of the country as well  as abroad, locals were there to take part of the movement after they learned about it on Kera art + seek: the Big Screen days earlier. Saturday was the feature length screening of 22 films from countries of Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania; a combination of Narrative and Documentaries. Each screening was followed by a Q&A session and the audience had the opportunity learn more about the filmmakers.

It looked like a scene from an invitation-only exclusive African conglomerate party that evening at Kelechi's home. There they were, filmmakers from across the African continent and beyond. The likes of Ike Nnaebue, Honeymoon Aljabri, Mike Wargo, Jacqueline Farris, Deyemi Okanlawon, Tola Olatunji, Kang Quintus, Arthur Iyok, Claudio Oben, Uche Jombo; each came with their entourage. Mama G was the special guest for the evening and no one could get enough of her, (dare I say, #SelfieOvereload??). Everyone was honored by her presence. Kelechi and family graciously hosted the evening with never ending food and drinks. Guests had a good time, "gisting." In his true form, Kelechi's filmmakers dinner would turn into screening time, everyone settled into Uche Jombo's latest film "Lost in Us."
Sunday, July 3rd our filmmakers were hosted on a boat ride along Lake Travis where they enjoyed the camaraderie of their colleagues, BBQ and fresh air from the lake. Locals enjoyed more screenings  of what was left of Saturday. Not long after, Dallas City Performance Hall would be transformed into sheer elegance with red carpet and backdrop that welcomed guests into the closing night gala. Guests honored us for the evening in colorful pageantry of African regalia. DCPH is a venue no one would forget in a hurry—a state-of-the-art architecture made for performances, galas such as ours, encourages interaction from the outside in, guests were enveloped in a 750-seat proscenium theatre with multi-level seating that accommodates viewers at every angle, and an impeccable sound system.

"Wow! I wasn't expecting this, I am very happy I came." "I definitely will be coming back... With my friends!"

I learned a few things on July 4th weekend as a first time event organizer. The beginning is always rough, no matter how well or well-in-advance that you plan. Many of us are familiar with instances when things just won't work right or "corporate," like when you've spent countless hours working on media that won't finalize and render up till the day of event, losing movie files slated for a scheduled time and you're faced with patrons expecting a scheduled film to begin in the auditorium, specialty envelopes ordered with One-day shipping didn't arrive until 7-days later, winner cards designed to specifications that could not be printed by an office supply store after 24 hours of trying and wasted materials. My biggest challenge I'd say would be not being familiar with the City of Dallas, it took some extra time locating the addresses. Timing is everything. You have to be on top of your timing or events can start to unravel. Once the gala started, events went by in quick succession, a lot of preparation ahead of time is vital. I have my presenters and volunteers to thank for their assistance in moving things along, they all did their part in anticipating when they'd go on stage and making note to be ready, many assisted in carrying the trophies to designated areas backstage. They were a good sport even though they didn't have a copy of the program, they all congregated back stage to copy and screen shot my master copy. At first having all of them at the same time seemed overwhelming as they all asked questions at the same time and wanted answers, but it all worked out as we all figured it out together.  They were all just happy to be there and help wherever they could. Communication is absolute. Members of your team must be on the same page to be able to coordinate events in a timely manner. That way one could avoid sending out a presenter that was both one of the nominees in a category being presented and the winner! When I realized this at first (one day later) I was flabbergasted, but then I laughed. Mr. Eke came back stage to ensure we still had the same version of the evening program and I didn't quite understand why. Roll with the punches. You've got to. You've got to resort to the last resort up to plan Z, so have them. For me, there were presenters I had to send to the stage more than once to replace those that couldn't make it. I ended up using unscheduled presenters and they all graciously accepted the task. Not having winner cards prepared ahead of time, I had to improvise and it worked just fine. Not having the finalized visual program meant hauling a heavy equipment to the venue and guess what? It was perfect to operate from the source and not risking having a corrupted file or potential hard drive problem. The work was never done for Mr. Eke up till the last minute that day.
Listening in the Flag room
Still reeling from the now concluded TAFF 2016, the past year now seem like a blur. To think of the start of this journey from the beginning, I'm very proud of the outcome. TAFF received mostly positive reviews. I listened to the audience speak about how pivotal this platform is for Africa, a platform that unites not just the continent but with the rest of the world. African film art have been in existence for decades, yet it had been only a small part of international mainstream. I can echo the sentiment of many when I say the TAFF has been a long time coming, the magnitude is felt far and wide. TAFF managed to introduce me to other African cultures that now I'm looking forward to learning more about. TAFF is part of Texas Film Commission, Dallas Film Commission and Dallas Arts District.  I can't thank the city of Dallas enough for taking us in, Kera art + seek for propelling it further, Voice of America for opening its platform to us, Victory media and Trendy Africa for its exceptional photos and video coverage, many others that lent their support, and of course our many volunteers.

Congratulations to the winners of 2016 TAFF awards:
  • Papa'z song by Ror Akot Ft. Michelle Norbido for Best Soundtrack in ROR from South Sudan
  • The Shadow Boxer from South Africa for Best Cinematography
  • Rejected from Cameroon for People's Choice - Best Poster
  • Nico Piro as Best Emerging Filmmaker for Documentary Killa Dizez from Sierra Leone
  • Constance Ejuma as Best Actress for Ben and Ara from Cameroon
  • Okey Uzoechi as Best Actor for Lost in Us from Nigeria
  • Rob Schermbruker for Best Director in Good Business from South Africa
  • Alma from Cameroon for People's Choice - Best Trailer 
  • Nowhere to run from Nigeria for Best Documentary Short
  • Fakeh from Cameroon for Best Narrative Short
  • The Vanished Dream from Guinea Bissau for Best Documentary Feature
  • Aisha from Tanzania for Best Narrative Feature

Congratulations Mrs. Patience Ozokwo for receiving the African Film Legend Award for her many years contributions to the Nollywood industry. You deserve it Mama G! Franco Bonghan is a true pioneer who has used his platform to groom many young artists and aid in the fight for Ebola. His music video, Africa for Ebola Orphans harnessed great music talents from four African countries - Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guniea and Cameroon for an awareness initiative through music. The two phase initiative included making a music video and holding a musical concert in each country. The result is a moving musical tribute that became a vehicle that would bring support to children orphaned by the ravaging disease. Congratulations on your Humanitarian award! Yeharerwerk Gashaw have long been an activist for Africans for many years, advocating for education, the fight against drugs and injustice. Over the years, she single handedly raised money for schools and awareness campaigns. Her campaign against drugs led her to work with several Heads-of-State, notable is her meeting with Nelson Mandela and President Mobutu of Zaire. She is the first Black Model to grace the runnways of Christian Dior and Guerlain Paris, the first Black actress featured in Soap Opera Dallas. Congratulations on your Leadership Award.
Filmmakers and patrons enjoyed a festival full of activities
Kenyan Hollywood actor and filmmaker extraordinaire Benjamin A. Onyango held down the floor for us with Nollywood actress Uche Jombo, keeping our guests entertained throughout the night, ushering in the presenters. Between the dynamic duo, they wear many hats as filmmaker, comedian, actor, actress, masters of ceremony, the list would go on (I covered them here and here). I have to recognize the visionary who had the guts to put this together, TAFF Founder and Executive Producer, Filmmaker, Director—Mr. Kelechi Eke, watching your vision unfold is inspiring and gives us hope! Judging by the reception of TAFF this year, there's already anticipation for what next year will bring.

Well, "that's all folks!" (The famous words of bugs bunny) Until next year.

Pssst: The African Film Festival 2017 dates have been released: June 30 - July 3!

Images courtesy of Victory Media Pro

June 15, 2016

Uche Jombo to host The African Film Festival

Credit: Uche Jombo
Uche Jombo is easily the most recognizable face in Nollywood with a long acting resume—60 films to her credit to include many under her production company Uche Jombo Studios. She has endeared our hearts on screen with notable films like Games Men Play, Damage, Oge's sister. Her strong work ethic has propelled her to the top of her game with millions of fans worldwide.

Uche embodies the epitome of TAFF's mission as an avid African independent film trailblazing Director, Writer and Producer believing in the talent and ingenuity that can only be from the motherland. Under her production company, she has produced many quality films and procured distribution rights to international markets and online streaming houses such as Netflix, an online streaming platform.

The African Film Festival is honored to have Nollywood's darling Uche Jombo as host for its 2016 festival year. The sentiment is mutual as she eluded to her excitement, believing this platform is what the African independent film industry needs. She has been a supporter of this platform from its inception, graciously accepting the invitation despite her busy schedule. 

As an actor and a filmmaker, it's imperative to go to film festivals. I have always done that over the years, it's always a pleasure to be a part of anything that shines light on the continent. You have no idea how many Americans that still think Africa is a country, its an opportunity to see other filmmakers from other African countries...  I am looking forward to seeing the different films from African filmmakers, plus Dallas is my 3rd town after Aba and Lagos, yes in that order.
Uche will join Kenyan Hollywood actor, Benjamin A. Onyango in the inaugural presentation of The African Film Festival, 2016. We can only expect a lightening powerhouse from the duo.


African Film Festival is now 18 days away! Can you believe it? Get your tickets now.

July 1-3, 2016
Dallas, Texas
25 countries | 42 Films
Parade of Flags | Red Carpet | TAFFest Boatride | Shorts Screening 
 Feature Screening | Networking seminar | Dallas City Tour 
Awards Gala | Afterparty

May 3, 2016

TAFF has a host! Veteran Kenyan Hollywood actor, Benjamin A. Onyango

TAFF is proud to present its host for this year's festival, a seasoned actor with a laundry list of credits in Hollywood. Many of you may recognize him in Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis, The X-Files or The Other Tribes by Kelechi Eke. He's played both major and minor roles in film and television, a big supporter of African independent films. Be prepared to see this funny man in action during the Awards Gala on July 3rd, 2016.

All About Benjamin

Benjamin Alfred Onyango left his native country, Kenya in 1987 to pursue further education in the United States of America. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California. He relocated to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in Music and Acting. He currently performs with his band ‘In Lieu Of’ in Hollywood Clubs and is the bass player for his church choir.
His TV credits include TWO WORLDS, DYSFUNCTIONALLY ORGANIZED, GENERAL HOSPITAL, THE SHIELD and the X-FILES. 

His Film credits include: FATHER AFRICA, GOD’S NOT DEAD, ROAD TO REDEMPTION, DEFAULT, KWAME, in which he won the 2009 Best Actor Award, CHAINS, THUNDER CHANCE, THE DISCIPLE, AMERICAN CRUDE, THE TERMINAL and TEARS of THE SUN. 
His fluency in the Swahili language has landed him many voice acting and ADR roles in big budget Hollywood movies including the following: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM III, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, MACHINE GUN PREACHER, INCEPTION, THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL, PRIMEVAL, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM I, PATH TO 911, A LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN, MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, video games RESIDENT EVIL V, MASS EFFECT 3 and the TV series, E-RING.
He founded UPENDO LEARNING CENTER (ULC), a non-profit Organization that provides tutoring and mentoring services to students on the Autism spectrum. ULC also runs Summer and Winter Camps where the students on the Autism spectrum learn how to create and record music from scratch, write scripts, shoot and edit them. 

His writing credits include: a short thriller, MIND TRICKS, a dark comedy feature, HELL HATH NO FURY, a drama feature, CHEZA, TV Pilot projects TWO WORLDS (Drama) and DYSFUNCTIONALLY ORGANIZED (dramedy) and is currently working on two feature documentaries, ERIC’S RISE and JAJUOK. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA and BMI.
Mr. Onyango is one of the lead actors in the God's Not Dead film franchise. More on him can be found here. Check out God's Not Dead 2 the movie, now in theatres.

April 13, 2016

Introducing: TAFF 2016 Selected Films

Happy new month every body! I hope you enjoyed April fools? Many of you might have something to celebrate this month and so does my team at The African Film Festival.  Have you checked us out yet? You should, go on over right here.

It's been a grueling past few months and at long last, I am proud to present selected films for this year. It's overwhelming the amount of submissions received, I wondered how we can screen them all, but not to worry, our panel of judges have been hard at work through the selection process. I can confidently say from our selected films, you're in for a treat! Our filmmakers went deep with the topics explored, they addressed the many issues on our minds. I'm really proud of the quality of the films too, in my opinion, they would easily compete with films in other recognized film industries, in other words, industry standard. I wouldn't mind streaming them on Netflix. African filmmakers must be recognized for their hard work. TAFF is screening films from at least 15 African countries, many of these countries with multiple films. This indicates to me the abundance and availability of talented filmmakers all across Africa, many now see the value of this platform and appreciate its mission. In time, we hope to have the whole of Africa. So far, we're starting out strong. 

This platform can unite our brothers and sisters—we are one, we have similar issues and circumstances, there's something about our geography that unites us, from one place to another, you'd start to notice, from our films, that there's little that differentiates us. It is time to blur the dividing lines and recognize that, indeed we are one. Together, we can make for a better Africa.

That's all for now. You can preview some of the selected films trailers below. Check back next week for more.

Be sure to like my Facebook page and stay updated of the details while it unfolds. You can also head on over to TAFF Facebook page and YouTube to see the Trailer of the Day.


Title: A People at Sea
Country: Cameroon
Filmmaker: Samson Tarh
Synopsis: ANAN, a young fisherman dreams of owning an engine boat in the future. These dreams gradually become a fantasy when the government announces his plans to relocate the people of the sea to the city.Unlike ABIGAIL one of the rare privileged to go to school, All that matters to Anan and most people of the dogyard is the daily catch of fish that sustains them.Relocation to them may mean the end of living and the beginning of existing.



Title: Waiting for the (T)rain
Countries: Burkina Faso, France
Filmmaker: Simon Panay
Synopsis: Waiting for the (t)rain explores life in a rural village in Burkina Faso. The village survives by the generosity of passengers in transit on a commuter train that runs through it, throwing out food items and water bottles. Its inhabitants, young and old would reminisce and dream of their colonial masters - France. The older generation remember years of servitude to France, while the younger generation dream of escaping to France for greener pastures. 




Title: GENDER & NUMBER
Countries: Ethiopia, Spain
Filmmaker: Ines Poggio
Synopsis: Women in Ethiopia have to face unpleasant situations everyday in order to fulfill other peoples' expectations. But they keep fighting, trying to be the change they want to see. This film transmits their way of living from a positive perspective. It shows their energy, strength, courage, and their will to fight.




Title: My Gallery
Country: Cameroon
Filmmaker: Enah Johnscott
Synopsis: A devoted husband and artist struggles to provide for his family, amidst the poverty and death plaguing his community. After the sudden death of a well respected philanthropist, his life takes a different turn as a wicked mayor attempts to frame him for murder.





Title: Wings of my Dreams
Country: Nigeria
Filmmaker: Ike Nnaebue
Synopsis: A teenage girl growing up in the slums of Makoko believes there is a better life out there for her. She is determined to chase her dreams despite all odds.



January 30, 2016

Films on TAFF


Films on TAFF
Enjoy the progress we have made so far with TAFF with clips from some of the films we have received. We commend all the filmmakers from various countries involved as we work together to take African films to the next level.
Posted by The African Film Festival - TAFF on Friday, January 29, 2016
Enjoy the progress we have made so far with TAFF with clips from some of the films we have received. We commend all the filmmakers from various countries involved as we work together to take African films to the next level.

Submission Deadlines

Earlybird Deadline: November 1st - November 30th
Regular Deadline: December 1st - March 31st
Late Deadline: April 1st - April 15th

More info:

Website: www.theafricanfilmfestival.org
Facebook: facebook.com/TheAfricanFilmFestival
Twitter: @TAFFOfficial
Instagram: TheAfricanFilmFestival

Msadaku.

December 7, 2015

Calling all African independent filmmakers

Did you hear about The African Film Festival - TAFF? If not, read on.
TAFF is "Bridging Cultures through Films," a non-profit organization, the first of it's kind to benefit the African independent filmmaker, set to premiere 4th of July weekend of 2016 in Dallas, Texas. A lot is ridding on the coattails of this event. There are planned seminars for filmmakers and enthusiasts, performances by your favorite artists and a gala honoring longstanding African filmmakers. With a vision to make available African films in schools and public libraries beyond Africa, TAFF would screen only the best African films for the world to see.

TAFF is now accepting submissions from African indie filmmakers worldwide. Do you have a non-released, newly finished film this past year? Then this message is for you. Submit your films now, we are now in the Regular submission timeline - December 1, 2015-March 31, 2016, prospective filmmakers should read the submission guidelines before submitting. Filmmakers will be honored with an award in fifteen categories, more on that here.

Filmmakers should register here, acceptable media formats include Blu-ray and DVD. You can also submit via FilmFreeway.

There have never been a better time for African indie filmmakers to showcase their work. Their work will gain a global exposure, as TAFF will welcome other film industries. This, in turn ensures submitted films would be seen by highly respected industry professionals around the globe (that includes Hollywood).

It is important to note that African films have a unique genre, not to be assimilated with already existing film industries. TAFF will celebrate African films and filmmakers and give the rest of the world an inside glimpse on the artistry involved in cultivating this unique genre.

Can you give your time?
TAFF is seeking passionate and enthusiastic volunteers that share its vision. Ever wanted to volunteer at a film festival? Are you passionate about African films? Then here is your chance to become part of the movement. Together, we can truly "bridge cultures..."and make the festival a success!

Keep it here, I'd keep you posted.
Msadaku.

October 1, 2015

Festival updates

The African Film Festival


I love to bring exciting news, there's too much bad news out there.

I'm excited to announce the revamp of our new website at The African Film Festival - TAFF, check it out now at www.theafricanfilmfestival.org.

TAFF is a 501©3 non-profit organization, our goal is to give back to the independent African filmmaking community. We are creating greater exposure for African films, making them available in schools and public libraries in non-African communities. Never have there been a platform like this one, an international film festival focused solely on African films.

TAFF have been accepted by the Texas Film Commission! Told ya, exciting! TAFF is now part of the arts district of Plano, Texas. Our grand finale will be at the Courtyard Theater in Plano, Texas.

Film submissions start November 1st via FilmFreeway, find out how you can submit your films here. Watch out for deadlines for early, regular and late submissions.

Finally, we are launching The African Film Festival on July 4th weekend. What better way celebrate African independent films! Where would you be during this groundbreaking event?

That's all for now, stay tuned for updates.

Msadaku.

May 5, 2015

The African Film Festival

Something really big is brewing in the background, something groundbreaking, the first of its kind.

The African Film Festival (TAFF) will launch in July of 2016, a platform created for African film practitioners by Kelechi Eke, a filmmaker and CEO of BiGObi productions in Dallas, Texas. This platform is born out of a dire need to give African films and its creators a world stage and the recognition they deserve. Are you a filmmaker? Have you made an African film? Then this festival is for you.
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