If you wish to tour the African continent from the Pyramids of the North to the Capes of the South, from the Safaris of the East to the rich cultures of the West. You definitely should have this list of film festivals on your radar.
These 8 film festivals will take care of your flight, accommodation and feeding if your film is selected to be screened at the festival. This is strictly for films selected for the main award sections as Official Selections.
Held in the beautiful ancient and coastal city of Luxor, Egypt, This festival currently in its 9th edition this year is one festival you would love your film to screen at if you have made a film (either short or feature) with a deep African root. One of its main and important rules is that you must be an African and your film must be an Egyptian premiere to be qualified for selection.
Relatively a new festival, it has incredibly grown to become one of the most vibrant and important film festivals in Egypt and in African in general. Now in its 4th edition and currently open for submissions, this festival doesn’t just take care of all selected filmmakers but also comes with hefty award prices. $15000 for best feature film and $5000 for the best short film respectively. There are also complimentary award prices for runner ups in both categories, award for best actors and director in the feature-length film category.
Arguably Nigeria’s biggest film festival and definitely one of the most prestigious film festivals in Africa, AFRIFF as it is commonly called has grown over the years discovering emerging young filmmakers as well as screening some of the most impressive and ground-breaking films made by Africans from all over the world. Despite its focus on African-theme films, the festival has always included films from other continents such as Asia and Europe in its lineup. It’s a truly diverse film festival and one every African filmmaker should have his/her film screened at.
One of the oldest film festival in African and the oldest film festival in South Africa. DIFF showcases some of the biggest films to come out of the African continent. Held in the beautiful city of Durban, South Africa. This is one festival that has discovered and nurtured some of the brightest and brilliant young African filmmakers today.
Egypt has always been the cradle of film civilization on the African continent. CIFF is one of the oldest film festivals in African. Screening at this festival is an automatic ticket to being selected for the Academy Awards as it is now one of the accredited Oscar Qualifying film festivals in the world. Usually called the Cannes of Africa, screening at CIFF automatically puts you the highest calibre of the African cinema movement. Its focus is on feature films and it prioritizes World and International Premiere status for its selected films.
FESPACO, as it is commonly called, is the oldest film festival on the African continent and one of the most diverse film festival in the world whose foundational vision has been and still is to support the African film industry. In its over 50 years of existence, FESPACO has grown to become one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Attending this film festival as an African filmmaker or as a filmmaker with African heritage can be said to be one of the climaxes of being a filmmaker.
Also known as JCC Tunisia’s biggest film festival definitely is a strong contender on this list and arguably one of the finest film festivals on the African continent today. JCC’s focus is on films that are highly engaging with messages addressing some of the biggest problems and issues with humanity. Screening your film at this event is definitely worth it.
A relatively quiet film festival, Ismailia film festival has been making giant strides and setting the bar high for other film festivals on the African continent for 22 years. It has somehow remained a low-profile film festival over the years but you will be more than impressed if your film gets an official selection at this festival. You definitely should submit your film. Although, it screens both short and feature films, one of its main focus is on feature-length documentaries. Winning an award at the festival also comes with a cash price.