After two full years, 26 films and over 1,000 attendees, Kijiweni Cinema at Nafasi Art Space came to an end last week.
Since 2016, the Kijweni Productions and Nafasi crews worked together to bring the best in African cinema to local audiences with films from countries as far and wide Rwanda, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Sudan and of course, Tanzania. Kijiweni curated the films and Nafasi turned its main exhibition hall into a welcoming cinema space for classic and contemporary films from the continent, many of them screened for the first time ever in Tanzania.
Hard-to-find African classics such as Tilai (Idrissa Ouedraogo, Burkina Faso), and Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambety, Senegal) were shown alongside glossy arthouse productions such as Black Orpheus (Marcel Camus, France). Big name directors such as Raoul Peck (Haiti) were joined on the slate by Tanzanian productions such as Maangamizi (Martin Mhando) in what was the country’s most eclectic film lineup. Documentaries and narrative fiction films alike lit up the screen with important stories told in creative ways.
A partnership with The African Screen Network brought contemporary titles such as Love the One You Love (Jenna Bass, South Africa) and Beats of the Antonov (Hajooj Kuka, Sudan) to the public. These are films that rarely receive wide distribution and are often only seen by festival audiences. We hope these screenings have expanded the horizons of cinema in Dar, and exposed people to cinematic visions that are too often overshadowed by the big budget Hollywood films that fill mainstream movie theatres.
To relive some of the best memories and moments from the past two years of screenings, you can still visit the Kijiweni Cinema facebook page here. All the best to our friends at Kijiweni Productions. You can keep up with their work producing truly challenging and rewarding Tanzanian films at www.kijiweniproductions.com.
And cinephiles of Dar, don’t mourn too long. Film screenings at Nafasi will (and must!) continue, so watch this space…