Friday 19 January 2018
(AFP (eng) 01/17/18)
The first ever film festival celebrating the LGBT community is underway in Tunisia, a Muslim country where homosexuals can face up to three years in prison. Twelve short and medium-length films produced in Tunisia and across the Middle East and North Africa are being shown at the "Mawjoudin Queer Film Festival" that opened Monday. The four-day event is organised by Mawjoudin, Arabic for "We Exist", a Tunisian non-governmental association which defends the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. It is the first event of its kind in Tunisia and the organisers say the "festival conceives of itself as audacious".
(AFP (eng) 11/13/17)
The story of an epic train journey across war-torn Mozambique by a Brazilian director has been awarded the top prize at Tunisia's Carthage Film Festival. "The Train of Salt and Sugar" by Licinio Azevedo, a Brazilian who lives in the African country, received the Tanit d'Or as the festival wrapped up on Saturday. Like a Western, the film follows the perilous journey of a train that sets off across rebel-held areas to exchange salt for sugar in 1989 during Mozambique's civil war. The Tanit d'Argent went to South Africa's John Trengove for his first feature "The Wound", which has sparked controversy at home over its portrayal of homosexual love and an ancestral initiation rite. Veteran Moroccan director Faouzi Bensaidi received...
(AFP (eng) 11/11/17)
A frank documentary about the lives of gay Tunisians received an enthusiastic welcome at a local film festival Friday despite homosexuality being a crime in the North African country. "It's brilliant. If this film made it, then of course we can screen many others," said Sikander, a member of the audience who only gave his first name, as he left the theatre at the Carthage Film Festival. The room of 500 seats was not big enough to fit all those...
(Xinhuanet 09/13/17)
In an effort to promote economic development and solve complex conservation challenges facing world heritage sites, the African World Heritage Fund Patron and former President of Namibia Hifikepunye Pohamba will host a business leader's breakfast event in Namibian Capital, Windhoek on Thursday. The African World Heritage Fund is an initiative of the African Member States of the African Union and UNESCO, launched in 2006. Webber Ndoro, executive director of the African World Heritage Fund, at a media briefing on Tuesday...
(AFP (eng) 08/10/17)
The skull of an infant ape buried by a volcano 13 million years ago has preserved intriguing clues about the ancestor humans shared with apes -- including a likely African origin, scientists said Wednesday. A previously-unknown creature that shared an extended family with the human forefather, had a flat face like that of our far-flung cousin the gibbon, but did not move like one, its discoverers wrote in the journal Nature. They named it Nyanzapithecus alesi after "ales" -- the...
(AFP (eng) 07/20/17)
A Tunisian court has banned the US film "Wonder Woman" which stars an Israeli actress, more than a month after it had been scheduled to open at cinemas in the Arab state, a legal source said Wednesday. Lebanon has also banned Wonder Woman, on the grounds of a long-standing boycott of Israel. The film was to have been screened at two venues in Tunis in early June but the showings were "suspended" following a complaint from the nationalist Al-Chaab party...
(AFP (eng) 05/26/17)
Entertainment | France | film | festival | Cannes | Zambia | witchcraft Cannes, France | AFP | Friday 5/26/2017 - 14:01 UTC+3 | 615 words by Katy Lee Being accused of witchcraft is no laughing matter in Africa -- but movie director Rungano Nyoni decided a dose of humour was just what was needed to tackle a problem rampant in parts of the continent. Set in Zambia, the sharp satire "I Am Not A Witch" has premiered to strong...
(AFP (eng) 05/13/17)
​An annual Jewish pilgrimage to Africa's oldest synagogue on Tunisia's Djerba island began on Friday under tight security but in a festive mood. An AFP journalist saw dozens of pilgrims from the North African country and from France heading to the revered Ghriba synagogue to pray, light candles and write wishes on eggs. Some celebrated the centuries-old Lag BaOmer festival by sipping glasses of boukha, a liqueur made from figs. "My parents brought me to Djerba when I was a...
(AFP (eng) 05/04/17)
Israel warned its citizens on Wednesday against visiting Tunisia, where Jewish pilgrims will celebrate a religious festival later this month, citing the threat of jihadist attack. It also said any Israelis there should "leave the country immediately." The festival of Lag BaOmer draws hundreds of Jews to tombs of revered rabbis as well as the famed El Ghriba synagogue on the Tunisian holiday island of Djerba. This year the pilgrimage is due to start on May 12, according to organisers...
(AFP (eng) 05/03/17)
Tunisian and international non-governmental organisations warned Tuesday of deteriorating freedom of the press in a country considered to be a rare success story of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. "The Tunisian government these past weeks has not stopped tightening its grip on the press," they said in a joint statement published on World Press Freedom Day. Twenty-five associations, including the Tunisian Press Syndicate, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Amnesty International, said they were "deeply concerned" about the creation of a regulatory body for audiovisual communication. Six years after a popular uprising toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the rights groups expressed concern about the recent banning of a small daily
(Xinhuanet 04/18/17)
Africa's diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday. UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families. "The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty," Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development. Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back...
(AFP (eng) 04/04/17)
Tunisian authorities have shut down a nightclub and begun an investigation after a DJ played a remix recording of the Muslim call to prayer, an official said Monday. A video, widely shared online since Sunday, shows clubbers dancing at the weekend in the northeastern town of Nabeul to music that includes the call to prayer. The footage sparked a storm of debate on social media. Two European DJs played at the party on Friday as part of a music festival...
(Middle East Monitor 03/30/17)
Egyptian artist Bahia Shehab and French-Tunisian artist eL Seed have been awarded the UNESCO-Sharjah prize for Arab culture for their innovative use of Arabic calligraphy in street art. Shehab, who is the first woman in the region to receive the award, has said that art can be a tool for change that can encourage people to engage for justice. Her work “No, A Thousand Times No” began with the compilation of 1,000 “nos” as they had been depicted on anything...
(AFP (eng) 03/02/17)
A film raging against colonialism and the exploitation of Africa wowed viewers at the continent's top cinema festival Wednesday, winning shouts of approval at a screening packed to bursting point. "The African Storm" tells the story of an African president who nationalises businesses run by racist, cynical Western executives. Directed and produced by its Beninese star Sylvestre Amoussou, it tackles several hot-button issues including an exit from the CFA franc currency, closer ties with Russia and China as opposed to...
(AFP (eng) 02/27/17)
An African road movie about four women wowed its audience Sunday as it kicked off the Panafrican cinema and television festival (Fespaco), a showcase for the continent's burgeoning film industry. "Borders" ("Frontieres") directed by Apolline Traore, a Fespaco laureate in 2013, sweeps across Africa as its protagonists journey through Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin on their way to Nigeria. Along the way the women -- Ivorian, Senegalese, Burkinabe and Nigerian actresses -- are spared nothing as they are beset...
(AFP (eng) 10/21/16)
Demand for homegrown contemporary music is sweeping Africa and driving a creative boom in an industry otherwise battered by falling CD sales and rampant piracy. A recent study of the entertainment sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) accountants showed rapid earnings growth in many African countries, fuelled largely by live performances by local artists. "Consumers are increasingly wanting local content," Vicki Myburgh, a PwC director who conducted the study released last month, told AFP. "The Nigerian music market... will (soon) grow at...
(AFP (eng) 10/11/16)
Raised on the backstabbing intrigue of 1980s American soaps "Dallas" and "Dynasty", and later, the heady drama of South American telenovelas, Africans are enjoying a surge in local TV content they can finally identify with. It took a while, but in the past decade local programming has soared in sub-Saharan Africa's key economies, a rise driven by both foreign satellite networks and television stations on the continent. This growth has delivered up local shows such as Kenya's comedic "Real Househelps...
(AFP (eng) 09/23/16)
A century after the project was conceived in the throes of racial segregation, and a few months before the first black US president leaves office, the African American Museum in Washington opens Saturday. Here are key facts about the first national museum devoted entirely to showcasing African Americans' life, history and culture. - 1915: A project 101 years old The effort to open, in the US capital, a museum dedicated to the history of the black community "began more than...
(The East African 09/10/16)
The Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) is seeking to raise $200 million from partners over the next two years to fund the continent's audiovisual and cinema sector. The funds will be used to establish centres of excellence in the five regions - East Africa, North Africa, Central Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa -- and the locations will be decided by the African Council of Ministers of Culture. The money will be used to improve the quality and quantity...
(Xinhuanet 08/05/16)
The bilateral culture cooperation between Tunisia and China "never stops going forward by great steps," Tunisian minister of culture Sonia Mbarek said on Thursday. Inaugurated on Wednesday, the 3rd Chinese Arts Festival held in Sfax, marks the program of cultural activities "Sfax, capital of Arabe culture" which will continue to next March in the theme of "the culture unites us and Sfax gathers us." "The Chinese Art Week is a golden opportunity for the anchorage of Arabic cultural identity," said Houda Kchaou, Tunisian coordinator of this event who is satisfied with the Chinese delegation composed of over 90 artists and several journalists.

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