23 Jul 2014

I am Africa, We are Africa! The Best of Africa celebrated in Toronto

Toronto, Ontario – July 22, 2014. Returning for its fourth year, the Toronto African Film and Music Festival (TAFMF) will be showcasing film, music, and fashion from over 50 countries from August 27 to 31, 2014.

This year’s festival will screen 12 films, feature 15 musical acts, 3 fashion shows, and showcase over 30 marketplace vendors celebrating the cultural mosaic of Africa.

The 5 day multi-cultural festival promises to be its biggest yet, with entertainment for the whole family, and showcased in two segments; a 3 day film festival, and 3 day music festival, allowing participants to see all of Africa’s top talents, and emerging artists.

Founder Paris Roger said “I started this festival after spending 3 years living and working in the film industry in West Africa where I also met my fiancé. When I came back to Canada with her we realized there was no festival celebrating the best of African film, music, and fashion all at once. We wanted to share the works of talented filmmakers, musicians, and fashion designers, and the spirit of the people”.

The films will be screened at Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, in Toronto and features a combination of World, Canadian and Toronto premieres exclusive to the TAFMF.

The music festival will be held at the Toronto Plaza Hotel’s outdoor grounds at 1677 Wilson Ave August 29 to 31, from 10 am to 7pm. Talent from the Canadian African community, and international acts never seen before in Canada will highlight the emerging sounds of the continent. The music festival will also host concerts on the Main Stage on Friday and Saturday at 9pm, with this year’s headliners Congolese superstar Mohombi, and Ugandan star JB.

The African Ball, a black tie Gala celebrating significant achievers within the Pan African community as well as those who have contributed to its advancement. This dinner and awards event will be held on September 24 at the Fairmont Royal York. Guests can look forward to 5 star cuisine prepared by a renowned celebrity chef, live entertainment, fashion show & special surprises.

Daily all access passes will be available, and provide access during the day to all events, including; concerts, fashion shows, and film screenings.

Tickets prices are $15 adult, $12 Student/Seniors and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets for the film festival are available online at Ticketgateway.com.


Invasion 1897
Director : Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen
Nigeria – 2014 – Drama – 90 min

The 1897 invasion of Benin marked the climax in the inordinate expoitation of African and black peoples by the West. This sinister quest bagan with salvery and later devolved to the famed scramble for African where the entire continent was divided among European world powers then.


NI SISI (It’s Us)
Director: Nick Reding
Kenya - 2013 - Fiction - 92 min

Ni Sisi portrays a typical Kenyan community: a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families. Friends who have lived and worked together all their lives, who place no stock in which tribe their neighbour comes from.

Then one day rumours begin to spread and suddenly mistrust takes hold. People are identified as belonging to a different tribe rather than by their identity as a person. With mistrust comes a sense of threat, with threat fear escalates- it’s a ripple effect, and old friends now turn on each other.

In a matter of days, the bonds and alliances – the foundation of the community – are severed just as it did in reality in 2008. They find themselves plunging into chaos, and it seems unstoppable and brutal.
Or is it possible that by learning from the mistakes of the past our once peaceful community can be given another chance?

Other films screening at the Toronto African Film & Music Festival include:

Director: Usman A. Adeyemi
Nigeria – Drama – 120min.

The story is about a women who gets married to 2 different men from 2 different tribes and religion and loses both. She has 2 sons, one from each marriage, but one son from the north is rich and powerful because when his father died, his wealth was left all to his son. Meanwhile, her son from the south came to visit her in the north and ends up stealing his brother’s wealth and leaves to the big city to live life big with money.

Meanwhile, the older rich brother follows his younger brother into the city to get his money back, and becomes entangled into a war with his brother. Intrigue, suspence, drama and glamour, all rolled up in this movie.

Afrique Cannes
Director: Dave Calhoun and Don Boyd
Burkina Faso – Documentary - 90 min.

'AfriqueCannes' is a portrait of both a place and a festival – the place is Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso in west Africa, and the festival is FESPACO, the celebration of African cinema that comes to this extraordinary, little-explored city every two years. Directors Don Boyd and Jonathan Bloom and producer Dave Calhoun travelled to FESPACO in February 2011 to discover whether the event still lived up to its longheld reputation as the chief meeting place of African cinema and to hear from those who know best about the state of the continent's cinema: filmmakers themselves.

They spoke to Nigeria's Newton Aduaka, Cameroon's Jean-Pierre Bekolo, Mali's Souleymane Cissé, Chad's Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Burkina Faso's Gaston Kabore and others to discover what cinema means to them, now and in the past, and what hopes they have for cinema in their countries and across their continent. What the filmmakers found were passionate, honest voices – often frustrated by inactivity or corruption or lack of money but equally hopeful that cinema still offers a unique way of empowering audiences, of reflecting their lives and even of effecting change.

The film captures the rhythms and rituals of an extraordinary event – an event built on the hope that cinema in Africa can and should realise its wildest dreams.

Jungle of Heirs
Director: Agbor Ebai
Cameroon – Feature - 120min

The great king of the Bayang kingdom is accused of being an illegitimate son of his land and he decided to step down from the throne. His second wife has been the master planner of the whole drama alongside is his doctor and lawyer who were his most trusted workers. Who will save the king?

Aya of Yop City
Director: Clément Oubrerie and Marguerite Abouet
France – Animation – 85min

The adventures of Aya, her friends and family in colorful 1970s Africa. A vibrant, joyful and beautiful film with a groovy soundtrack.

My name is Aya, I’m 19. I love my neighborhood! Here, in Yop City, Abidjan, everyone knows each other. It is always lively, with our open markets, colorful fabrics, funky cafés and of course, music everywhere.

My mom, Fanta, is the neighborhood’s most trusted healer. As for my old man, he’s a sales rep for Solibra Brewery, but if you ask me, he drinks a little too much of that “strong man’s beer”!
My two best friends are Adjoua and Bintou. Those two like to hang out and spend their evenings in the "maquis", dancing, drinking and flirting with boys. Their ambition, deh*, is basically a C-series career plan: Combs, Clothes and Chasing Men! Me? I want to be a doctor someday.
Big trouble comes to town when Adjoua realizes she’s pregnant. Not to mention when Moussa, the spoiled rotten Sissoko boy finds out he’s going to be a dad! How can he tell his old man, one of the richest and most feared men in the whole country?

Bino and Fino
Director: Ibrahim Waziri
Nigeria – shorts – Animation

The adventures of Bino and Fino, in this Nigeria animation children stories.

Director Emmanuel Apea Jr.
Ghana – Feature – 90min

Elmina brings together two worlds that don't often intersect - the Western art world and the African popular cinema industry - in a unique hybrid that turns conventional notions of globalisation on their head. The film depicts the journey of a small-town Ghanaian farmer fighting government and corporate corruption to protect his land and family from a Chinese oil company against all odds. It's an intriguing melodrama full of witchcraft, murder and sex which chronicles a man's struggle against the system

The Legend of the Sky Kingdom
Director: Roger Hawkins
Zimbabwe – Live Animation – 70 min

Africa’s first animated feature film, The Legend of the Sky Kingdom, follows three children making a daring escape from the underground city in which they are slaves to go in search of the fabled Sky Kingdom. An epic journey follows their escape, fraught with dangers at every turn as the Evil Emperor will stop at nothing to get them back.

Swirl in Bamako
Director: Domminique Philippe
Mali – Feature – 70min

Makan is in love with Sira. But his earnings as a woodcarver are hardly enough to support himself, let alone a wife. When he goes to visit a friend who now runs a lottery kiosk, his friend persuades him to buy a ticket, which he places in his jacket pocket and forgets. As luck would have it, Makan’s numbers come up and he wins the jackpot. Now the only problem is, he has to find his jacket which he left with a co-workers sister who gave it to someone else, and so on. Thus starts a wild chase through the streets of Bamako, searching for the jacket and thus the winning ticket. But so intent is Makan on finding the lottery ticket, that he neglects Sira, the object of his affection.

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