The world Premiere of my latest film “Congo - A Political Tragedy” at the Festival International du film PanAfricain de Cannes was phenomenal! A packed theatre, an engaged audience, and a great Q&A session at the end. It was more than I had anticipated or expected.
The welcome we received at FIFP made it more like a family event rather than a place to “sell yourself”. It was really more than I had bargained for. We met some amazing talents from across the world, Mali, Senegal, Haiti, Guadeloupe, Martinique, South Africa, Congo, Angola, Cameroon, Belgium, France, Spain, USA, England, Morocco and more. Watched some great films and learned some valuable lessons, notably by Dom Pedro, one of Africa’s best filmmaker.
It was fantastic to see that most filmmakers present were of my generation and the global message and vibe I got from them, through their films is that “Africa will one day write its own history”.
Identity and the struggles of the Pan-African world were at the forefront. The message was clear; we need to write our own story. Whether it was Vusi Moloi’s “Skulls of my people”, a film about the atrocities and genocide committed by the Germans in Namibia, or YA “R” a short story which traces the last hours of Bouna and Zyed…the message was once again loud and clear as Lumumba once said “Africa will one day write its own history”. Whether it was “African Heritage” by Clement Esso, talking about the struggle for identity through the eyes of a mixed Spanish/African young women, or “Mouth Canon” by Angelo Lopes, which talks about one of my favourite Pan African leaders, Amilcar Cabral…The message was loud and clear for me and Dom Pedro summarised it well by saying “the prey should also be allowed to tell their story”.
Back to the Premiere!!! We got to the theatre about two hours before showtime. We had a morning session with the filmmakers (Q&A). To say I wasn’t nervous would be an understatement. About 50 people came out to watch the film…yes 50 is AMAZING, considering that I was hoping for at least 10 people.
After the credits rolled, we opened up a Q&A session. The questions were mostly encouragements which mostly floored me and positive remarks. Mr Pierre Kompany and Augustin Iziedi (Roger Izeidi’s son) made me cry on stage. Mr Kompany thanked my parents and the later thanking me for using two of his dad’s songs in the film. One of the most touching and humbling moment I’ve had in my life.
All this to say that I had so much fun, The film got amazing reviews and it’s onto Haiti next.
Again, a big thank you to FIFP. The staff made us feel welcome and we felt at home. I hope to return again.