TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The 2020 Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival will feature two events that provide evening showings of acclaimed movies from the African continent and broader African Diaspora.
The Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival, now in its eighth year, is co-sponsored by The University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences.
The first event includes two feature-length films and two short movies Feb. 29 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Central High School in Tuscaloosa. The second event, in recognition of Women’s History Month in March, includes women-themed Africana movies, and it will be held March 28, also at Central High School. More details about the second showing will be provided at the Feb. 29 event.
The first feature-length film at the Feb. 29 showing is “The Mercy of the Jungle,” a movie by Joel Karekezi in French and Swahili with English subtitles, set at the outbreak of the Second Congo War. Rwanda soldiers Sergeant Xavier and Private Faustin are ordered to hunt down Hutu rebels in the vast jungles of eastern Congo. Under the relentless command of Major Kayitare, the two travel 80 kilometers a day in pursuit of those who murdered nearly one million Tutsis during the Rwandan genocide four years earlier. When they are accidently left behind in the jungle with only each other to rely on, they embark on a journey through the beautiful, yet treacherous, jungle and face their own war-torn experiences.
The second feature-length film, “2 Weeks in Lagos,” a 2018 film directed by Kathryn Fasegha, is a turbulent and exciting journey into the lives of Ejikeme and Lola. Their lives collide when Ejikeme, an investment banker, returns from the U.S. with Lola’s brother, Charlie, to invest in Nigerian businesses. The movie captures the vibrancy and complexity of everyday life in Lagos, the commercial capital of Nigeria.
The first short movie, “Razane,” is a 15-minute film in Malagasy with English subtitles, about a homosexual Parisian who travels to Madagascar to meet with his estranged “in-laws” in order to fulfill the last wishes of his deceased partner.
The final short film is “enGULFed,” a 2018 Ghanaian movie that looks at modern-day slavery experienced mostly by young migrants from Sub-Saharan, Africa, who embark on dangerous journeys to the Gulf States of the Middle East in search of a better life.
Tickets for the Feb. 29 film showings are $10 for general admission and $5 for students with an ID and are available online via Brown Paper Tickets. Meals will be available for purchase throughout the evening.
The Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival is presented by the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation and Afram South Inc., two nonprofit organizations that support education and public health initiatives in Ghana, West Africa, and West Alabama. In addition to UA’s Colleges of Community Health Sciences and Arts and Sciences, the festival is also sponsored by the Tuscaloosa Sister Cities Commission. Tuscaloosa is a sister city of Sunyani-Techiman in Ghana.