Afrika Filmfestival in Leuven focuses on African diaspora

The 28th edition of the Afrika Filmfestival in Leuven, which kicks off on Friday evening, will focus on the African diaspora and the contributions of people of African descent living outside the continent.

On Friday, on the opening night, Maryam Touzani's Le Bleu du Caftan, starring Brussels actress Lubna Azabal, will be screened at the Leuven Kinepolis theatre. With Welket Bungué, she is the focus artist of this edition of the festival. The Life Time Achievement Award will be presented to Tunisian filmmaker Mahmoud Ben Mahmoud, who has been active in Belgium for more than 50 years.

A new addition to the festival is the Diaspora Competition, featuring eight Afro-Belgian short films. "They have been given complete carte blanche," says Guido Convents, organiser of the festival, about the competing filmmakers. "They are all young people who go through life very consciously, offering a new perspective and a different view on life through their work. The films are enriching."

Other awards at the festival are the annual Audience Award, the Young African Film Makers Award and the Prize of the Flemish Unesco Commission, which rewards a documentary on the theme of intangible heritage.

In total, the festival programme includes around 100 films, exhibitions, music performances, conferences and plays. It takes place from Friday 21 April, to Saturday 6 May, at seven locations throughout the city.



Moroccan director and actress Maryam Touzani © PHOTO CHRISTOPHE SIMON / AFP

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