A Common Future Film and Arts Festival (Third Edition) Bamenda-Cameroon
The Bamenda Film and Arts Festival will run from July 15-22, 2013 in selected halls and cafes at the Bamenda municipality. The festival which is in its 3rd edition seeks to articulate local, national and international issues through film and arts. It is a lineup of the most sort after box office films in Cameroon and abroad that clearly address related issues like governance, trafficking, the respect of human dignity, discrimination and above all, respect of international conventions and protocols. Being about the only film festival in this part of the country, the Bamenda event, which is the 3rd edition, promises to be an awareness raising medium par excellence.
Through arts, the festival shall gather over 100 students to participate in shinning the light on human rights and their drawings shall later be displayed at a gallery on a university campus throughout the festival period. Through this, students shall be brought to promote, defend, and raise awareness on human rights issues in Cameroon, especially that of upholding the rights of women, girls, children, disabled persons, refugees, prisoners and immigrants. It shall also shine the light on rape and sexual assault in the school milieu. This festival uses arts and film as a creative tool to disseminate knowledge and to influence public opinion on human rights issues. The festival shall screen some 30 selected films which each address the concerns of humanity and range from violence against women through non-discrimination to the upholding of human dignity in all its forms. The arts festival shall complement the film screenings as it seeks to ignite and instill the culture of human rights in the youth, especially in the school milieu as schools are at the centre of every community. The Bamenda festival reaches out to the audience as most of the screenings shall be on various community halls, cafes and university centre in the Bamenda municipality. Each screening shall be followed by a panel discussion and questions and answers from the audience on salient points. Another novelty this year shall be the organization of parallel conferences in halls in Bamenda on issues like ‘access to information by journalists, domestic violence, the domestication of international protocols and conventions and more importantly, the rights of human rights defenders’. These conferences shall be organized in partnership with the Yaoundé-based United Nations Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Central Africa and other Bamenda-based NGOs already working in the domain. .
The objectives of the festival are to improve the quality of Human Rights awareness and knowledge among the population of the Northwest Region. It shall also promote the core values of the International community’s human rights principles of a world free of discrimination, conflict and human rights violations through film festivals. The festival aims to encourage many more Cameroonian film makers and producers to inculcate human rights as key themes in the development of their films as an efficient and effective communicative vehicle in human rights education and sensitization. The primary target is the common man in the street that has hardly had an opportunity to receive human rights education, talk less of understanding the essence of the very first principle of human rights that ‘all human beings are born free and equal in rights and dignity.’ The festival would enable human rights education and sensitization to for once, leave the cozy confines of conference halls into the much flexible entertainment medium. The secondary audience would be the NGOs and Civil Society activists and film makers who are called upon to step up their activities as the festival seeks to celebrate the work they have done in the past. Some of the films to screened at this year’s festival are: Forgotten Europeans (threats discrimination),
. Integrating people of African decent in Bolivian society ( also treats discrimination),
. Human Rights defenders Speak up to end discrimination (Human rights defenders),
. Giving voice to the victims and survivors of trafficking (trafficking in persons),
. Sierra Leone: Ensuring equal opportunities for persons with disabilities. ( disabilities, ‘Secrets and Doubts’ from Serbia, ‘La premiere fois’ and ‘L’Histoire de Nelie’, films on rape by the Cameroonian producer, Dieudonne Nana, films on children’s rights like ‘Les enfants esclaves from Benin, Les inseparables, Anna, Bazil et le trafiquant, Le travail d’intérêt général en Afrique, films on gender equity like Fanta, Lani, Agnikè, Les maux du silence, films on domestic violence and HIV/AIDS like ‘Le mariage, Rythmes d’amitié, ‘Dans la peau d'une mere’, ‘Breaking out of the man box’, ‘widows at war, ‘rape and incest’, ‘The Will’, Tears from an Angel’, ‘Wild Life Palvar’ etc, etc. This highly mediatized event shall end with a mobile press conference that would take media practitioners on a ride around the region as they digest succinct information on human rights that had suffered from apathy in mainstream media in the past few years.
Gwain Colbert Fulai
Co-Founder: A Common Future