“Whenever you talk about Nigerian cinema, what comes to mind is Nollywood...but look, we want this place for filmmakers who want to go beyond Nollywood. ”
“I would say, the image has its own life. It appears between us, it's communicating with us. ”
Film as a medium plays an increasingly important role in fashioning historical memory. Yet curating the past is no straightforward affair, especially if the aim is decolonisation. Whether it be the tricky question of preservation and restoration of stock material or the problem of interpretation and contextualisation of its content, film provides us with a fantastically flexible object through which to raise questions about the composition of collective memory. Filmmakers and archivists screen recently discovered film heritage from Egypt, Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau and reflect on the importance cinema plays for them in fighting against collective amnesia.
Didi Cheeka is an off-Nollywood filmmaker and critic. He is the editor of the Lagos Film Review and co-founder and curator of the Lagos Film Society, an alternative cinema centre dedicated to establishing Nigeria's first arthouse cinema. He is also the artistic director of Decasia, the first Berlin-Lagos Archival Film Festival. He is currently engaged in a documentary on the forgotten history of Nigeria's post-war cinema (1967-70).
Born in 1975 in Porto, Portugal, Filipa César is an artist and filmmaker based in Berlin. She is interested in the porous boundaries between the moving image and its reception, the fictional dimensions of the documentary, and the economies, politics and poetics inherent in cinema praxis. Her work is widely shown in solo and group exhibitions, biennials and festivals.
Tamer El Said is a filmmaker living between Berlin and Cairo. He founded Zero Production in 2007 to produce independent films. He is also a founder of the Cimatheque – Alternative Film Centre in Cairo. His first feature-length film, IN THE LAST DAYS OF THE CITY, premiered at the 2016 Berlinale where it won the Caligari Film Prize. The film was invited to over 180 festivals, receiving more than 15 international awards.
A curator at the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art in Berlin and the head of the Berlinale Forum Expanded section, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus is also the co-founder and a board member of the Kinothek Asta Nielsen in Frankfurt/Main.