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Promoting Culture, Knowledge Through Documentary 

By Solange Marie Moki & Eulalia Amabo Nchang — The Desmond Lee Africa World Documentary Film Festival, AWDFF, April 8, has launched its sixth season of films, tailored to promote the African culture, religion, music, performing arts, politics, and human rights issues amongst other things. The event, which took place at the Yaounde University I, had as target to present 46 films submitted by filmmakers across the world. The films highlighted skills and crafts in the exploration of Africa subjects.

In declaration, the AWDFF Director, Niyi Coker congratulated the extraordinary group of the talented filmmakers who have employed their craft skill in the discovering of Africa subjects. “Some of our major issues covered in these documentary films are culture, socio-economic, environment, gender, legal, music performing arts. Through the art of documentary filmmaking, the AWDFF is committed to the promotion of knowledge, life and culture of the people of Africa worldwide,” he affirmed.

One of the films presented titled African Drum, Beyond the Beat, it demonstrates the pervasive role of the African drum in society over time. The film Director, Tariq Richards highlights that the drum’s social function range from uses in work songs, to communication, religious rituals, and to more contemporary uses by fans at football games.

“African Drum, Beyond the Beat, further takes special interest in the inter-dependent relationship between the drummer and the dancer by exploring the effects of drum rhythms on both parties. It also looks at the different elements required for manufacturing a drum from the physical to the social,” he stated.

Documentaries were equally presented on the cultures of other countries like Cuba, Namibia and South Africa. The religion, culture, music, dance and everyday lives of the people in the streets, homes and clubs of Cuba were also documented and presented in a film Santiago is Santiago by Warren Haack.

Participants at the ceremony included the Head of Department of Arts and Archeology in the University of Yaounde I, Prof Martin Eluga, Head of section of Performing Arts and Cinematography, Dr Emelda Samba, AWDFF, from the state University of Missouri, St Louis in the U S, Prof Niyi Cooker, AWDFF coordinator in Cameroon Dr Donatus Fai Tangem, other staff and members of Performing Arts and Cinema Section of the University.

The Post learnt that the 46 films presented by film-makers across the world includes countries like Cameroon, Australia, Burkina Fosso, Ghana, South Africa, Sierra Leone, United Kingdom,USA, just to name a few.

First published in The Post print edition no 01424

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