SKIFF 2014

We are pleased to announce the 9th edition of the Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF), which will take place in Goma, DR Congo from 4-13 July, 2014! (See also reporting by Radio Okapi and Africa is a Country).

SKIFF, founded in 2005 by internationally acclaimed filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko Katondolo, was the first international film festival in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; it is an independent festival organized annually by cultural center Yole!Africa that promotes digital film and video arts as well as dance and music. SKIFF is a 10-day festival that regularly brings together over 14,000 people from around the globe. Through workshops, community discussions, film screenings and debates SKIFF provides an essential opportunity for the community of North Kivu and of the Great Lakes Region to come together in dialogue and work with civil society groups to develop local solutions to the larger issues plaguing the region. All activities organized during SKIFF are free and open to all members of the public.

The theme for SKIFF 2014 is tutajenga ao? (what do we stand for?) For decades, Congo has been in the crossfire of economic pillage, devastating violence, and a global consensus of silence. With the recent defeat of the M23 and the upcoming 2016 presidential elections, there is a new and precarious sense of optimism and hope beginning to emerge. SKIFF 2014 is dedicated to transforming this hope into action by putting the local, regional, national, and international community in front of a simple question: Are we going to build? Or are we going to destroy? Through dialogue, reflection, and a call to action, SKIFF 2014 explores the role of each and every one of us in Congo’s next step of development.

SPECIAL GUESTS for SKIFF 2014 include:

  • Congolese music superstar and actor Papa Wemba (Congo)
  • Award winning filmmaker Balufu Bakupa Kanyinda (Congo/France)
  • Award winning filmmaker Mathieu Roy (Canada) and his film L’autre Maison
  • Artist and activist Mama Charlotte O’Neal (USA/Tanzania)
  • Award winning filmmaker Eric Kabera (Rwanda)
  • Acclaimed rapper Oracle (Congo)
  • Producer Atieno Odenyo (Sweden/Kenya)
  • Musical sensation Nazizi (Kenya)
  • Artist and activist Ndungi Githuku (Kenya)
  • Local reggae sensation Mack el Sambo (Congo)
  • Video Artist Jen Cohen (USA)

FEATURE EVENTS for SKIFF 2014 include:

  • Opening Night Gala (Friday 4 July)
  • Great Lakes Regional Network NYAVU annual summit (Monday, Tuesday 7-8 July)
  • Dance Encounter: best dance groups of North Kivu (Saturday 12 July)
  • Congo Film Focus: best Congolese films of the year! (Friday 11 July)
  • Closing Ceremony and Open Air Concert: (Sunday 13 July)
  • Ongoing film screenings and workshops including Film Directing, Experimental Video
  • Art, Film Scoring everyday at Yole!Africa from 4-13 of July!

A Brief History of SKIFF

The Salaam Kivu International Film Festival (SKIFF) was founded in 2005, when the war in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo was escalating and the region, as defined by international press outlets, was exclusively a place of violence and despair. To combat both the frustration of the local community and the misrepresentation of the international media, internationally acclaimed filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko Katondolo launched SKIFF, the first international film festival in the DRC. Since its inception, SKIFF has been a vehicle for peace, positive socio-political transformation, and has provided the wider world with an increasingly diverse vision of the east of Congo, one that includes exceptional talent, beauty, and joy despite the challenges of the region. After nearly a decade of steady growth, SKIFF now regularly brings together more than 14,000 people from around the world, who want to participate in a meaningful event that, time and again, confirms the power of art and culture to change the world for the better.

When SKIFF began in 2005, it was the first event of its kind in many ways. Not only was it the first venue that brought a diverse selection of international films and videos to Congo, it was also the first time the local community gathered together with force around their artistic talents. Despite the backdrop of soldiers and tanks moving through the streets as rebel troops advanced within 5 kilometers of the city, even at the first edition of SKIFF thousands of people came together in a non-violent demonstration calling for peace. The collective effect of this gathering was a growing awareness among the community that art is central to the practice of peace. With this knowledge, the community has become increasingly empowered to speak out about social problems and advocate positive solutions.

SKIFF continues to represent a unique presence in the east of Congo and throughout the Great Lakes Region. While early editions of the festival were organized around such themes as Salaam en Pélicule/Peace through Film (2006) or Shehere ya Uwasiliano/Celebrate Peace (2008), in light of its growing regional importance, SKIFF began to increase its international focus in 2009, when Dr. Chérie Rivers Ndaliko began co-directing the festival. Recent editions of SKIFF have focused on
themes such as Ni Wakati/The Time is Now! (2012) or Kwa Uhaki/Justice! (2013). The global focus of these themes mirrors the increasingly global participation of international artists, activists, students, volunteers, and the increasing attention of global press. While the thematic focus of SKIFF continues to shift to best engage the most relevant social and political issues in the region, at its core the festival remains a powerful platform on which those who believe in the power of
peace and of art take an unwavering stand.

Overview of the Festival

SKIFF is organized annually by the Yole!Africa cultural center and Alkebu Film Productions with Petna Ndaliko Katondolo serving as artistic director and Dr. Chérie Rivers Ndaliko serving as executive director.

SKIFF is a 10-day festival that includes film screenings followed by community discussions, dance competitions and performances, and musical performances. In addition to these events, SKIFF also hosts a series of workshops taught by international and local specialists. The workshops are held on topics such as video production and editing, music video creation, audio recording, filmscoring, music composition and performance, poetry and storytelling, hip hop and
contemporary dance. Internationally acclaimed artists come from all over the globe, often contributing through teaching workshops or speaking on panels in addition to presenting their own work at the festival.

Each year the events and activities of SKIFF are oriented around a specific theme that is relevant to current events in the region. The theme for 2014 is Tutajenga? (What do we stand for?). This theme is based on our belief that, for decades, Congo has been in the crossfire of economic pillage, devastating violence, and a global consensus of silence. With the recent defeat of the M23 and the upcoming 2016 presidential elections, there is a new and precarious sense of optimism and hope beginning to emerge. SKIFF 2014 is dedicated to transforming this hope into action by putting the local, regional, national, and international community in front of a simple question: Are we going to build? Or are we going to destroy? Through dialogue, reflection, and a call to action, SKIFF 2014 explores the role of each and every one of us in Congo’s next step of development.

Who’s Behind SKIFF?

SKIFF is organized by the Yole!Africa cultural center and Alkebu Film Productions and is directed by Petna and Chérie Ndaliko. Below you will find some brief background information on the organizers.

Yole!Africa

Yole!Africa, founded in 2000 by internationally acclaimed Congolese filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko, is a center for creativity and cultural exchange based in Goma, in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Yole!Africa is based on the belief that offering local populations – and youth in particular – tools of non-violent self-expression and critical thought
will allow them to participate actively in shaping their own realities.

The center’s mission is to promote peace through art and culture as well as to operate as a platform for exchange where young people from different backgrounds and social status can come together to express themselves through their talents. Yolé!Africa is neither a political nor a denominational organization, through its programs it promotes and encourages value and respect for all human beings (regardless of race, origin, religion, ethnicity or gender), and stands against all forms of exploitation or violation of human rights.

As an organization, Yole!Africa seeks to promote and encourage art. It supports artists and offers them a place conducive to creativity. It also links the community and its artists in order to strengthen the common culture and identity. Through trainings, workshops and community events, Yole!Africa promotes dialogue and respect for others and, through debate and reflection on current social and political issues, generates the awareness that everyone is an actor of her/his life and of the society in which she/he lives and has the right and duty to make of it a better place.

For more information: http://www.yoleafrica.org

Alkebu Film Productions

Alkebu Film Productions was founded in 2005 by filmmaker Petna Ndaliko and producer Yehudi Van de Pol to support the production of inventive, mindful, and original works in the resourceful worlds of audiovisual and new technology. Since its inception, the focus of Alkebu Film Productions has been the production of challenging work exploring the narrative possibilities of creative imagination, documentary, feature films, music videos and art-based films.

For more information: http://www.alkebu.org

Artistic Director

Petna Ndaliko is an internationally acclaimed filmmaker whose cinematic style combines rhythm, image, color, and social critique with digital innovation to challenge traditional narrative structures. His films skirt the boundary of fiction and reality and provoke reflection on post-colonial African realities.

As an activist, Petna has been the featured speaker for the UN Habitat series on the implication of urban youth and art in increasing security in the Great Lakes Region of Eastern Africa; the UN Habitat World Urban Forum on youth crime prevention; the EU Colloquium on Culture and Creativity in Development. He has also been featured on national and international news media including Al Jazeera, CBS Uganda, BBC, Radio Okapi, Digital Congo Television, and the Royal
Flemish Theatre.

Executive Director

Dr. Chérie Rivers Ndaliko is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies radical arts interventions in conflict regions of Africa through ethnomusicology, film studies, and cultural theory. Her work centers on film and music as catalysts of movements of
socio-political transformation as well as on the ethics and aesthetics of humanitarian aid in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In this context she devotes particular attention to youth and gender politics. Beyond her academic engagement with issues of audio-visual representation, power, and resistance, she also advocates socially engaged scholarship and was a pioneer of Harvard University’s Social Engagement Initiative during her graduate training. Her forthcoming book offers a new paradigm for considering cultural radicalism and resistance in the face of humanitarian crises.

She is also a composer and pianist who holds a B.M. in film scoring from the Berklee College of Music, an A.M. from Harvard University in Ethnomusicology, and a Ph.D. from Harvard University in African Studies. In addition to her teaching and research, she also serves as co-director of the Yole!Africa cultural center in Goma, and faculty advisory for Yole!Africa U.S.

Yole!Africa Team

Yole!Africa has a strict policy of supporting local leadership and building the capacity of members of the local community. Upon the successful completion of relevant trainings, we are pleased to offer young people professional opportunities to work with Yole!Africa in organizational capacities. As such, the coordinating team for SKIFF is made up primarily of the beneficiaries of this program.

SKIFF 2014 Partners:

  • Afrika Film Festival Leuven
  • Africa in the Picture Film Festival Amsterdam
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Music
  • Bienal Pitcha Lubumbashi
  • Friends of the Congo
  • Congo in Harlem
  • DRC Apeparel
  • MamaAfrica Designs
  • B-Global Hip Hop Summit

SKIFF 2014 Sponsors:

  • Foundation DOEN
  • Cultures of Resistance
  • Alkebu Film Productions

For more information about SKIFF 2014 please see:

Festival Location and Dates Goma, DRC 4-13 July, 2014
Physical Address Avenue Pélican 08 Quartier des volcans
Goma Nord-Kivu DRC
Telephone +243 997 055 123
Website http://www.salaamkivu.org. http://www.facebook.com/SKIFF
Email address skiff@yoleafrica.org
Festival Directors Petna and Chérie Ndaliko

 

 

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