iREP Documentary Film Festival 2017: Archiving Africa

iREP Documentary Film Festival 2017: Archiving Africa

From March 16-19, Freedom Park, Lagos will play host to the 7th edition of the iREP documentary film festival themed Archiving Africa. Conceived on the traditional thematic framework of Africa in Self-Conversation, this year, the festival will rigorously explore the opportunities open to Africa to bring its historic past into an archival system that is accessible on demand, and most importantly, defines a path for the future through storytelling.

According to festival director Femi Odugbemi, “Africa has always been faced with a major challenge of connecting the dots in its historical past. A large part of what constitutes the verifiable history of Africa’s past today is sourced from the West. Western imperialists tell the facts of our historical journey to us and we simply regurgitate what is made available to us. In an age when even technology is looking forward into the past to understand what is most valuable to our humanity, many African societies are shrouded in a blanket of collective amnesia.”

Decades after the last of the colonised societies in Africa gained independence, the legacy of European dominance remains and Africans are forced to recourse to Europe to catch a glimpse of African history and cultural properties because they are mostly domiciled outside of the continent. Consequently, African history belongs to Africans in bits that are allowed them from the West!

Femi Odugbemi, Director, iREP Film Festival

Against this background, iREP makes a call to documentary/documentation filmmakers respond to this situation, if Africans must by any chance, put a stop to the tragedy of forgetfulness on the continent. Indeed, storytelling is essential to nation building; each cultural property that is locked away in archives and museums in Europe is a repository of Africa’s history, journey, and insights into what Africa can become.

At this year’s edition of iREP, Jihan El-Tahri an Egyptian/South African filmmaker will be the guest of honour, with a special highlight on her films: Cuba– An African Odyssey, Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs and Behind the Rainbow. Each film will have a special screening and an extensive session themed Jihan in Conversation, where she will be talking about her process of building stories around archival resources.

This year, iRep will also partner with Omenka in bringing its diverse content to new audiences across Africa and the world.

Keynote Address by Jane Mote at the 2016 edition

About iREP

The iREPRESENT (iREP) International Documentary Film Festival is committed to developing and promoting the practice of documentary filmmaking in Africa. Founded in Lagos, Nigeria in 2010 by Femi Odugbemi, Makin Soyinka and Jahman Anikulapo, the iRepresent international documentary film festival has made progress making a case for rebuilding a vibrant documentary cinema culture in Nigeria. Over the past 7 years, iREP has screened over 250 films from across the world, partnering with other documentary film festivals such as the Dok.fest in Munich Germany and the WADF out of the University of Missouri in St.Louis Missouri and the New York University’s African Studies department. iREP continues to vigorously advocate documentary cinema as an important art form and as a powerful tool for empowering new voices and new perspectives on the issues surrounding Africa’s political and cultural history and development agenda within the framework of her ambitions for development, constitutional liberties, human rights, social justice and democracy. This position informs IREP’s chose from inception, to frame its intervention on the theme “Africa in self-conversation.”


About Omenka Online

Omenka is Africa’s premium online global source for up-to-date news, information and expert commentary on art, architecture and design, fashion, music, business and luxury lifestyle from the continent ( Omenka also aims to increase the visibility and appreciation of contemporary film in Africa to new and broader audiences through a continuing series of probing interviews into the lives and works of leading practitioners. Our unique and original content is also published across a quarterly print issue, a digital edition, an application, and a weekly newsletter.


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