From “Rassegna” to Festival: the African cinema in Verona
Verona has been the first city in Italy to propose a focus on African cinema and, for the first time, it was the municipality of Verona that promoted in 1970 “Il cinema africano” during the 2nd International cinema week at the Cinema Filarmonico.
In 1981, Nigrizia, magazine from the Comboni missionaries, and the Diocesan missionary centre gave life to the “Rassegna”, an event that, using cinema as an efficient and popular tool of communication, gave a truer vision of the African continent.
This initiative grew gradually. A cultural project was born around it, or rather, an intercultural one, which brought us closer to the school world with a significant presence of students at the event and of the festival team in schools during the year.
From these premises, the Festival found strength and vigor in re-editing a cultural project designed to create engagement and dialogue between different cultures, to increase public awareness on these constantly current and important issues.
First of all, the festival wants to have a broader scope, not only at the regional level and national – see the existing synergies with Milan (Festival del Cinema Africano, d’Asia e America Latina), Padua (ImmaginAfrica) and Bari (Balafon Film Festival) – but also at an international level. The participation to other international festivals about African cinema, among which FESPACO in Burkina Faso and the ZIFF (Zanzibar international film festival) was important.
Since 2007, the festival includes a competition that awards prizes to the films presented during the event. This choice was rewarded by the presence of more than 5000 people who, during a week, have discovered and awarded African films giving value to the organizational efforts of the artistic directors and promoters.