African cultures, and traditions take centre stage as AFFRICUFF holds in Texas

By Benjamin Njoku

Popular Nollywood producer and director Emem Isong-Misodi has reiterated her resolve to use the lens of cinema to propagate the African cultural heritage and traditions on the global film market.

This, she intends to accomplish through her forthcoming film festival better known as African Cultural Film Festival, AFRICUFF. The festival is billed to hold from October 26 through October 29 at Emem Isong’s Royal Arts Centre in Houston, Texas.

In a media parley to unveil films selected for the festival during the week, in Lagos, Emem said the essence of the festival is to showcase the diverse cultures, languages, traditions and stories of the African continent through the lens of cinema.

“Films have the power to transport us to different worlds, to evoke emotions , and to spark meaningful conversations. And so, we decided to use this powerful medium to showcase the unique voices and stories of Africa, ” the notable filmmaker stated.

According to her , the theme of the festival, “Thinking Local, Going Global” encapsulates the essence of what she intends to achieve with AFFRICFF.

“Africa is a place of unparalleled beauty and a spring of artistic and creative expression. Yet, too often, the rich tapestry of African culture is underrepresented or misrepresented in mainstream media and global narratives. This realization served as the spark for Affricuff,” Emem said.

She added that the festival was conceived to serve as a platform that celebrates the incredible wealth of African culture through the lens of cinema.

“We believe that by creating a platform that will amplify the voices of African filmmakers as well as showcase their extraordinary talents, we can foster a deeper appreciation of African culture and promote a more accurate understanding of this diverse continent,’’ she added.

Besides the screening of films and the award ceremony, Emem Isong disclosed that the festival will host a special African cuisine, music, dance and art exhibition section. “The idea is to create a holistic cultural experience. One that can be best described as unforgettable,” she enthused.

Also speaking at the unveiling, the President of the AFRICUFF jury for 2023, Dr. Shaibu Husseini stated before announcing the nominees for the various categories of the festival award that AFRICUFF will feature films from various African countries and the Diaspora reflecting the kaleidoscope of cultures, languages, and experiences across the continent and beyond.