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John Akomfrah: British Ghanaian artist and filmmaker to represent the UK at 2024 Venice Biennale

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The British Council announced that Sir John Akomfrah will represent the United Kingdom at the 2024 Venice Biennale.

The Ghanaian-born artist immigrated to Britain at age four and has said in a past interview that he feels a “moral obligation” to create works that center around migration and resist the “rhetoric of contagion” that probe into refugees who come to Europe.

At age 65, Akomfrah was one of the founders of the Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC) in 1982, which explored themes pertaining racial injustice, climate change, diasporic identity and colonialist legacies — to which the artist was recently knighted as part of the King’s New Year UK Honours List for 2023.

“I see this invitation as recognition of and a platform for all those I have collaborated with over the decades, and who continue to make my work possible. I’m grateful to be given a moment to explore the complex history and significance of this institution and the nation it represents, as well as its architectural home in Venice – with all the stories it has told and will continue to,” said the artist in a statement.

Amongst his award-winning installations, Akomfrah shed light on the hardships experienced by migrants in the UK in Mnemosyne (2010), as well as portraying humanity’s complex relationship with the natural world in Four Nocturnes (2019), which went on view at the 2019 Venice Biennale.

“The quality and contextual depth of his artistry never fails to inspire deep reflection and awe. For the British Council to have such a significant British-Ghanaian artist in Venice is an exhilarating moment,” said Skinder Hundal, global director of arts at the British Council.

The 60th Venice Biennale will run from April 20 to November 24, 2024. Please visit the organizer’s website for more information.

SOURCE: Hypebeast

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On the opening day of The Joburg Film Festival, Showmax released an open commissioning brief to the African film industry calling for pitches for a slate of 10 live action films.
The African streamer has won the South African Film and Television Awards’ Made-for-TV Movie Award for two years in a row, first with Loving Thokoza and then with Boxing Day, the first two feature films from Mandla N. In addition, another Showmax film, Kelsey Egan’s debut feature, Glasshouse, was the most awarded feature film overall at the SAFTAs last year, with five Golden Horns.
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“Showmax’s audience prefers local content, with seven of the ten most streamed titles in South Africa, eight of the top 10 titles in Kenya and Nigeria, and nine of the top 10 in Ghana last year being African,” says Yolisa Phahle, CEO of Showmax and Connected Video at MultiChoice. “Making your first film is a key turning point in any director’s career. So this brief is another way we are trying to empower local filmmakers to tell their own stories for their own communities in their own languages. We’re looking for authentic stories that will resonate with our local audiences. Popular genres like romcoms, family dramas and thrillers are always welcome.”
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Pitches should take the form of a video pitch in English of no more than five minutes. This video pitch should include short bios of the writer, director and producer; a concise summary of the story, including the ending; an introduction to your lead characters; and a discussion of your chosen genre and stylistic approach, with visual references.
For inspiration, watch Mandla N’s Showmax x Actor Spaces directing masterclass here:
For more about Joburg Film Festival, visit www.joburgfilmfestival.co.za.
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