The Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF) launches today in Khartoum
by Ahmed Mansour
Despite ongoing political turmoil, Sudan will for the first time ever host its own celebration of independent and alternative filmmaking. The Sudan Independent Film Festival (SIFF), running from January 21-27, will be held in Khartoum with Egypt as guest of honor in recognition of its major role in film production in Africa. Attending will be Minister of Culture Yousif Aldigair, British Ambassador Dr. Peter Tibber, and Head of the EU Delegation Tomas Ulicny. SIFF also confirmed scriptwriter Sayed Fouad, President of Luxor African Film Festival (LAFF), as an honorary guest.
“I am extremely happy because of the launching of SIFF for the importance of such activities in the development of cinema and the communion between African people,” said Fouad, who will be running a scriptwriting workshop as part of the lectures and activities organized on the fringes of the festival.
British Ambassador Tibber also expressed excitement ahead of the event. “The UK and Sudan have historical and strong cultural ties. We share a common history and many British-Sudanese artists have managed to bring together the best of both countries, whether in literature, poetry or song,” announced Tibber. “The UK is supporting this film festival because we recognize the positive contribution that cinema makes to cultural, social and economic life in the UK. Economically, the UK film industry contributed more than ￡4.6 billion to the national economy in 2011. Socially, film is a tool for education, an avenue for expression, and a stimulus for creativity.”
The festival, the first edition of which has been dedicated to the memory of renowned Sudanese filmmaker Hussein Sharif, will comprise 23 African documentaries, six Egyptian entries, including Amir Ramses’ documentary Jews of Egypt and Hala Lotfy’s Al Khoroug Lel Nahar (Coming Forth By Day). The program will also include films from Kenya, Ethiopia and Sudan.
The festival’s opening ceremony will feature a performance by Egyptian singer Dina Al-Wadidi, which will mark her Sudanese debut, and the screening of Faisal Goes West, a film depicting a Sudanese family’s adjustment to life in the United States. The film was written and directed by Bentley Brown.
For more information about the Sudan Independent Film Festival, visit their official facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SIFF.Official