Africa in the Movies – Boulder International Film Festival

February 8, 2013  By: Gretchen

BIFF Logo stackedWe’re pleased to partner with the Boulder International Film Festival (BIFF) this year in the promotion of their excellent film line up.  Four films in this year’s Festival come from Africa, two of which have been nominated for Academy Awards!  We’ve included a profile of the films below, along with links to their trailers.  We’re excited to see them and hope to see you there!  The Festival kicks off on Thursday, Feb 14 – here’s the detailed schedule and tickets are available online.

Open Heart

USA, Short Documentary, 2012, 39 min

2013 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Short SubjectOpen Heart Movie

There are an estimated 12 million children in Africa afflicted with rheumatic heart disease and in need of urgent surgery. The disease kills 300,000 people every year. This is the story of eight Rwandan children who leave their families behind and embark on a life-or-death journey to receive high-risk open-heart surgery in Africa’s only free-of-charge, state-of-the-art cardiac hospital, the Salam Center run by Emergency in Sudan.  Some of the children have only months to live.

Directed by Kief Davidson

Colorado Premiere

View the trailer here

Water Tower

USA, Short Documentary, 2013, 27 min

In central Kenya, northeast of the Rift Valley, there is a tower. It is a monumental granite swell with a crumbling pinnacle that stretches 17,058 feet into the sky. Mt. Kenya, the second tallest peak in Africa, is home to 70 percent of the nation’s water supply, fed by glaciers and annual storms that eddy around this looming rock island. Pete McBride climbed it with his family when he was nine. Returning in 2012, he noticed something frightening: The glaciers were nearly all gone.

Directed by Peter McBride

Colorado Premiere

Peter McBride in person

View the trailer here

War Witch 

Canada, Feature, 2012, 90 min

2013 Academy Award Nominee for Best Foreign Language Film

Komona, a girl in Sub-Saharan Africa, tells the story to her unborn child about her kidnapping by rebels and being forced to join their bloody civil war. When she discovers a valuable intuition about the presence of the enemy, she is elevated as a witch and favored by the rebel leader. However, this special status threatens to be short-lived in this world of superstition and senseless brutality even as the ghosts of the war dead haunt her visions. However, when a newfound friend convinces her to desert, Komona finds escaping that brutal life is far from easy with its physical and spiritual consequences following her wherever she goes.

Directed by Kim Nguyen

View the trailer here

Rising from Ashes

USA, Feature Documentary, 2012, 82 minRising from the Ashes movie

Winner at the Heartland Film Festival:  Grand Prize Best Documentary

Winner at the Hamptons International Film Festival: Best Film on Conflict Resolution

Produced and narrated by Forest Whitaker

During the violent 1994 Hutu-Tutsi conflict in Rwanda, seven-year-old Adrien Niyonshuti did exactly what his parents told him and started running. Coming back from the bush days later, he found that six of his brothers were dead. Today, Adrien is a world-renowned bicycle racer, leading his team of Hutu and Tutsi Rwandans—Lycra-clad and coached by the first American to ride in the Tour de France—to the 2012 Summer Olympics. Their next goal is the Tour de France. How did this happen? This film is a triumph of forgiveness and reconciliation.Directed by TC Johnnstone

TC Johnnstone in person

Boulder Premiere

View the trailer here