The African Film Festival Launches in Dallas, Texas – 2016 TAFF Winners

Guinea Dance Troupe perform at TAFF 2016

The African Film Festival launched its maiden voyage in Dallas, Texas on July 1, 2016. The three day festival is the first of its kind in Dallas in spite of the fact that a thriving African population that has long resided in the city. “We couldn’t have chosen a better time than the weekend of America’s Independence to celebrate Independent films about Africa,” stated one of the organizers.

Founded by Nigerian actor, writer and producer Kelechi Eke, the African Film Festival opened its doors to films about Africa – created by Africans and non-Africans.

Yeharerwerk Gashaw and Benji Ochieng at TAFF 2016

Yeharerwerk Gashaw and Benji Ochieng at TAFF 2016

Represented in this year’s program was an array of features, documentaries and shorts on diverse topics like HIV, Ebola, domestic violence, and environmental issues from countries like Ghana, Ethiopia, Cameroon, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa. According to Eke, there are many challenges that African filmmakers face “ranging from lack of adequate finances to fund a film – to lacking distribution after managing to complete one – to piracy when the film finally makes it out there.” These facts, in his opinion, discourage African filmmakers from producing a second movie. He continues, “the passion and drive that many of us have continue to push us to not quit.” It is Eke’s hope that the festival will provide a platform where quality African films can be showcased without having to compete against mega-budget films that seem to dominate the better known film festivals.

The awards ceremony took place at the Dallas City Performance Hall and was hosted by Kenyan actor Benji Ochieng and Nigerian actress Uche Jombo. The African Film Legend Award was presented to veteran Nigerian actress Patience Ozokwo and a Humanitarian Award was presented to Cameroonian entrepreneur Franco Bonghan. The festival’s ambassador, Yeharerwerk Gashaw from Ethiopia, was recognized for her leadership in the community. Among the countries that won awards are Nigeria, Cameroon, Guinea Bissau, Tanzania, South Africa, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.

The following is the full list of nominees and winners.

Best Soundtrack Nominees
•GOD’S WISPER BY RAURY/Gender and Number – Ethiopia
•MAYAVIO BY SESIMÈ / Waiting for the (T)rain – Burkina Faso
•A BOY, A GIRL AND A GRAVEYARD BY JEREMY MESSESMITH /The Portrait – Cameroon
•AFRICA FOR EBOLA ORPHANS/VARIOUS ARTISTS/Africa for Ebola Orphans – Guinea
•MINNA DADA BY VITALIS MAEMBE / Aisha – Tanzania
PAPA’Z SONG BY ROR AKOT FT. MICHELLE NORBIDO /ROR – South Sudan – WINNER

Best Cinematography Nominees
•TAKURA MARUAYI/Aisha – Tanzania
•DAN MCCAIN / No where to run – Nigeria
•DIRK ROYAARDS /The Vanished Dream – Guinea Bissau
•RENE ETTA & YIBAIN EMIL-AIME CHAH /Alma – Cameroon
ANDREW GREENAN /The Shadow Boxer – South Africa – WINNER
•BRAD JOHNSON / A new path for the Serengeti – Tanzania

Emerging Filmmaker Nominees
•MEAGAN SCHUTZER/ New Generation Queens – Tanzania
•INÈS POGGIO / Gender and Number – Ethiopia
NICO PIRO/Kila Dizez – Sierra Leone – WINNER
•MIRANDA MAGAGNINI & SLINGSHOT MEDIA/Good Business – South Africa
•WYNN AND SUNNY RAY/ Be full and hang around – Ethiopia
•TOLA OLATUNJI/ Warfare – Nigeria

Best Actress Nominees
•IFAANA QUALAR/ Fakeh – Cameroon
•JUMOKE ADEROUNMU/ Wings of my dreams – Nigeria
•GODLIVER GORDIAN/ Aisha – Tanzania
CONSTANCE EJUMA/ Ben & Ara – Cameroon – WINNER
•JULIA ZAKOWSKY/ Eva – Burkina Faso
•JULIET IBRAHIM/ Hope – Ghana

Best Actor Nominees
•CHRIS ATTOH/ Captive – Cameroon
•KANG QUINTUS/ Rejected – Cameroon
•THONO MODIPA/ Shadow boxer – South Africa
•JOSEPH BAIRD/ Ben & Ara – Cameroon
OKEY UZOECHI/ Lost in Us – Nigeria – WINNER
•ADARUSI WALI/ Aisha – Tanzania

Best Director Nominees
•INÈS POGGIO QUERO/ Gender & Number – Ethiopia
•NNEGEST LIKKE/ Ben & Ara – Cameroon
•CHANDE OMAR/ Aisha – Tanzania
•CHRISTA EKA/ Alma – Cameroon
ROB SCHERMBRUKER / Good Business – South Africa – WINNER
•DAN MCCAIN/ No where to run – Nigeria

Best Documentary Short Nominees
•AFRICA FOR EBOLA ORPHANS – Guinea
•GENDER & NUMBER – Ethiopia
•WAITING FOR THE (T)RAIN – Burkina Faso
•GOOD BUSINESS – South Africa
NO WHERE TO RUN – Nigeria – WINNER
•ROR – South Sudan

Best Narrative Short Nominees
•SHADOW BOXER – South Africa
FAKEH – Cameroon – WINNER
•FORGOTTEN HERO – Tanzania
•WINGS OF MY DREAMS – Nigeria
•ALMA – Cameroon
•HOPE – Ghana

Nominees: People’s Choice – Best Poster
•GENDER AND NUMBER – Ethiopia
REJECTED – Cameroon – WINNER
•SHADOW BOXER – South Africa
•THE PORTRAIT – Cameroon
•NAIJA BETA – Ghana
•WINGS OF MY DREAMS – Nigeria

Nominees: People’s Choice – Best Trailer
•AFFAIRS OF THE HEART – Nigeria
ALMA – Cameroon – WINNER
•NAIJA BETA – Ghana
•FAKEH – Cameroon
•PUNCH ROLLA – Nigeria
•WELCOME TO THE SMILING COAST – The Gambia

Best Documentary Feature Nominees
•A NEW PATH FOR THE SERENGETI – Tanzania
•NEW GENERATION QUEENS – Tanzania
•KILLA DIZEZ – Sierra Leone
•BE FULL AND HANG AROUND – Ethiopia
•ROAD TO HOPE – Uganda
THE VANISHED DREAM – Guinea Bissau – WINNER

Best Narrative Feature Nominees
•REJECTED – Cameroon
•BEN & ARA – Cameroon
•THE PORTRAIT – Cameroon
AISHA – Tanzania – WINNER
•EVA – Burkina Faso
•AFFAIRS OF THE HEART – Nigeria

Benji Ochieng, Uche Jombo and Kelechi Eke at TAFF 2016

Benji Ochieng, Uche Jombo and Kelechi Eke on stage at the TAFF 2016 Awards Ceremony

 

Guinea Dance Troupe perform at TAFF 2016

Guinea Dance Troupe performs at TAFF 2016

 

African Women at the TAFF 2016 Awards Gala

African Women at the TAFF 2016 Awards Gala

 

Patience Ozokwo TAFF 2016

Patience Ozokwo receives the African Film Legend Award at TAFF 2016

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Author: Constance Ejuma is an award-winning actress and producer. She’s also a current member of The3As board and spearheaded the launch of this site’s blog. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.