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Mariama Khan’s THE JOURNEY UP THE HILL to be premiered at Cinekambiya International Film Festival
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Mariama Khan’s THE JOURNEY UP THE HILL to be premiered at Cinekambiya International Film Festival

The second edition of the Gambia’s premier international professional film festival is scheduled to take place between Friday 20 and Thursday 26 May 2016 under the theme of “The Youth Factor.” One of the main films of this edition is a documentary by Mariama Khan titled “THE JOUNEY UP THE HILL.” Ms Khan is a young Gambian who worked at the Women’s Bureau and as Secretary General Office of The Gambian President before relocating to the United States. The documentary captures her live and those of other foreign female students at the Brandeis University, USA, moving through the challenges of studying outside their countries of origin.

Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu, pioneer of CINEKAMBIYA and founder of the film festival says the documentary is relevant as it serves as morale booster for the youths, especially the girl-child, determined to break the glass ceilings. “Besides, screenings Mariama Khan’s documentary is my way of showing gratitude for her encouragement. She is one of the few people who believe in me in spite of the politically nasty things that being imagined and circulated against me here and there. Long before I took the risk of coming to The Gambia to build by part of our CINEKAMBIYA Film Industry, I had a series of productive exchanges of ideas with Mariama Khan between 2007 and 2008. I discovered that we share a common passion for the creative arts and the development of The Gambia beyond political orientation. In society of mature politics, speaking truth to power as I am unapologetically doing does not mean hating my country or the powers that be” Prince Sankanu reveals and continues “Mariama later sent me a copy of “THE JOURNEY UP THE HILL.” I wanted to distribute it under my “Afromedia Film & TV International Group” label  in Germany but since there is no market for Gambian films, I decided to put it on hold.”

To create a market for Gambian films, Sankanu says one needs to first build the appropriate structures on the ground before flooding the outlets with films. The annual CINEKAMBIYA film festival and the Sanxaanu Kaggoro Film Kaffo & Institute projects are among the emerging structures for the national film industry. Other films to be screened this year include THE HOUSE MAID by Abubacarr Zaidi Jallow from The Gambia; BEENTO a film on interracial relations between Blacks and Whites by Nancy Granacky Quaye, Germany; DIE DRITTE WELT IM ZWEITEN WELTKRIEG, a documentary on the African, Asian and Oceanian veterans of World War 2 by Karl Rössel of Filminitativ and Recherche International, Germany; DIE STUNDE NULL  on Berlin, Germany, after World War 2;  LA VIE EST BELLE fearing Papa Wemba and Pepe Kalleh by Mweze Naguar from DR Congo; TERRA 2084, A LAGOA and THE HEADLESS NUN by Nuno Sá Pessoa, Portuguese director and graduate of the Europe Film College; MAN ON THE BOTTOM on betrayals between men and women by director Christopher Baldi, USA/Cameroon; SIA The Dream of A Serpent by Dani Kouyate; SLAVE ISLAND by Sarah Thomas; POTTER’S BRIDE  and SPYCING  by Emmanuel Eyaba, DGN, Nigeria; MUTANDA-The Tale of An African King by Patrick Ene, Cross River State, Nigeria; MUSUYA KUNTO - documentary on female genital mutilation in The Gambia (see: https://vimeo.com/139114537).

The film festival will also have specials such as tribute to Papa Wemba, the Congolese Rumba star and style icon who died while performing on stage in Ivory Coast on 24 April 2016. There will be a preview of the Roots International Film Festival with the screen of “SLAVE ISLAND by Sarah Thomas”, German and European Film Night, Cinekambiya Film  Industry Forum, stage performance on 200 years of Banjul and the Sarahulleh community screenings of SIA and MUSUYA KUNTO(see:  films. The nominees for the Pan African Screen Awards (PASA) will be presented on the second festival week which will be preceded by rural screening tours across The Gambia. To highlight the theme of the festival on the youth factor in national development, over 20 youth actors will receive certificates from the Germany-based SANXAANU KAGGORO FILM INSTITUTE, the training division of CineKambiya International Film Festival.

The main venue of the film festival is the Global Hands Manduar Development Hub, some five minutes’ drive south of the Kombo Brikama market. Third edition of CineKambiya International Film Festival (CIFF) will take place in October 2016 under the theme of “Film-making and The Religious Discourse.”

CINEKAMBIYA International Film Festival hot lines: +2203448249 and +2206914340


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