Boubacar Coulibaly, chairman of the African Film Festival, wants to help bring the cultures of his homeland to a New Zealand audience.
For Boubacar Coulibaly, film presents the ideal vehicle with which to express cultures of his homeland.
The Aucklander is the chairman of the African Film Festival, a showcase now running for its second consecutive year at Newmarket’s Rialto Cinema.
Originally from Mali in West Africa, Coulibaly says the festival was inspired by the desire to create an understanding of African cultures for New Zealanders.
“It’s very important not only for us New Zealanders but at the same time for our children, so that’s where the motivation comes from,” he says.
The Grey Lynn resident admits he doesn’t know a lot about film itself but it’s the sharing and expression of cultures that gets him excited.
“This is African stories seen from Africans and that’s going to be totally different from Hollywood and mainstream cinema as you generally see.”
The festival will screen 11 films from across the continent including eight dramas and three documentaries.
While this doesn’t sound like a lot, Coulibaly says there were in fact many films that had to be turned down.
“When we started the project some people said, ‘aren’t you going to struggle for films?’ But actually we get overloaded with them. This is only our second year and a lot of people contacted us directly with their own films.”
In this day and age a festival such as this isn’t nearly as difficult as it would once have been, Coulibaly says.
“You don’t have to take a tape from one end of the world to the other end of the world for someone to look at.”
Coulibaly personally recommends The Mask From San as a standout if you want to see pure traditional African culture, along with documentary They Will Have To Kill Us First, which follows musicians standing up to Islamic extremists.
The African Film Festival runs until April 13, with the opening night a sellout.
Visit africanfilmfestival.org.nz for more information.