Stephane lives in Touraine. His father Paulin Vieyra Soumanou is the precursor of African cinema. In tribute, he organised the Bimonthly of African cinema.
Sunday, the Studios at Tours is hosting the second edition of the bimonthly African cinema in Tours (BCAT). On the programme: a short film and a long. Speakers, snacks. The pleasure of being together, to see good films and to discover the work of one man: Paulin Vieyra Soumanou.
Stéphane his son, who has been living in Touraine for almost ten years, came up with the idea to mount this BCAT. In recent years, in fact, Stéphane Vieyra has been working for the memory and preservation of the works of Paulin Vieyra, a true and yet forgotten pioneer of African cinema. To correct this injustice, the son of the filmmaker created a PSV-film association.
On the death of his father in 1987, it is Stéphane’s mother who managed the business (broadcasting rights, copyright …). Only a few years later, when her mother could no longer bear all this work, that Stéphane was assigned the task of paternal legacy. “I put all my skills to showcase this heritage,” the son says today. “I made DVD, restored reels, set up exhibitions … and thus created the association which works with the help of Monique and Edwige Mevis Aicha Kaba. ”
Between them, they managed a great job! As part of the 67th Cannes Film Festival, a booklet has been written about Paulin Vieyra. His life is simply extraordinary. Born in 1925 in Benin, he was sent to France at the age of 10 years. Pensioneer, a radical change in culture and the advent of the war. The boy is alone with the goalkeeper in his school. A classmate brings him home. He is “adopted” by the Fontaine family. During the war, he helps the resistance. After difficult years, Paulin passes the entrance exam to Idhec (today Fémis) and became the first African to join the school. Paulin from Senegal.” He leads the Senegalese news service, he participated in all President Senghor’s trips. It is the origin of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers. He was also a historian of African cinema.” To him is credited thirty documentaries, short films and one feature film.
The BCAT is only a stone in the edifice of the biographical work undertaken by Stéphane. Many other initiatives are already underway.