film diplomacy

A decade ago, the Brazilian gangster Li’l Zé took movie screens across the world by storm in the low-budget crime drama “Cidade de Deus,” or "City of God." Set inside the eponymous slum in Rio de Janeiro, the film grossed $30 million, received four Oscar nominations, and won festivals from Los Angeles to Toronto.

Iran has submitted "Le Passe," the latest film from "Une Separation" director Asghar Farhadi, for Oscars consideration in a move opposed by conservatives, who say the film is too French. "Le Passe" (The Past) tells the story of an Iranian (played by Ali Mosaffa) who returns to France after four years away to sign divorce papers with his French wife Marie (Berenice Bejo).

The Italian film Sacro GRA became the first documentary to win the top prize at the world's oldest film festival, while Taiwanese director Tsai Ming-liang was also honoured at the prestigious Venice event. Tsai, a former Golden Lion winner, landed a Grand Jury Prize at the 70th Venice Film Festival for Stray Dogs, the slow-moving story of a homeless father who earns a meagre living as a human billboard while his children wander the streets of Taipei.

September 5, 2013

Now in its tenth year of construction, Israel's separation wall stretches almost 450km. In some places, it cuts deep into the occupied West Bank, excluding Palestinian communities and annexing land around illegal Israeli settlements. This film introduces some of the people protesting against the wall: from Palestinian villagers to Israeli and international activists.

If you’re a film buff, you may have heard of a Korean-made summer blockbuster that, strangely, hasn’t reached American shores quite yet. Starring a line-up of famous Western actors, some critics say Snowpiercer — Korea’s most expensive film ever — represents a potential cultural landmark. Based on a French comic book, it covers a dystopia of post-apocalyptic survivors who, living on a train that travels around the world, rebel against their repressive overlords.

Angola faces a serious struggle with landmines, as well as unexploded bombs, mortars, and other munitions buried and abandoned across the country’s 18 provinces, a tragic legacy of the country’s war for independence and nearly three decades of civil war that finally ended in 2002. Surviving the Peace: Angola, a film produced by our non-governmental organization (NGO) partner the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), captures the challenges facing the people of Angola and how the United States is taking action to help.

This year’s Malmo Arab Festival in Sweden will screen more than 100 Arab films in a bid to facilitate cross-cultural exchange, it is set to run from September 2-8. Directed by Mohammed Keblawi, the festival will showcase films from countries around the region including Palestine, Qatar, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The festival will also honor a number of Arab actors and industry experts for their contributions to the world of Arab cinema, television and theatre.

This week on South2North Redi speaks to three film directors who have dealt with different forms of censorship and story-telling in Africa. Jahmil Qubeka’s film Of Good Report was banned on the opening night of the Durban International Film Festival - allegedly for showing child pornography.