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Africa World Documentary Film Festival docks in Jamaica - 'Songs of Redemption' one of the films to be screened

Published:Thursday | April 18, 2013 | 12:00 AM
One of the films to be shown at this year's Africa World Documentary Film Festival, 'Mama Africa', is about world-famous South African singer Miriam Makeba. - File

Songs of Redemption will be screened at this year's Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF), set for the University of the West Indies, Mona, from April 24-28.

The festival will be officially launched next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre, and the screening of films will take place from April 25-28, from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m., also at the Neville Hall Lecture Theatre.

Songs of Redemption is a stream-of-consciousness-style documentary told by Kingston prisoners incarcerated for numerous crimes. The prison, once a concrete holding area for African slaves, is devoid of basic human necessities and reflects a reality of unimaginable consequence. The movie exemplifies the unique transformation of an extremely violent environment into a new state of creative and healing artistic collaborations.

The festival is sponsored by the E. Desmond Lee Professorship in African/African-American Studies, International Studies and Programmes at the University of Missouri, St Louis.

It is staged annually at venues around the globe and this is the first year that it will visit Jamaica.

By September, the 2013 festival will have been staged at the Missouri History Museum; The Motefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies, Philadelphia; The University of Yaoundé; St Louis University; University of the Western Cape, South Africa, and the 'I Will Tell' International Film Festival, London.

The 2013 festival will present 46 films submitted by filmmakers from 31 countries, including Australia, The Bahamas, Burkina Faso, Canada, Cameroon, Congo, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Israel, Japan, Mali, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, United Kingdom, Uganda, and the United States.

The films cover a wide range of topics including music and the performing arts, religion, politics, sport, history, gender and human rights issues.

Professor Lee from The University of Missouri and festival director will be in Jamaica for the festival.

He described the AWDFF as committed to the promotion of the knowledge, life and culture, of the people of Africa worldwide through the art of documentary filmmaking.

Members of the public are invited to attend the festival. Admission is free.