The ton of helpful digital distribution, as well as commercially viable means of filmmaking, have been the best things to have happened to African cinema in the last decade.
Historically underfunded and underestimated industries mean that Africans have had to settle for meager quality on the screen. Every now and then, something as good as Tsotsi (2005) comes along to universal applause.
What is clearly a problem of money has come across looking like a problem of creativity.
Apart from that point, there has always been the problem of what may be considered “An African film”.
“For a film to be truly African, does it need to be made by Africans? Does it need to be funded from Africa? Does it need to be aimed at an African audience and screened primarily on the continent? Or is a film African simply by virtue of reflecting on African experiences?”
Notwithstanding the challenges of finance and identity, some African filmmakers have prevailed, producing exceptional cinematic projects that recompense those who have kept faith with the continent.
These filmmakers have touched on diverse subject-matters and drawn inspiration from fulfilling a duty to tell the stories of their people.
For what it’s worth, the following five directors are the amazing future African cinema promises.
Bazawule’s 2018 debut film, The Burial Of Kojo, has been described as an exceptional breakout piece for a first-timer.
The Burial became the first Ghanaian film to be streamed on Netflix last year. It is a mystical tale of family and loyalty.
After the success of that film, Bazawule, who is also a rapper, was contracted to direct two episodes of “Cherish the Day”, an African-American anthology series that premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Network in February 2020.
Gomis’ 2017 narrative drama, Félicité, won the Grand Jury Prix award at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. It was a story about how a struggling mother tries to care for a sick child entertaining audience at a pub.
Gomis made the December shortlist of the Best Foreign Language Film from Senegal at the 90th Academy Awards with Félicité.
The next move by this intriguing filmmaker will be heavily anticipated.
Bandele directed the historical drama, Half of A Yellow Sun, which starred big names such as Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in 2013.
The critical acclaim of the film brought international recognition to the Nigerian director who has gone on to take projects with such themes as identity, feminism, and modernity.
His most recent, Fifty, is currently streaming on Netflix.