By: The Sudan Film Factory

“To fly, we have to have resistance”

Maya Lin

Art has always been a form of resistance used by different groups to showcase their causes in creative and emotionally charged manners, meant to attract attention and bring forth discussions. Sudan’s art scene is buzzing with independent art galleries, frequent exhibition openings, a continuous influx of international artists at European cultural centers and young artists shaking up our social media feed.

The Sudan Independent Film Festival is considered still in infancy, yet it has been and continues to take confident steps in leading the way towards bringing cinema and film making to the forefront of Sudan’s cultural scene. It started as a project of the Sudan Film Factory, but quickly transformed into a major contribution to the cinematic community and network by promoting cultural knowledge and exchange. It strives to become a consistent addition to Sudan’s public economy and image. With just two years in its wake, it has already been voted as one of the 20 best projects in Africa, causing a ripple for several cultural movements and initiatives and inspiring the spirit of motivation and initiation.

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Balmy Alley Mural in San Francisco

Every year the Festival adopts a certain cultural value. The first SIFF, held in 2014 focused on pan-Africanism, Film screenings linked to this theme were shown as an attempt to enrich the African content in Sudanese culture. In the second year, SIFF highlighted the value of bridging between cultures and brining different people from different corners of the earth together. It opened windows onto Italian cinema to highlight the unique Italian culture as a European country looking onto the Mediterranean and Africa, with Libya, Algeria and Egypt just a stone throw away. The Swiss cinema was also explored with its different cultures and languages.

This year the theme ‘cultural resistance’ is the Festival’s inspiration, in the context of the suffering of the world’s different nations from terrorism, globalization, mainstreaming and losing identity, and the repeated assaults on the people’s right to a safe environment and peaceful life in all corners of the globe. It’s about the Palestinians who continue to hold on to their identity despite decades of occupation and oppression. About native Indians whose land was taken away but who portray their culture, practices and faith against all odds. About women pushing for and regaining their rights to education, controlling their bodies and deciding their futures. About gypsies all over the world, resisting integration and displacement. It’s even about terminally ill patients fighting a losing battle, but fighting anyway. Cultural resistance is about every living thing on earth that has managed and continues to resist cultural change in a non-violent manner, without losing the sense of co-existence.

The Sudan Independent Film Festival’s 3rd edition will shed light on the value of cultural resistance as a representation of one of humanity’s main lines of defense in this time and day. It tries to give the Sudanese people back their self-worth, inspiration, empowerment and confidence that they can do something for themselves against all odds.

Stay updated with the Festival’s news on Twitter.

Film makers can submit films here. 

This post is also available in: Arabic


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