Learning Space

Learning Space is the educational branch of the NGO Al Tarab, which is supported by Cadiz Council’s Cultural Foundation. This educative programme offers a space in which school audiences can enjoy a special selection of African films together with specifically designed activities on values such as cultural diversity, cooperation and solidarity.

Al Tarab, thanks to the collaboration withTarifa’s teachers’ research group, organises this initiative in which cinema is used as a tool for personal development. Bringing African films closer to the schoolchildren aims to counter-balance the negative image of Africa that is often conveyed on the media. Through this regular work with the youth of Andalusia, Learning Space promotes a more just and realistic understanding of the African societies, using the most universal of all languages: Art.

This year, Learning Space counts on the participation of students from all the elementary schools in Tarifa and the surrounding countryside, twenty high schools in the provinces of Cadiz and Seville, as well as different secondary education centers in Tangiers whose students will be at the Film Library’s screening room attending morning sessions focused on them. Besides screenings and encounters with the directors, other activities include guided visits to the various Festival exhibitions. Finally, this year we have a new space called “Junior Opener”, where some of the participating students will have a chance to take part in an open debate with young African director Raimundo Bernabé Nnandong and film critic Pablo de María.


Motion Pictures Aperitifs

The Motion Picture Aperitifs are an unmissable event on the FCAT calendar, and bring together filmmakers, journalists and the public over a glass of wine. The day after the screening of each film in the competition section, viewers are invited to explore their experience of the films and to discuss ethical, aesthetic and stylistic aspects with the directors having had time to ponder and question what they have seen. These gatherings meet one of the FCAT’s main aims: to remind people that African filmmakers are filmmakers first and foremost, and that African films participate in the creation of contemporary trends in global cinematographic narratives.

Moderating the Aperitifs, we once again welcome two Spanish critics and programmers who are already well-known at FCAT: Javier H. Estrada, contributing editor to the magazine Caimán Cuadernos de Cine, programmer at Seville European Film Festival (SEFF) and Filmadrid, and teacher at Master LAV in Madrid; Pablo de María Díaz, a regular collaborator on Asturian public radio and programmer of Oviedo’s Contemporary Audiovisual Week (SACO). This year, we will also be joined by Senegalese film critic Thierno Ibrahima Dia, who coordinates Africine (www.africine.org), a website providing information and criticism on African cinema. The Aperitifs will be held from Saturday to Friday from 13:30 to 14:30 in the restaurant at the Ecocenter in Tarifa.

The Palaver Tree

6th Training Forum "The Word Tree"”

ACERCA PROGRAM - Meeting of film directors and actors from Africa and the Diaspora

This year, the Tarifa-Tangier African Film Festival (FCAT) celebrates 15 years of a project that was set up to raise awareness in Spain of the best cinematographic productions from their neighbouring continent, which until now has had a very small presence in our country's circles of film-lovers. In the past fifteen years we have managed to subtitle more than 900 films into Spanish, which are circulating continuously through Cinenómada, a mobile device that allows us to reach audiences beyond the borders of Tarifa, spanning the whole of Spain and even reaching as far as Latin America. All of this has in part made the Spanish public more aware of the realities and cultural diversity of the African continent, bridging gaps and breaking down some of the stereotypes still deeply rooted in the Spanish mindset. During these 15 years a change has also taken place in Spanish society. The first generation of the African diaspora in our country, in all its diversity as a result of exile and emigration or other circumstances, has settled and a new generation of Spanish Afro-descendants have taken over, claiming their own bit of recognition and acceptance in Spanish society. In some professional sectors such as film, the vast majority of Afro-descendants emphasise the discrimination they suffer and the restrictions to the types of roles they are offered, roles that reinforce the stereotypes associated to black communities, the same preconceptions that their elders had to face when settling in Spain. The FCAT, the only Spanish festival specializing in African cinema, sees the need for directors, actors and other professionals from Afro-descendent cinema to have a place to meet up, share knowledge, and exchange ideas with the rest of society in this latest edition. It is not a one-off, or a tick in a box, but a non-negotiable commitment regarding the years to come. It is equally essential that the Word Tree, a forum dedicated to reflect and debate various issues related to the history and current African cinema, this year serves to exchange the points of views between African artists and those of the diaspora in Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Portugal. The testimonies of the various realities experienced by the creators will be the foundation to analysing the journeys they have had, some with successful cases, others less so, and the challenges to conquer in the coming years for a community that in all these countries has raised its voice and made its mark.

This edition of the Word Tree takes place within the framework of the ACERCA Program of the Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development, AECID.


Storytellers and songs

Just like every other year, storytellers will join us at the Festival mornings to allow children to discover the African oral tradition. Boni, the artistic name of Boniface Ofogo Nkama, grew up in a small village in rural Cameroon, where oral transmission is the only way of accessing any type of information or knowledge. Although his academic studies and life experience led him to discover written literature, the orality around which his upbringing revolved continues to be the main point of reference in his work as a storyteller. He arrived in Spain in 1988 and has worked as a traditional storyteller since 1992.


Storytellers and songs

Through collaboration with the ‘Maestro Fermín Franco Utrera’ Municipal School of Music, Dance and Visual Arts of Tarifa, a special session of African stories accompanied by songs from the neighbouring continent will be presented to the Festival audience. Storyteller Boni Ofogo will tell several stories from the West African oral tradition while children from the Tarifa choir accompany his tales with traditional African songs.

Cinema musica and concert

The Municipal Music Band of Tarifa will present a live show of music for cinema, with the projection of two short films from the Festival’s film archive. The current Music Band of Tarifa was founded in 1990, although documents suggest that a music band existed in the 19th century and operated until the beginning of the 1920s. The stability and perseverance of its members, and a large group of young people initiating their musical activity, mean that the current group continues to work with great passion and enthusiasm.

African Village

The African Village is an area of the festival which is dedicated to families. Parents and children of all ages can participate in the various fun and educational activities which are organised every afternoon during the festival. It is a gathering place where children and parents can discover the African continent through film, as the programme includes screenings of a selection of short films for children. This year, we will also be visited by Cameroonian storyteller Boni Ofogo, who is an expert in the African oral tradition and who, as in previous editions of the festival, will bring the stories of the neighbouring continent alive for both young and old.

Located in Plaza 5 de Oros in Tarifa and open to all, this year the African Village is supported by the EcoCenter and by several educational organisations in Tarifa. The space consists of a large dome where educational workshops for children will also be held, as well as an animation workshop for children aged 9 to 12 which must be reserved in advance.

In every edition, FCAT pays close attention to the content it provides for children, ensuring that the Village becomes a lively place full of energy

Literary Space: Between the Lines

In 2017, we launched a series of literary tours of the streets of Tarifa, accompanied by writers. As the theme of FCAT’s 15th anniversary is Afro-descendents, we have selected texts from two poets for the second edition of the Literary Space ‘Between the Lines’: Aimé Césaire and Shirley Campbell. The former was one of the founders of the Négritude movement, and a poet, playwright, essayist and politician from Martinique. His work, characterised by an exquisite lyricism and an extremely humanist rhetoric, laid the foundations for a literature of self-affirmation following centuries of oppression and humiliation. Meanwhile, Shirley Campbell, a Costa Rican writer, poet and anthropologist of African origin, offers us a poetry based on black themes, in her own words, which is suitable for all, and which aims to educate people, to touch their souls and to change the world just a little.

Two Spanish actors of African origin will perform the readings:

Silvia Albert. Born in San Sebastián and a graduate of the Murcia School of Performing Arts, Silvia holds a postgraduate degree in Expressive Arts supervised by Consuelo Trujillo. She appeared on stage for the first time in 1999, performing the monologue The Madwoman of Chaillot. Since then, she has performed in various plays, including Waiting for Lefty, The House of Bernarda Alba and Antigone, among others. She is the protagonist of the monologue No es país para negras (No Country for Black Women).
Marius Makon. After training at the prestigious theatre school Le Cours Florent in Paris and at the Actors Centre in London, Marius became known in Spain for his role as Archibald in the theatre play Los Negros (The Blacks) by director Miguel Narros. He has appeared in TV series El Barco (The Boat), Aída, Familia (Family), La Fuga (On the Run) and El ministerio del tiempo (The Ministry of Time).


Dakar, a glimpse

Struggles. Fashion. The rhythms of life. These are the main themes of the dual portrayal of Dakar, the capital of Senegal, created by Senegalese photographer Mamadou Gomis and Spanish documentalist Pere Ortín. The exhibition ‘Dakar, a glimpse’ is the result of a decade of collaborative work whose richness derives from the combination of different perspectives: that of the local citizen-narrator (Gomis) and that of the foreigner (Ortín) fascinated by the life of urban Africa, and keen to question, learn and attempt to understand (or not) the appealing complexity of this metropolis. This dialogue gives rise to an exhibition full of nuances, which mixes artistic, documentary and journalistic viewpoints. Photographs and videos invite us to observe intently and attentively in order to recognise that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder and of the storyteller. The exhibition was produced by Casa África, where it was shown for the first time, in collaboration with Altaïr Magazine.

Music Space

Concierto de One Pac & Fellows

One Pac & Fellows brings together two artists from very different origins and musical worlds. Birane Amar Wane, better known as One Pac, is a Senegalese musician and singer from the city of Saint-Louis, who comes from the world of hip hop. His album Hip hop Soul Jazz The project was nominated as one of the five most important hip hop albums of the year in Senegal at the 2015 Rewmi Fm Hip Hop. José Gómez Romero is a musician and producer from Andalusia. An expert in jazz groove and funk, he is influenced by the rhythms of James Brown and The Metters, among others. Birane Wane and Jose Gómez met at a jam session in Triana (Seville) in January 2016. From that moment on, the One Pac & Fellows project began to take shape. One Pac & Fellows is a fusion of funk, hip hop, soul and traditional African music. This artistic encounter has led to the production of an album featuring the collaboration of musicians of different origins (Spain, USA, France and Senegal). The album has already been recorded and is currently nearing completion. The songs are sung in English and in Wolof and Pular, which are native Senegalese languages.

Jericó with Brisa Fenoy

CEAR (Spanish Commisson for Refugees) will bring us a screening of the short film Jericó by Manfre & Iker Iturria at the Tarifa Food Market, followed by the participation of the singer from Algeciras Brisa Fenoy.

Festival Nights

The activities at the 15th African Film Festival will continue after the film screenings have finished for the night. Various establishments in Tarifa will collaborate with the festival by offering a live music programme in line with the event, providing nocturnal entertainment and creating an ideal setting for guests, the festival audience and the city’s inhabitants to come together.

Performing arts

Yinka Esi Graves' Flamenco Group

Flamenco is a universal language in which nationalities and borders are irrelevant. Its very roots are a mix of many different cultures and influences. Nobody is more aware of this than flamenco dancer Yinka Esi Graves, a Londoner living in Seville who dances at tablaos in Seville, Madrid and London. She studied with teachers of the calibre of Merche Esmeralda, Manuel Reyes and Pepa Molina in Madrid for five years, before moving to Seville to develop her art, with guidance from Carmen Ledesma and Juana Amaya. Her passion for flamenco is expressed not only through dance, but also through her desire to share this art form by organising and teaching courses. The Afroflamenco show which she presents at FCAT is accompanied by singer Vicent Gelo and guitarist Tino Vandersmann.

Theatre show: Tagine, a story from the kitchen…

Farah Hamedis an Andalusian actress and director of Moroccan origin. Nominated for the Goya Award for Best New Actress in 2009 for Return to Hansala directed by Chus Gutiérrez, she has worked on films such as Los últimos días and La ignorancia de la sangre, as well as TV series including Aída, Amar en tiempos revueltos, Física o Química, Hospital Central, etc. Tagine, a story from the kitchen… is a gastronomic monologue which was very well received at the FRINGE13 festival held at the Matadero in Madrid. The protagonist of the monologue, Amal, works in a Moroccan restaurant and shows the public a recipe, the ‘tagine’ which her grandmother taught her… and at the same time, in the style of Sherezade, she draws the audience in with her personal story. Her kitchen is a pleasant Mediterranean bay, bathed in music and dance, stories, poems and songs from numerous different cultures. Amal is free of prejudice and is only interested in coming together, sharing her experiences and making a ‘tagine’, which the audience will be able to taste at the end of the play.


A festival alone is not enough to present the cinema of an entire continent. For this reason, in 2005, Al Tarab launched Cinenómada, one of its key projects, which aims to introduce the Spanish public to African cinema and to the social and cultural realities of the continent through the use of film. More specifically, Cinenómada promotes film production from the African continent through non-profit cultural sessions, extending the efforts of FCAT throughout the entire year. Since the last edition of FCAT in 2017, 50 itinerant film showings have been organised in 22 cities across Spain and 2 in Colombia.

In a country in which African cinema remains largely unknown, this alternative cultural distribution in collaboration with associations, NGOs, film clubs, cultural centres, museums, universities, etc. is an essential preliminary stage to overcome the lack of commercial distribution channels.

Cinenómada offers a wide selection of films from previous editions of FCAT which are subtitled into Spanish, and currently represents the only channel of this kind and magnitude available in Spain.