The Learning Space

The Learning Space is the educational arm of the NGO Al Tarab, providing a meeting place to raise awareness of the values of cultural diversity, cooperation and solidarity among schoolchildren through film screenings and educational sessions. By means of ongoing work with young people in Andalusia, the Learning Space aims to foster a more accurate, more realistic understanding of African societies, using the most universal language of all: art.

Besides film screenings and discussions with pupils attended by directors, the activities also include guided visits to the various exhibitions held at the Festival, as well as the “Junior Aperitifs”, in which some of the participating classes will have the opportunity to discuss cinema with a young African director and a film critic.

This year, the Learning Space morning sessions in Tarifa are attended by all primary school pupils in Tarifa and the surrounding rural area, as well as by pupils from twenty secondary schools in the provinces of Cádiz and Seville. Meanwhile, Spanish primary and secondary schools in Tangier, along with several other secondary schools, attend screenings organised in the Moroccan city. This edition, the Learning Space will also operate from our new venue in Algeciras, allowing even more students to discover these unique, enriching stories.

Motion Picture Aperitifs

From April 27 to 30 in Ecocenter | From May 1 to 3 in Casino Tarifeño | 13:30h to 14:30h

The Motion Picture Aperitifs are an unmissable event on the FCAT calendar, bringing 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 reflect one of the main aims of FCAT: to remind people that African filmmakers are filmmakers first and foremost, and that African films play a role in influencing 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, and Pablo de María Díaz, a regular collaborator on Asturian public radio and programmer of Oviedo’s Contemporary Audiovisual Week (SACO).

The Aperitifs will be held from 13:30 to 14:30 from Saturday 27 April to Friday 3 May on the rooftop terrace at the Casino.

The Palaver Tree

VII Training Forum "The Word Tree"

Training and education of film directors from Africa and the diaspora in the promotion and distribution of African cinema in a global market

Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 May | 10:00h to 13:30h | Casino Tarifeño.

One of the main obstacles to growth affecting African filmmakers and African cinema in general is linked to distribution, both within the continent and beyond. Although numerous films are produced each year in Africa, they continue to reach limited audiences and are often isolated to the specialised circuits of festivals or thematic film series. In other words, commercial distribution continues to be the Achilles heel of most African cinematographies.

For years, we at FCAT have been committed to the growth of African cinema and we know that it is often a lack of training and professionalization among directors, especially younger directors, which impacts on the difficulties they face in accessing commercial circuits. For that reason, this edition of the Palaver Tree will focus on training young African directors in accessing a space which continues to close its doors to them: global markets. We will approach the topic through practical analysis of fundamental markets for African and diaspora cinema, including the African, European and North American markets, paying particular attention to new digital platforms for screening audiovisual content.

In order to explore these aspects, we have brought together experts in the promotion and distribution of African cinema, as well as professionals from the international sales and distribution sector. This training course, which is organised as part of the ACERCA Programme from the Spanish Agency for Cooperation and Development (AECID), also provides opportunities for theoretical reflection, professional networking and discussion between directors, distributors, programmers and media professionals.
Check the programme

Family Cinema

Film Forum for kids

April 29 and 30, May 2 and 3 18:00h | May 1 and 4 12:00h | Guzmán el Bueno

Frogs, baobab trees, flies and prince charmings accompany children and their parents on an extraordinary journey through African animation. Short films and feature films from different eras and countries allow children to delve into an African consciousness with a moral. And there’s more! We’re also offering a selection of three fiction features which won awards during previous editions of FCAT.

Literary Space

Between Lines: literary walk

Friday, May 3 | 11:15h | Start: Casino Tarifeño

In 2017, we launched a series of literary tours of the streets of Tarifa, accompanied by writers. To supplement the African American film retrospective held this year, the two guest readers have selected texts by female African American writers Toni Morrison, June Jordan and Assata Shakur, whose work was fundamental in illustrating the struggle of black people in the 20th century.
Two experts in African American literature will perform the readings:
Mercedes Jabardo.
Mercedes Jabardo is an associate professor and doctor of Social Anthropology at the Department of Social and Human Sciences at Miguel Hernández University in Elche, where she coordinates the doctoral programme in Anthropology Applied to Crisis Contexts and also manages the Official Master’s Degree in New Trends in Social Anthropology. She teaches on Diaspora and Black Feminism modules and is the author of the book Black Feminisms. An Anthology.
Deborah Ekoka.
Deborah Ekoka is a cultural manager at United Minds, a bookshop and sociocultural venue dedicated to African and diaspora literature, which is one of the main promoters of African and Afrodescendant culture in Valencia.


The History of Black Feminisms in the United States.

Friday, May 3 | 10:00h | Casino Tarifeño
Mercedes Jabardo provides an extensive historical overview of African American feminism from the time of slavery with Sojourner Truth to the emergence of names as relevant as Ida Wells, Patricia Hills Collins and Angela Davis.

Book Presentation

Black Sufism by Antonio de Diego González

Friday, May 3 | 11:30h | Casino Tarifeño

The history of contemporary West Africa cannot be understood without a consideration of Sufism. Sufism is a vibrant spirituality full of incredible stories of saints who, using their charms, configured the identity of the Sahel countries and linked them to the rest of the Islamic world. The Sufi female saints, so little-known and yet so representative of their time, contribute hugely to enriching the balance between power and gnosis.


Hshouma by Zainab Fasiki

From April 26 to May 4 | Cárcel Real
Hshouma is a project created by Moroccan artist Zainab Fasiki during El Ranchito, an artistic residency programme held at Matadero (Madrid) in June 2018, in collaboration with the Queens Collective in Marrakesh. The word hshouma comes from the Moroccan dialect and refers to a taboo which must not be talked about with others. In Morocco, taboos relating to various aspects of society prevent certain subjects from being spoken about with family members or at school. The lack of communication about these matters leads to numerous social problems, as people learn incorrect information about essential topics which require the involvement of professional educators.
The ten illustrations exhibited by the artist in Tarifa depict several of the most deeply-rooted taboos in Moroccan society: sex education, gender equality, the body, violence, discrimination and freedom.
Aged just 24 years old, Zainab Fasiki has become a feminist role model in the Arab world. Her commitment to raising awareness of the difficulties experienced by women in Morocco as widely as possible has led her to exhibit her work in numerous countries.

ExpoMagazine Afrique

From April 26 to May 4 | Casa de la Cultura.

Music Space

Nuri (Tunisia)

April 27 | 23:00 | Hogar del Pensionista (outside)
Nuri forms part of a new generation of musicians to emerge in the final years of the Ben Ali dictatorship, hitting the streets to demand the dictator’s departure during the Jasmine Revolution. Based in Denmark, the musician launched his first album Drup in 2017, a tribute to African heritage in Tunisian music which acts as a bridge linking to ancestral traditions. Nuri supplements this tribute by playing traditional percussion instruments live. He combines this melodic fabric with a patchwork of sounds from the Sahel. In the last year, he has presented his work in countries such as Tunisia, Morocco, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Spain and France.
Buy your tickets


April 29 and May 2 | 23:00 | Almedina

Tango night

April 30 | 23:00h | Liceo (Casino Tarifeño)

Juno & Darrell (Ecuatorial Guinea/Egypt/Spain)

May 1 | 23:00h | Mercado de Abastos
Juno & Darrell are a musical duo of composers founded in Madrid. Influenced primarily by African and African American music, they identify with a contemporary concept of spirituality, mixing Afro-rooted electronics, synthesisers and organic elements to produce unique results. Their music is a fusion of soul, afrobeat, hip hop and jazz, combining the analogue and digital worlds. Juno & Darrell have participated in international festivals such as ImaginaFunk, Slap! Festival, Madrid Es Negro, Eat My Soul and Monkey Week, and their experimental approach have taken them to venues including the Thyssen Museum and Felabration, the annual commemoration of Fela Kuti and afrobeat music.
Buy your tickets

Juani Cash (Jukebox Jam!) (Spain)

May 3 | 23:00h | La Ruina.
For more than five years, Juani Cash has been shaking up the Andalusian music scene with his mix of disco, house and black music. In recent years, the musician has devoted body and soul to promoting electronic music and African American-rooted sounds in Córdoba and Andalusia, which despite not being hostile to this style of music are not particularly enthused by it either. He also founded the Jukebox Jam! Movement, a series of club nights in which he revives the spirit of jam sessions while using vinyl as the main instrument.

Alberto Mvundi (Angola)

May 4 | 21:30h | Waikiki.

Festival Nights

The activities at the 16th African Film Festival continue after the film screenings have finished for the night. Various establishments in Tarifa are collaborating with the festival by offering a live music programme in line with the event, providing nocturnal entertainment and creating an ideal setting for festival guests, the audience and the city’s inhabitants to come together.

Training Course

Pioneers and revolutionaries of African cinema

From April 27 to 30 | 10:00 to 13:15h | Casa de la Cultura
Over a four-day period, the course taught by film critic and programmer Javier H. Estrada examines key periods and figures in African cinematography. Tracing links between past and present, each session explores creators who have influenced the evolution of cinema on the continent, establishing connections with contemporary talents and arguing that African audiovisual creation has been consistent in producing daring, ground-breaking films.

With a vast territorial scope ranging from Morocco to Rwanda, Ethiopia to Mali and Senegal to Tunisia, and from the perspective of visionaries such as Djibril Diop Mambéty, Sarah Maldoror, Souleymane Cissé and Ahmed Bouanani, “Pioneers and revolutionaries of African cinema” analyses the ways in which the most established, original filmmakers have interpreted realities which are overlooked in the West despite their huge relevance.

The course demonstrates the extraordinary ability of African filmmakers to anticipate political developments, warning of the fragility of their systems and societies in a visionary manner and casting light on possible alternatives.


Curso Pioneros y revolucionarios del cine africano

Cross-border project to train programmers and cultural managers in visibility for African cinema

African cinematographiesremain among the least well-known in the world, despite winning more and more awards at the main international festivals. This lack of knowledge is even harder to understand in societies which appear to have forgotten their historic links to African culture: on the one hand, Andalusia and the Algarve owe a great deal to their historic relationship with North Africa, while the Alentejo, the Algarve and Portugal as a whole have been culturally and economically enriched by the Portuguese-speaking African former colonies.

This project aims to create ongoing collaboration between film festivals in the AAA Euroregion (Alentejo, Algarve, Andalusia) to encourage cross-border dialogue and cooperation. In order to do this, the aim is to work together to promote African and diaspora cinematographies at film festivals in the region. The work will involve training aimed at programmers, managers and directors of film festivals in the Algarve, Alentejo and Andalusia regions in the form of meetings, film screenings, study of the history of African cinematographies, and meetings with African experts and directors. The participating festivals are Algares (Lagoa), Heritales (Évora), Periferias (Marvão | Valencia de Alcántara), FIKE (Évora), FICCAB (Benalmádena), FICSAN (San Roque) and Cortogenial (Puente Genil).

African Cinema On Demand Channel

Al Tarab, thenon-profit organisation behindFCAT, has spent the last 16 years working to increase the presence of African cinema on screens acrossthe Spanish-speaking world. With this aim in mind, in addition to the annual festival, Al Tarab has also developed projects such as Cinenómada, a flagship project enabling African film series to be organised across Spain and Latin America throughout the year.

But as times change, so does the way in which people consume films, and it is now time for Al Tarabto take a step forward in its efforts to promote cinema from the neighbouring continent. Following years of requests from the Spanish-speaking public, we have nowdecided to create and launch avideo on-demand platform in Spanish specialising in films from Africa and the African diaspora in order to meet our primary objectives: to increase access to these cinematographies as widely as possible, to enhance knowledge of the multiple realities of the continent, and to contribute to deconstructing stereotypes.

Sixteen editions of FCAT and deeply rooted relationships with the African audiovisual sector have provided us with the experience necessary to launch this on-demand channel, which we are convinced is an essential step forward in building audiences for African cinema in Spanish.


A festival in itself is not enough to present the cinema of an entire continent. For this reason, in 2005, Al Tarab initiatedCinenómada, one of its key projects, which is aimed at bringing the Spanish public closer to African cinema and, by means of its films, to the social and cultural realities of the continent. More specifically, Cinenómada promotes the film production of the African continent through non-profit cultural sessions, there by carrying FCAT’s effort over the whole year. Since the last edition of FCAT in 2017, 50 itinerant movie sessions have been organized in 32 cities of Spain.

In a country in which African cinema is still a great unknown, this alternative cultural distribution in collaboration with associations, NGO’s, film clubs, cultural centers, museums, universities, etc. is an essential preliminary stage to overcome the lack of commercial distribution channels.

Cinenómada offers a wide selection of films, subtitled into Spanish, from previous editions of the Tarifa African Film Festival that, at this time, represents the only channel of its kind and magnitude available in Spain.