The 17th FCAT will combine live and online sessions

The 17th FCAT will combine live and online sessions

The 17th edition of the leading African film festival in the Spanish-speaking world will take place from 4th to 13th December in Tarifa, Tangier and online for the very first time.

The non-competitive programme will be based on five themes revolving around racism and humour in African cinematography, while the competitive section ‘Long-Sightedness’ will be screened for the first time in a virtual cinema on the Spanish platform Filmin.

Tarifa, 14 October 2020. The 17th edition of the Tarifa-Tangier African Film Festival (FCAT) was presented today at the town hall in Tarifa, the southernmost town in continental Europe and the closest to Africa. The organisers, Al Tarab, announced that the festival will take place from 4 to 13 December in a hybrid format, with live sessions in the two towns facing one another across the Strait of Gibraltar and online screenings at a virtual cinema hosted by the streaming platform Filmin. This will be the very first time since it was founded in 2004 that the festival will be held in the autumn and take its work to promote African cinematography online, after the usual spring edition was postponed due to the pandemic.

Live screenings will take place from 4 to 8 December in Tarifa and will focus on five themes. The 21 films that will be screened at these sessions are not participating in the competition. These screenings will be supplemented by panel sessions with directors from Africa and the African diaspora in Europe, as well as experts in each of the themes addressed. Themes include: Equatorial Guinea and the Spanish colonial past in Africa; 60 years of African independence; systemic racism in Western countries; humour in African cinema; and, like every year, Latin-American productions by directors from the African diaspora in Latin America in the section ‘The Third Root’.

This year, FCAT will offer its most generous programme yet, with all the films screened online and available to everyone, no matter where they are in the world. Mane Cisneros, director of FCAT, sees the shift online as a positive development. “Despite the damage caused by the pandemic, especially to the cultural sector, it has also given rise to new opportunities. This year, we hope that the festival will reach far more people and that the films will be seen by new audiences.”

The films in the competitive sections ‘Long-Sightedness’ (feature films) and ‘Shortly’ (shorts) will be available online only and can be viewed on the streaming platform Filmin from 4 to 13 December. Around twenty fiction features, documentaries and short films will compete for a number of prizes, which have yet to be confirmed.

On the Moroccan side of the Strait of Gibraltar, where restrictions on events remain in place, FCAT will offer online sessions in collaboration with the Cervantes Institute in Tangier and Tetouan, the municipal council of Chefchaouen, and associations and NGOs working in the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region.

The official poster for this year’s festival was also revealed at the presentation of FCAT 2020. It was produced by Moroccan architect and designer Omar Kdouri as part of his ‘Moroccan Minimalism’ series. The poster for the 17th edition of FCAT pays tribute to Moroccan fountains, especially those found in the historic city of Fes, and to zellige, the coloured tiles assembled in geometric patterns to form traditional mosaics. Filled with blue, a colour that has captivated so many painters over the centuries, the poster echoes the colours of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, which meet in the Strait of Gibraltar, bringing Africa face-to-face with Europe and enabling this cross-border festival to take place.

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