The African Film Festival 2021 (TAFF) – 6th Edition opened up on Tuesday, June 1st. While other film festivals were canceled due to the pandemic, TAFF maintained its tradition of showcasing independent films, providing resourceful forums, as well as, presenting awards. Thanks to the availability and flexibility of ROOTFLIX, one of the leading multicultural film streaming platforms. This year’s edition of TAFF was a great success despite pandemic limitations. The organizers continue to raise the bar of Excellence in African Film Industry.
Hosted by Waa Musi, filmmaker and member of Cameroonian Oscars Committee; TAFF 2021 opening ceremony on June 1st started with a beautiful showcase of African cities, landmarks, and awe-inspiring sites, an opening speech by Waa; featured performances, and finished with a glimpse of the films submitted by presenting previews through trailers received.
The festival continued with on-demand broadcasting of independent films through ROOTFLIX apps and website. Viewers were able to download the apps from the App Store and Google Play and watched each festival film at their convenience. This is a feature that the visionary founder of TAFF, Kelechi Eke, said that the organization would continue to adopt – even after COVID – to not only make it convenient for viewers to enjoy every film screening at their own pace, but also to have global reach and participation throughout the festival.
While films were available continuously throughout the festival, Kristeen Kuria hosted TAFF Master Share forums from June 2 to June 4 via Zoom. These daily forums provided views from an assortment of Creatives, as well as, allowing for Q&A sessions for all participants. There were many directors, producers, actors, actresses, promoters, writers, editors, and film distributors in attendance who received valuable information designed to encourage the crafting of strong African films. Topics that were discussed and shared included Art of pitching and funding; Intellectual Property Law in Film and Television; Film Marketing and Distribution. The Master Share workshops were coordinated by African Producers Association in collaboration with TAFF.
The African Film Festival ended its 6th Edition with an Awards Ceremony, hosted by Kenyan Hollywood actor, Sir Benjamin Onyango on Rootflix.com and Facebook. Each year, TAFF honors an outstanding prominent player in the African film industry with the African Film Legend Award. This year’s recipient is Ghanaian Sir Kofi Adjorlolo, a veteran actor who began his career as a Musician. He was instrumental in establishing the religious radio station Channel R, and was honored in Accra for 30 years of service to the showbiz industry. Narrated by Voice of TAFF, Nene Nwoko, the Award Ceremony featured a live painting by Cyriacus Ikebudu, and a musical performance by the talented Nigerian Artist, Rutex.
In a final tribute to all of the many talented filmmakers; the founder and director, Kelechi Eke, praised their great work and acknowledged all of the awards nominees, and award presenters. The TAFFESTS (commonly called winners) were presented with an award-winning tribute to them and their film works. The Best Documentary Feature was won by “The Sacred Woods” which was produced in 2020 for the Aljazeera Documentary TV and directed by Tunisian Abdallah Chamekh. The Best Narrative Feature was won by “The Fisherman’s Diary” which represented Cameroon in the 2021 Academy Awards Best Foreign Film Category, directed by Enah Johnscott who also won TAFF 2021 Best Director Award. Ugandan film, “Oli Otya?”, won the Rootflix Viewers Choice Award; while “The Kids are still here”, another Ugandan documentary, won Founder’s Best Story Award.
The complete list of nominees and TAFFESTS can be accessed from the festival’s website: TheAfricanFilmFestival.org. Full video of the ceremony is also on the website. The relentless TAFF Team has begun plans to host its 7th edition physically in Dallas, TX USA in 2022; and is looking forward to hosting filmmakers, performers, and guests from across the globe.