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The Director's Chair Issue #61 – Dec. 22, 2005 (African Cinema – An Overview)

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THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR
Free Monthly Ezine for Film and Television Directors

December 22, 2005          Scene 6 – Take 12
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Published once a month.

Publisher: Peter D. Marshall
Email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com
Web Site: http://www.actioncutprint.com

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Dear Friend,

You are receiving The Director’s Chair because you (or
someone using your email address) requested a subscription.
Subscribe and Unsubscribe instructions are at the end of
this Ezine.

PRIVACY STATEMENT: This Subscriber List is a private mailing
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individuals. I value every Subscriber and respect your privacy.

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CONTENTS
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1.  Introduction
2.  Filmmaking Workshop – Vancouver, February, 2006
3.  Special Mention – Sydney International Film School
4.    Outtakes – Movie Jokes, Cliches and Quotes
5.  Feature Article – “African Cinema”
6.  Filmmaking Resource Center Blog
7.  Action-Cut-Print
8.  Back Issues of The Director’s Chair
9.  Share This Ezine
10.  Suggestions & Comments
11.  Subscribe & Unsubscribe Information
12.  Copyright Information

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1. INTRODUCTION
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Welcome to Issue #61 of The Director’s Chair (Dec. 22, 2005)

I would like to wish a very Merry Christmas and a fabulous
New Year to all my subscribers from around the world:
Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Israel,
India, Russian Federation, Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Spain,
United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Sweden, Yugoslavia,
Japan, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Ireland, United Arab
Emirates, Netherlands, France, Hong Kong, Belgium, Ethiopia,
Romania, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Nepal, Uruguay, Sri
Lanka, Puerto Rico, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mexico, Macedonia,
Kenya, Denmark. Thailand.

NOTE: If your country isn’t represented here, please let me
know and I will add it to my list.

1) FILMMAKING WORKSHOP – I am presenting a 3 day film
directing workshop called “The Art and Craft of the Director
– How to Become a Successful Working Film Director” in
Vancouver, Canada on February 17,18,19, 2006.

To find out what you will learn at this directing workshop,
click here: http://www.actioncutprint.com/AOTDxWorkshop1.html

2) FEATURE ARTICLE – This month’s Feature Article is called
“African Cinema – An Overview” by Shirley Okwi.  African
cinema is a relatively new film genre and has been referred
to as engaged cinema because of its didactic role. African
cinema is didactic in a way that it typically depicts
African settings and situations. It points out issues
affecting the continent today and also suggests suitable
solutions.

3) FILMMAKERS BLOG – Want to ask other filmmakers a
question? I have started a Filmmaking Resource Center blog.
Check it out at: http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM

4) VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – If you would like to contribute
articles, tips, links of interest, industry news,
interviews, special event dates or other resources to The
Director’s Chair please email: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

—–

Enjoy.

Peter D. Marshall

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2. FILMMAKING WORKSHOP – Vancouver, February 2006
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FILMMAKING WORKSHOP – I am presenting a 3 day film
directing workshop called “The Art and Craft of the Director
– How to Become a Successful Working Film Director” in
Vancouver, Canada on February 17,18,19, 2006.

To find out what you will learn at this directing workshop,
click here: http://www.actioncutprint.com/AOTDxWorkshop1.html

For three days, you will have the opportunity to meet
filmmakers from around the world; to share your own personal
experiences with others; and to learn more about this
creative and fascinating career we have chosen.

This workshop focuses on what I believe to be the director’s
most important role in any film/video medium – understanding
the story, determining the intent of each scene and knowing
the objectives of the characters.

When you know how to do this efficiently, you then have the
foundation from which to create your visual style and the
means to get believable performances from actors.

I’m inviting only 24 filmmakers to this special workshop and
I expect seats to fill up fast. So register now to secure
your spot.

http://www.actioncutprint.com/AOTDxWorkshop1.html

I hope to see you there.

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3. SPECIAL MENTION – Sydney International Film School
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The Sydney International Film School is dedicated to
developing serious careers in the film industry with
particular emphasize on storytelling and film-business
skills.

This purpose driven environment created expressly to
cultivate successful writers, producers and directors will
empower them with the knowledge, skills and experience to
confidently compete in this exciting industry.

Students work in a dynamic, collaborative and highly
challenging environment that provides state-of-the art
equipment, real industry methodologies and practical
application under the guidance of current active industry
professionals.

The multi talented, award winning staff provides grounding
in the entire production process including its various
technical aspects. This allows students to gauge their own
strengths and help them decide in which areas they will
choose to specialise.

So whether you’re intending to work as part of a film
production company, in television, or go independent –
Sydney International Film School can provide you with the
tools to maximize your potential in your chosen career path.

http://www.sifs.com.au

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4. OUTTAKES – Movie Jokes, Cliches and Quotes
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“THE HOT AIR BALLOON”

A man in a hot air balloon realized he was lost. He reduced
altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and
shouted, “Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I
would meet him an hour ago, but I don’t know where I am.”

The woman below replied, “You are in a hot air balloon hovering
approximately 30 feet above the ground. You are between 40 and
41 degrees north latitude and between 59 and 60 degrees west
longitude.”

“You must be an Production Manager,” said the balloonist. “I
am,” replied the woman, “How did you know?” “Well,” answered
the balloonist, “everything you told me is technically correct,
but I have no idea what to make of your information, and the
fact is I am still lost. Frankly, you’ve not been much help so
far.”

The woman below responded, “You must be a Producer.” “I am,”
replied the balloonist, “but how did you know?” “Well,” said
the woman, “you don’t know where you are or where you are
going. You have risen to where you are due to a large quantity
of hot air. You made a promise which you have no idea how to
keep, and you expect me to solve your problem. The fact is you
are in exactly the same position you were in before we met, but
now, somehow, it’s my fault.”

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5. FEATURE ARTICLE – African Cinema
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“African Cinema – An Overview” by Shirley Okwi

African cinema is a relatively new film genre. It has been
referred to as engaged cinema because of its didactic role.
African cinema is didactic in a way that it typically
depicts African settings and situations. It points out
issues affecting the continent today and also suggests
suitable solutions.

Prominent African filmmakers include the likes of Ousmane
Sembene, Gerima Heile, Ouedrago Idrissa, Kouyate Dani among
others.

African cinema is here to tell the African story with out
bias. African has for long been referred to as a dark
continent in which people tested their courage. It was
viewed as a place for adventure. Thus there was always a
story to tell as Karen Blixen and Joyce Cary told in Out of
Africa and Mr. Johnson respectively. Here, Africa is
depicted as static and naïve. African cinema was impelled by
the need to contest and correct such stock images of the
continent.

From another perspective, African film purports to reflect
the culture of the African peoples before the western
culture compromised it. For this reason, it’s familiar that
African filmmakers present a clash between the western
culture and the African culture.

Thematically, African cinema is preoccupied with various
issues including African post independence politics. African
filmmakers in this way present a hopeful people awaiting
independence. However to their disillusionment, the
situation even became worse as the elite gradually turned
into power hungry and corrupt dictators. This is typically
illustrated in Sembene Ousmane’s Xala. African cinema is
further concerned with poverty, an evil that has for long
crippled the continent. In the same way, African filmmakers
seek to present the suffering the African woman has gone
through in her patriarchal society.

African cinema is unswervingly concerned about the colonial
experience as well as racial intolerance and segregation
that the blacks have suffered. The issue of slave trade and
slavery is also presented vividly.

Stylistically, African Cinema is closer to Italian realism.
This is for the reason that non-professional actors and
actual locations are used, the stories are not neatly
plotted and most of them are in documentary visual style. In
fact in the recently concluded 2nd Amakula Kampala
international film festival, the best-shot film was a
30-minute by Gang Odong Obur. The use of subtitles is also
imperative because many of these films are in native African
languages. Translation into English or French becomes
crucial so as to reach the majority of the audience.

On a final note, it’s significant to discern that the recent
flared-up Nigerian films are not part of this category. The
Nigerian movies are essentially for home consumption.

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Shirley Okwi is a student in her final year at the
University in Uganda.
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6. FILMMAKING RESOURCE CENTER BLOG
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I have started a Filmmaking Resource Center blog at:
http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM

Check out the Blog for filmmaking tips, articles, movie news
and film reviews. Please use this resource center to ask
questions (and answer questions;) to read daily film and TV
news; and to submit your own filmmaking tips and stories.

Filmmaking Resource Center – http://www.bloglines.com/blog/PDM

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7. ACTION-CUT-PRINT! –  A Website for Filmmakers
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If you are a Film or TV Director; a working professional who
wants to Direct; a film student who wants to learn more
about Directing; or a “student of film” who just wants to
know more about Filmmaking from the pros, Action-Cut-Print!
is for you!

Take a moment now to visit http://www.actioncutprint.com
where you will find over 1500 Online Resources for
Filmmakers, Filmmaking Tips and Articles, a Film and TV
Bookstore and Film Directing Workshops.

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8.  BACK ISSUES OF “THE DIRECTOR’S CHAIR”
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To read back issues of The Director’s Chair, visit:
http://www.actioncutprint.com/ezine.html

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9. SHARE THIS EZINE
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Share this Ezine by email – forward it to your friends and
associates.

This Ezine may be reprinted with permission.
Email me at: mailto:pdm@actioncutprint.com

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10. SUGGESTIONS & COMMENTS
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Send any comments, suggestions, questions or advice to:
mailto:comments@actioncutprint.com

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12. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION
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Copyright (c) 2000-2005
www.actioncutprint.com
Peter D. Marshall
All Rights Reserved

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