African cinema has come a long way – from the trial days through to the present where at least four out of five standardized movies released are certain of hitting platinum either at home or overseas. The journey has been exciting as the players would expect but in another breadth, it’s been taxing.
Away from the regular story lines of war, famine, voodoo, affluence, culture, and tradition that features regularly in its films, and which most movie watchers the world over have come to identify the industry with, the players and movers of the trade, have their own stories to tell.
They are stories of how in one way or the other, they were able to wow the world with their futuristic productions, a case study that has got almost everybody who matters to believe in what they do. These days, the standards of production in most African films are exceptionally high – a guarantee that things can get better.
And yes of course there are challenges with budget, logistics, et al but considering the fact that those obstacles also do exist even in deep-rooted jurisdictions like Hollywood, it makes the argument of an uneven grounds a bit flawed and enough a motivation for Africa’s filmmakers to rise to the occasion.
Some have stood up to be counted, damning the obvious obstacles and have been producing some excellent movies in the past decade.
We take a look at TOP 15 Contemporary African Films released since 2000, which have gone on to achieve enormous success, popular amongst movie enthusiasts and industry professionals, commercially successful and have gained widespread recognition.
These are movies directly set in Africa, or shot with the continent in mind, and have since the millennium given African filmmaking a new sense of direction.
In no particular order, here is a guide to the TOP 15 Contemporary African Films.
Daratt (Dry Season) 2006:
Written and directed by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, the award-winning movie took the world by storm in 2006 when it debuted. It has been hailed as a well thought-out, clean and fascinating production.
The thing about Darratt, which makes it interesting for viewing, watchers have said, is the director’s ability to tell the story – a usual line in most African films, woven around civil war and corruption – in manner that presents it as a sensation.
Darat is exceptional, simple yet intriguing and also lays credence to the skill and know-how of Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, an all too familiar name in the industry, described by many as a courageous director who is able to tell a difficult story in a subtle manner.
Set in Chad, Daratt tells the story of a four-decade civil war, where a government’s amnesty to war criminals ignites a sixteen year old (Atim) to go in search of his father’s killer(s).
A beautifully-shot, spellbinding movie, Darrat is a fine piece of creative work that guarantees a second viewing after a first.