Prominent Gambian film scholar and director, Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu has recorded another milestone in his patriotic mission of securing The Gambia’s place on the global film map. This development follows the admission of his high-impact Sanxaanu Kaggoro Film Kaffo (SANXAAFI) into the membership of the Federation of Pan African Filmmakers, FEPACI.
In a welcoming message to Prince Sankanu on the 11 June 2016, the Executive Director of FEPACI Jane Murago Munene tells him “We are pleased that you have chosen to join our organization. We are also eager to get to know you, to support you in your professional endeavors to work towards our mission of empowering the film practitioner with the right and capacity to make and exhibit films. To realize a competent and competitive economy where the film practitioner’s right to the creation of story is engendered and entrenched by the existence of a stable and viable cultural audiovisual and cinema industry. FEPACI is your organization. So I, personally, encourage you to take full advantage of your benefits as a member.”
FEPACI is the oldest and leading African continental collective bargaining group for filmmakers. It was founded in 1969 by the late Ousmane Sembène (1923-2007), the Father of African cinema and the first generation of postcolonial African Cinema practitioners. FEPACI has from its inception been the continental voice of filmmakers from various regions of Africa and the Diaspora, working with its affiliate national bodies and membership to leverage policies and actions, programmes and projects for the development and enhancement of an enabling environment and infrastructure for all dimensions of filmmaking and the audiovisual media in Africa by Africans.
“I am proudly that I am doing my part in keeping the legacies of the pioneers of African film through the respectable FEPACI network.” Sankanu tells this medium.
The Sanxaanu Kaggoro Film Kaffo (SANXAAFI) is the first registered Gambian film organization to secure the membership of FEPACI currently based in Nairobi, Kenya. SANXAAFI is the parent body of the Gambia’s premiere international professional film festival called the CineKambiya International Film Festival (CIFF). The maiden edition of CIFF took place between the 26 December 2015 and 03 January 2016 at the Global Hands Manduar Development Hub in Manduar village, West Coast Region. The second edition covered the 20 and 26 May 2016 with key innovative strands namely, rural screenings at the Alkawsara Community, Sami Karantaba Tenda, Central River Region; presentation of nominees for the Pan African Screen Awards (PASA); European Film Night and tribute to Papa Wemba held at the Alliance Française in Kanifing and, the launching of the roving global exhibition on the “Third World in The Second World War” at the Rock Garden Apartments in Kerr Sering with The Gambia as the first African host.
Prince Sankanu who is currently working on the third edition of CIFF as well as other film industry projects, said he is “fulfilled by the fact that reasonable people know I am doing the right things for my profession, our Gambia, Africa and humanity. Alas, the relevant entities across Africa and the world are gradually backing my pioneering work.
He expresses his gratitude to the “sincere people who ignored the idle gossips and decided to join me for common nation-building in our creative CineKambiya Film Industry regardless of diverse political, ethnic, regional, economic and religious affiliations. Thank you my host actress Fatim Camara, SANXAAFI Managers Muhammed Sinera, Olufemi George Taiwo and L. Badjie, the official CIFF paparazzi Ansumana Darboe, cinematographer Francis Alfonso, film director Mohammed L Touray of Action Aid/UTG Socio-Historical Fact-Finders, Dr. Momodou Sallah and the Global Hands family both in the Gambia and the UK, the Alikalo and people of Manduar village, the Director General Baba Ceesay and his team of the National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC), AFB Director Claude Poggioli and the Alliance Franco Gambienne staff, Bafoday Sisawo Mbacke and the Alkawsara community, Wittus Nganjui of Kupe TV, Germany, the media houses that are covering my activities and a host of others.”
The global network of SANXAAFI and CineKambiya International Film Festival (CIFF) is growing rapidly with partners in Germany, the United Kingdom, China, Brazil, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Liberia, Cameroon, Tunisia, USA, Holland, Spain, Poland, Italy, Turkey, Belgium, Sweden and counting.