The Varsity Film Expo winners have been announced in an glamorous event held at the Molapo Showcase in Botswana’s capital city Gaborone from 15-17 December 2022. Held under the theme, “Africa Animating SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals)” saw a total of 600 entries and the best films were selected based on the criterion to best on adherence to theme, creativity, production values and aesthetic appeal.
The Varsity Film Expo, is an annual event for emerging content creators in ‘varsity’. The event which celebrates film and filmmaking at universities features film screenings, speaking sessions, workshops, exhibitions and awards for outstanding productions. The expo program is tailored to satisfy the needs and tastes of young and emerging filmmakers although it’s open to other attendees.
The theme supports the UN 2030 Global goals and Sustainable Development Goals for a better world. The theme is also in line with Agenda 2063, Africa’s master plan to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth and development by the year 2063. Film is a powerful and effective medium for raising awareness and motivating community action towards Sustainable Development Goals. The Varsity Film Expo puts critical SDG issues in the limelight and stimulates conversations and dialogue around them.
The guest of honour, Angelique Saverino, Director of Alliance Francaise underscored the power film has to influence action towards sustainable development.
‘Film can be a tool for social, cultural and economic emancipation. It can be an economic pathway for young African filmmakers. According to the 2021 UNESCO report, ‘The African Film Industry: Trends, Challenges and Opportunities for Growth’ citing the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), the film industry generates US$5 billion in annual revenue against a potential US$20 billion.’
Saverino also appealed to African governments and other stakeholders to support Pan-African content.
‘What percentage of the content currently watched on platforms such as Netflix, Showmax and Apple TV is African in the sense of its origin and production? The cultural production of any given society feeds into its own self-concept. African film making provides Africa with a chance to counter the ages old dark continent narratives. There is need for African stakeholders to be intentional about the representation of the continent’s people and their potential. I urge African governments to prioritise financial investment in film production and distribution.’ Said Angelique Saverino
Other Speakers who participated in the Varsity Film Expo included film mavens such as Adze Ugah, Berry Lwando, Chike Nwoffiah, Memory Kumbota, Ona Ranyere, Lebogang Mpofu, Percy Soko and Sipho Hlalele to mention but a few. South Africa based Adze Ugah, best known for his seminal directorial feats on Isabaya, Zome 14, House of Zwide and lately Shaka uLembe, spoke about the need to shape a positive African Narrative in our films. The title of his presentation was ‘Making films for Africa.’ Berry Lwando from Zambia’s Multichoice Talent Factory spoke about the need to build a Film ecosystem for Africa so as to make the industry sustainable. Chike Nwoffiah from the Africa Silicon Valley Film Festival spoke firstly about positive representation of African identity in African filmand about how to create marketable content. A visual arts exhibition titled ‘Animating the Canvas’ was also on show at Molapo Theatre as part of the Varsity Film expo. It was curated by Fisani Nkomo from Zimbabwe & Thabo Kgatlwane from Botswana.
Meanwhile the organisers of the Varsity Film Expo in Botswana, Fumani Tekere highlighted the the importance of creating synergies as African filmmakers and thanked everyone for their participation.
‘We are indebted to the support we got from all the participants. We had high-profile speakers who gave us their time voluntarily because of the faith they have in the vision. We need to forge synergies that facilitate co-productions and collaborations with creatives within the continent’, saiTekere
For his part, The founder and CEO of Varsity Film Expo Kudzai Chikomo expounded on the vision and theme for this year’s expo.
‘The overarching vision of the expo is a critical mass of audacious young filmmakers across the African continent. One production house is not enough to fundamentally impact the sector and neither is one country doing it alone. We therefore need programs, initiatives and platforms to help galvanise young talent to enter into the sector which is essentially part of the knowledge economy. I also realise that collaborative effort is a key foundational principle of the film enterprise.’
‘Africa is on the rise. It is the world’s fastest-growing continent in terms of Gross Domestic Product and has 10 of the world’s fastest-growing economies as noted by Africa No Filter in a recent report. The internet and mobile market is booming in Africa creating huge opportunities for the creative and digital economy. According to a recent report by UNESCO, film has the potential to generate over 20 million jobs and contribute US$ 20 billion to Africa’s combined GDP.
Africa has one of the fastest-growing higher education sectors in the world. Young people are the opportunity for Africa’s makeover. Currently, there are 9 million students enrolled in African universities according to UNESCO statistics. These students’ creativity and innovation can be harnessed to motivate positive transformation in Africa. Africa also holds a record for the highest youth population in the world. Young people are the biggest drivers of new media and technology and this makes them the ideal vehicle to spread the message on sustainable development for Africa,’ said Chikomo
Varsity Film Expo 2022 Announces Award Winners,
BEST 2D ANIMATION
Follow the Lemming
Directed by Sean Stroud
BEST 2D ANIMATION 1ST RUNNER UP
Directed by ahmed al-haddad
BEST 2D ANIMATION 2ND RUNNER UP
Directed by Kawtar Waddi
BEST 3D ANIMATION
Directed by JOSEPH DUKE, TUNDE OLUWA
BEST 3D ANIMATION 1ST RUNNER UP
Directed by IMAD Ghadjetti
BEST 3D ANIMATION 1ST RUNNER UP
The day santa came to Africa
Directed by Leonel Jason Fowdar
Directed by Kelvin Macharia
BEST STOP MOTION
Directed by Adeoye Adebayo Adetunji
BEST STOP MOTION 1ST RUNNER UP
Directed by Issam Taachit
BEST STOP MOTION 2ND RUNNER UP
The Red Fish
Directed by Bassem Ben Brahim
BEST LIVE ACTION
Directed by Ally Hajji Simai
BEST LIVE ACTION 1ST RUNNER UP
Oumou, destiny ripped
Directed by Gaoussou Tangara
BEST LIVE ACTION 2ND RUNNER UP
Directors Yahia Tag El-din, Mohamed Ezz
BEST MIXED MEDIA ANIMATION
Just a show
Directed by Mustapha Bengh