The Born of the DjarFogo International Film Festival
The history of film festivals dates back as early as the 1930s. Today, there are thousands of film festivals around the world. As Hollywood and commercial film began to gain notoriety in the 1920s, the first film societies began to sprout up. These societies helped fuel the creation of film festivals. One of the world's oldest and most well-known film festivals is the Cannes film festival, which began in 1939.
Although some film festivals are well known, such as the Tribeca, Toronto, Berlin, Cannes, and Sundance, most are small and go unknown to the rest of the world. However, Cape Verde only has two active film festivals and a unique international film, DjarFogo International Film Festival.
The DjarFogo International Film Festival was founded in 2019 by award-winning filmmaker and film and visual media professor Guenny K. Pires and Txan Film Productions & Visual Arts members, which brings hundreds of films and filmmakers to Cape Verde annually. It is a seven-day film and culture celebration event held on the island of Santiago and Fogo, Cape Verde, from November 6 to 12, 2023. It incorporates an International Film Festival, Visual Media Education, and Academic and Cultural Exchange to improve the historical and cultural relationship between the archipelago of Cape Verde, Africa, and the Diaspora, including Europe, C.P.L.P., Canada, the United States, and Global South.
DIFF has its headquarters in Los Angeles and Cape Verde Islands. Our five-year plan is to create the first Cape Verdean International Film School to educate disadvantaged young Africans in visual arts and Cinema, thus contributing to reducing poverty, appreciating African culture, and promoting tourism in the country.
DIFF is a nonprofit with a fiscal sponsor, "Creative Visions Foundation," a 501© 3 organization based in Malibu, California, U.S.A. All contributions to the DIFF are tax-deductible, and the Employer ID number IS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST.
DIFF MISSION STATEMENT
DIFF's mission works tirelessly toward developing, exposing, and celebrating Cape Verdean culture and the entire Africa and Diaspora.
DIFF VISION STATEMENT
Inspire disadvantaged young to African Cinema, visual arts, and world cinema.
Introduce and train students in all forms of filmmaking, including documentaries, feature and short films, and scripted and unscripted T.V. programs.
Raise monetary funds to support filmmakers from Africa and boost Cape Verde's production, increasing Fogo's business and employment opportunities.
Pay tribute to local and Diaspora actors and personalities who used the power of visual storytelling and arts to evoke positive social reform.
Bring filmmakers, distributors, T.V. program buyers, journalists, producers, and aspiring film students across the globe.
Creating bonds of friendship with Cape Verde and Diaspora to increase cultural exchanges between the various personalities and professionals at the event.
In addition, DIFF intends to promote the island of Fogo as part of the World Biosphere Reserve approved by UNESCO in 2020. We also have a sizeable cultural program and produce short films on traditional medicine, coffee, wine, music, dances, and local elderly stories.
Every culture has its own stories and narratives, shared as entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and enlightenment of moral values. Storytelling is the artistic expression of humanity, and each story opens a window into the community to which it belongs.
DIFF 2023 PROGRAM HIGHLIGHT
The program includes a welcoming by Cape Verdean authorities, Cultural Animation, Opening Night, Africa Film Lab/Filmmaking Mentorship, Cape Verde Film Market, Africa Fashion Show, a film screenings competition, workshops, and filmmaking classes for Cape Verdean students and filmmakers. We aim to give them a voice and means to express themselves creatively through Film. We offer filmmakers opportunities to connect with distributors and investors and provide a free online filmmaking teaching program for students from 1st to 12th grades and Universities. DIFF also helps increase film production locally and allows filmmakers from African nations and female minorities directors to share their stories worldwide.
Since 2021 DIFF has been a public utility event recognized by His Excellency Mr. Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Mr. José Ulisses Correia e Silva. It received several honorable mentions, including former and current Presidents of the Republic of Cape Verde, His Excellency Mr. Commander Pedro Pires, Mr. Jorge Carlos Fonseca, and Jose Maria Neves, Amilcar Cabral Foundation, Olof Palam International Center, Pan African Film & Arts Festival, Fespaco, Pavilion Afrique's Cannes Film Festival, to name a few.
CAPE VERDE FILM MARKET
DIFF23 will continue to provide an opportunity to form co-production through Cape Verde Film Market created to serve Africa, including Diaspora, Cape Verde islands, and C.P.L.P. It aims to provide distribution and co-production opportunities for all, including national, African, and Diaspora filmmakers. The event expects to receive experts from several international film markets, mainly Durban FilmMart, European Film Market, and American Film Market.
THE AFRICA FILM LAB / FILMMAKING MENTORSHIP
DIFF22 founded the Africa Film Lab/Filmmaking Mentorship (A.F.L.F.M.) to honor Rigoberto Lopez's filmmaking legacy. It is a mastery training program created for youth and industry professionals directed and instructed by African and international industry specialists, professors, and film mentors. The program will cover all diverse aspects of the visual storytelling of filmmaking, from development to distribution. It seeks to furnish African and Diaspora filmmakers with classic crafts and wisdom, allowing them to tell and share their stories more effectively.
The classes are both theoretical and practical, and by the end of 2023, up to 150 participants will have had the chance to comprehend and put their crafts into practice on actual film stages. DIFF member advisors will trust these candidates and their films, and they will be screening at the 3rd edition of DIFF and foremost international film festivals worldwide. A.F.L.F.M. will occur in several cities and countries in February and March in Los Angeles, April, and May in Morocco, June in Guinea-Bissau, and Agosto in Cape Verde before the date of DIFF.
DIFF 23 OPENING NOVEMBER 6, 2023 – SANTIAGO
DIFF intends to bring over one hundred guests, including filmmakers, producers, experts, students, and film mentors. It encourages local filmmakers, artists, national cultural agents, universities, museums, high and middle schools, and others to be part of the 3rd edition and mobilize the entire archipelago, the African continent, and the Diaspora to embrace and celebrate one week of Cinema in Cape Verde.
The 3rd edition of the DIFF 23 opening ceremony will start at 5 pm in Praia, Cape Verde. It follows a unique cultural animation, African Fashion Show, and welcoming to filmmakers and guests by Cape Verdean authorities.
DIFF 2023 WILL CELEBRATE FOGO CULTURE AND HISTORY
FROM NOVEMBER 8 TO 12
HOMAGE TO AFRICAN AND DIASPORA FILMMAKERS
DIFF 23 will pay a special homage to Sarah Maldoror; was a French filmmaker of French West Indies descent. Follow a special screening of her Film Sambizanga on the 1961–1974 war in Angola.
Cuba Cinema will receive special recognition. DIFF 23 will screen some films by Cuban filmmaker Gloria Victoria Rolando.
David Massey, a Cape Verdean descendant and Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member will be honored at the DIFF 23. He is the first African American Filmmaker ever Oscar®-Nominated for "Best Live Action Short Film" (for 1992's "Last Breeze of Summer," which he Produced.)
Several local, African, and international filmmakers, including activists, sports figures, and world leaders, will be honored at the 3rd of the DIFF.
DIFF23 designed a program for students focused on short films produced by four film clubs created in DIFF22.
DIFF23 expects to receive more than 1,700 films worldwide and select 125 movies, and only 20 will compete for ten awards.
DIFF23 aims to teach and train over 1500 students from the islands, Diaspora, and the rest of the world. DIFF23 intends to teach 100 workshops, 55 masterclasses, and several free online lectures and record more than 400 hours of footage, double the 200 hours recorded in 2022. It will allow the production of short films celebrating the History and Culture of Fogo, including traditional medicine, coffee, wine, music, dances, and local stories.
DIFF23 aims to reach more than 80,000 viewers locally and more than 2,000,000 viewers from the Diaspora via live streaming, making it one of the most relevant cinema events in the country and entire West Africa.
DIFF23 aims to promote and help to sell an exhibition of local and archipelago visual artists' works.
DIFF will promote academic and cultural exchange experiences by hosting films, filmmakers, students, and professors from Worldwide. We focus on students and professors from Boston Public Schools, Mount Saint Mary's University, Sonja H. Stone Center for Black Culture and History, U.N.C., the University of Santiago, University of Cape Verde, Lusophone University, Atlantic Technical University, and the all-High Schools of Cape Verde.