In the past ten years, the people of Sierra Leone have worked hard to recover from the decade-long civil war that left the country in ruins. One of the most promising signs of recovery and revitalization in the country is its blossoming film industry. This year, the country hosted its first international film festival from March 29-April 3. Not only did the festival celebrate the growing number of local filmmakers, but it introduced members of the Sierra Leone film community to those working on an international scale with hopes that large investors and film companies would support the fledgling industry.
The festival’s opening film was titled “Stories from Lakka Beach,” a documentary that followed a fisherman, a restaurant owner, a carver, an inspiring rapper and a local politician living on the beach that boarders the Atlantic Ocean. The film’s director, Daan Veldhuizen, won the American Cinematographer Magazine Award for cinematography at the 2012 Salem Film Festival.
Sierra Leone is not the only African nation to host its own film festival. The largest today is the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou, which is held every two years in Burkina Faso. Nigeria holds the Eko international film festival along with smaller festivals in other cities. Each year Guinea hosts The Papua New Guinea Human Rights Film Festival.
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