Created over a weekend at the Durban International Film Festival in July 2018 Film Festival Film by the Medu African Film Ensemble takes as its narrative the navigation of the strange landscape of a film festival as seen through the eyes of Fanon a black female filmmaker. Shot in both a fiction and documentary style the viewer meets Fanon as she tackles with what she believes the film industry expects her to be preparing to present the concept of her first film which glimpses into the life of Marike de Klerk the wife of apartheid’s last president.
The film takes on an interesting tone by exploring both voices and apparitions in Fanon’s mind which is visually depicted as Academy and Emmy award winners giving advice straight into camera. Posing as a documentary film crew seen in fragments of conversations relating to questions of racism and hyper-capitalism is team Film Festival Film. The group equally question what constitutes a “good film” and who has the power to call such verdicts.
A blended image is presented that shifts between behind the scenes to front of scene. Theory becomes practice.
It becomes unfamiliar to the viewer who is in control thereby disrupting the standard way of approaching filmmaking. Turning the mirror onto itself, this film is about film festivals, made at a film festival and is deliberately against the grain. The film has been chosen for a world premiere in a major international film festival, the Berlin International Film Festival.
“We would like to follow her through this world, shooting, recording, taking photos, and simply being as the subversive presence we are as a group of young Africans just making movies. In so doing we will be creating an archive, a record, and filling in a gap in the worlds point of view, a blind spot in the cultural vantage point that doesn’t notice that while it’s looking at Fanon, she is looking back,” states the ensemble on their kickstarter page.
With an organic and improvisational method of working Medu African Film Ensemble’s record will reveal itself through their working methods and has the possibility of taking on many shapes. “Our intention to provoke audiences and industry into seeing themselves more clearly by stepping out of the frame, getting a little meta, crossing some lines and mocking self-proclaimed authority.”