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Elevating African Cinema at Cannes
Elevating African Cinema at Cannes

Karine Barclais, the organizer behind Pavillon Afriques, is advocating for a stronger African presence at the Cannes Film Festival through an expanded pavilion in the International Village. She highlights the need for filmmakers to submit their films to the festival. "If each African country submits five films yearly, breakthroughs will follow," Barclais noted.

Pavillon Afriques, a 100 square-meter space in the International Village, represents ten Sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Film Commission. "I aim to have the same countries returning each year," Barclais explained. "Obtaining a pavilion is challenging due to limited space; a country must decide not to come."

Pavillon Afriques debuted in 2019 after Saudi Arabia vacated its space, with this year’s spot costing $90,000 out of a $500,000 budget. Initially funded privately, this year’s pavilion is sponsored by RedTV, a broadcaster based in Nigeria. Barclais is eager for African filmmakers and executives to come to Cannes, enhancing the profile of Sub-Saharan Africa’s film industry. "I want African professionals to empower themselves, invest in the pavilion’s financing, and bring their local media."

Highlighted Program Events

The 2024 program included a panel on international co-productions on May 20th, featuring speakers like Oumar Sall and Sébastien Onomo, and a screening of "Nine" by Chris Attoh from Ghana-USA with a Q&A session featuring the director and cast.