TICAD7 Official Side Event
African Film Across Borders:
Building New Bridges of Cooperation
“The Mercy of the Jungle” Special Screening & Symposium

African film across borders building new bridge of cooperation Symposium with Special Screening of ”The Mercy of the Jungle” August 28, 2019 THU Venue Yokohama Burg 13 (Scr.6)

The Japan Foundation, in collaboration with Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), will host a symposium on African films with attendance of filmmakers and film festival directors who have expertise and profound knowledge of film scenes in Africa. The symposium will be held following a special screening of an African film. This is an official side event of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) which is held in Yokohama from August 28 to 30, 2019.

“THE MERCY OF THE JUNGLE” (Directed by Joel Karekezi, France/Belgium/Ruwanda, 91minutes), the winner of the biggest film festival in Africa, 2019 Pan-Africa Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso will be screened for the first time in Japan. The symposium titled “African Film Across Borders: Building New Bridges of Cooperation” will invite filmmakers and experts including the producer of “THE MERCY OF THE JUNGLE” to explore the possible collaboration between Japan and Africa through films.

Event Information

Date & Time Thursday, August 29, 2019
6:30 p.m. – 9:35 p.m. (Doors open at 6:00 p.m.)
Venue Yokohama Burg 13 Screen 6
6th Floor, Colette Mare 1-1-7 Sakuragi-cho, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa
- 1 minute walk from Sakuragicho Station on JR Keihin-Tohoku / Negishi Line;
- 2 minutes’ walk from Sakuragicho Station on Yokohama Municipal Subway; or
- 7 minutes’ walk from Minatomirai Station on Minato Mirai Line.
6:00 p.m.
Doors open
6:30 p.m.
Opening remarks
6:45 p.m.
Special Screening “THE MERCY OF THE JUNGLE”
8:25 p.m.
Symposium “African Film Across Borders: Building New Bridges of Cooperation”
9:35 p.m.

Speakers (alphabetical order by surname):

  • Aurélien Bodinaux (Producer of “THE MERCY OF THE JUNGLE”)
  • Fidelis Duker (Founder/Festival Director of Abuja International Film Festival)
  • Naomi Kawase (Filmmaker)
  • Anthony Krause (Chief of the Policy and Research Unit in the Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, UNESCO)
  • Hisashi Okajima (Director, National Film Archive of Japan)
  • Ardiouma Soma (Director-General, Pan-Africa Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou)
  • Miho Yoshida (Director, Cinema Africa)
Languages Film: French and Swahili (Japanese and English subtitle)
Symposium: Japanese, English and French (Japanese-English & Japanese-French simultaneous interpretation)
Organizers The Japan Foundation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UNESCO

Supporter Cinema Africa

Registration Online registration is essential. Free admission.
Registration page:https://eventregist.com/e/africa
*Closed: All seats are filled.




In 1998 at the outbreak of the Second Congo War, Rwandan soldier Sergeant Xavier and young private Faustin are accidentally left behind in the jungle. They try to catch up, but wander in a dense and dark forest. If the two men can get out of the dangerous jungle and join up with the main unit, while fighting against a fear of being attacked by enemies, hunger, tiredness and loneliness. With only each other to count on, they embark on an odyssey across the most violent forest on earth, facing the depths of their own war-torn souls.

The film won the Best Film Award (Etalon d’Or de Yennenga) at Africa’s biennale international film festival, Fespaco (the acronym in French of the Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou) in 2019. Official selection of Toronto International Film Festival (2018) and Chicago International Film Festival (2018).

2018, 91 minutes, French and Swahili
Director: Joel Karekezi Producer: Aurélien Bodinaux
Cast: Marc Zinga, Stéphane Bak


With the penetration of digital technologies, Africa’s film industry is experiencing a profound transformation and catching the world’s attention―“Nollywood” (a term referring to Nigerian film industry) produces over 2,000 films every year. Pan-African Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (Fespaco) which celebrated the 50th anniversary in February 2019, invited films from all over Africa having 434 screenings in 8 days. French-Senegalese director Mati Diop’s “Atlantics” was awarded the grand prix at 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

We are also witnessing a new era, with the emergence in Africa of a new generation of filmmakers, social shift, and economical progress. In May 2019, the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement (AfCFTA) came into force, and it is expected that AfCFTA should help to lift internal trade barriers and facilitate mobility of people. This will perhaps have impact on film industry bringing filmmaking technologies and talents to cross borders and fostering film culture in the continent.

The symposium invites filmmakers and experts of African films to share ideas and insights on challenges and opportunities of film industry in Africa. It aims to explore the possibility of building new bridges of cooperation among Japan, Europe and Africa in film

Speakers’ Profile (alphabetical order by last name)

Aurélien Bodinaux (Producer, “The Mercy of the Jungle”)

Photo of Aurélien Bodinaux

Bodinaux was born and raised in Belgium. After graduating from the Superior National Institute of Performing Arts (INSAS) he obtains a Master in Fine Arts in Films at the University of New Orleans U.S.A. In 2002, he created an independent production company: Neon Rouge Production and has developed, produced and directed documentaries and fiction films. He focuses on world cinema and Africa in particular. He is a member of AFRICADOC and also on the board of the Selection Committee for the Film Commission of Belgium. Aurélien also frequently works as an expert and tutor for different international training programs.

Fidelis Duker (Founder/Festival Director, Abuja International Film Festival)

Photo of Fidelis Duker

Duker is one of Nigeria’s foremost filmmakers, who has written, produced or directed over 80 different motion picture content in his over 25 years as a creative entrepreneur. His works have won a number of film awards. Duker is a former President of the Directors Guild of Nigeria and currently the Regional Secretary General of the Federation of Pan African Filmmakers (FEPACI). He is also a former President of the Africa Festival Network and the founder of the Abja International Film Festival which has been running for 16 years.

Naomi Kawase (Filmmaker)

Photo of Naomi Kawase
Photo by Leslie Kee

Kawase is a filmmaker based in Nara, where she was born and raised. She has won international recognition through her films such as “Suzaku,” “Mourning Forest,” “Still the Water,” “Sweet Bean,” “Radiance,” and “Vision.” Aside from being a filmmaker, she founded the Nara International Film Festival, dedicated to promoting the work of young directors. Kawase has been appointed to direct the official film of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Her latest work “Asa ga Kuru (朝が来る)” is scheduled to be released in 2020.

Anthony Krause (Chief of the Policy and Research Unit in the Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, UNESCO)

Photo of Anthony Krause

Krause coordinates capacity development programs for creative sectors, as well as the Global Report “Re-Shaping Cultural Policies” series as Chief of the Policy and Research at UNESCO. He was Executive Officer in the Office of the Director-General (2003-2009), then became Chief of the Culture Unit in the Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, responsible for the cultural cooperation programs in South-East Europe (2009-2013). Previously, he was Assistant Professor in contemporary history at the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO, Paris) where he earned a PhD in contemporary history. He is also a former fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (Budapest Collegium, Hungary).

Hisashi Okajima (Director, National Film Archive of Japan)

Photo of Hisashi Okajima
(c) Pamela Gentile

Okajima’s academic research is focused on the history of cinema and film preservation. In 1979, Okajima became a staff member of the National Film Center (NFC), the only national film institution in Japan. In 2005, he was appointed to Chief Curator, the head of NFC. Okajima was the 12th President of the International Federation of Film Archives (FIAF) from 2009-2011, and in 2016, he received the Jean Mitry Award in Pordenone, Italy. In 2017, he assumed the position of Adviser at NFC and became Director of National Film Archive of Japan in 2018.

Ardiouma Soma (Director-General, Pan-Africa Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO))

Photo of Ardiouma Soma

Soma graduated in Communication, Cinema & Audio-Visual from the University of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Paris 1, Pantheon Sorbonne University in France. Since 1988 Soma has been responsible for film programming at Fespaco. In 2014, he became the Director General. Soma served at the Ministry of Culture and tourism as General Director of Cinema and Audio-Visual from 2012 until 2014. He also contributed to promoting copyright in Burkina Faso with the Copyright Office (BBDA) from 2008 until 2014.

Miho Yoshida (Director, Cinema Africa)

Photo of Miho Yoshida

Born in Tokyo, Yoshida earned MA in African studies at Tokyo Metropolitan University. Yoshida conducted a fieldwork in Kenya in 1998, and since then she has been visiting various places in Africa and introducing local stories and culture to Japanese people. After working for African Documentary by Tokyo African Film Festival in 2003, she became fascinated by African films, and in 2006, she established Cinema Africa. Yoshida coordinated “Africa Views,” a special section with a focus on African films at Yamagata International Documentary Festival in 2017.

[Contact Us]

The Japan Foundation
Film and Broadcast Media Dept.
Staff in Charge: Kondo (Ms.) and Inoue (Mr.)
Tel: +81-(0)3-5369-6064
E-mail: ticad7_film@jpf.go.jp
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