Over the years, the Carlow African Film Festival has consistently taken pride in elegantly showcasing the richness and diversity of Africa through cinema.
The Carlow African Film Festival which is the first and longest-running African Film Festival in Ireland was established in September 2005 by Ade Oke who was at the time the Presenter of The Rainbow Show, a multicultural program on KCLR 96FM.
Following the successful run of the first festival, a committee was established comprising, Mags Murphy, then Programme Coordinator with KCLR 96FM, Sinead Dowling, Arts Officer with Carlow County Council and David Donohue, Children Fiction Writer. This committee raised the profile of the Festival to what it is today.
Others such as Orla Ryan, Yuvi Basanth and Tony Hunt have also served on the committee of the festival.
The current and longest-serving committee is made up of Bayo Osho (Festival Director), Tomiwa Odumefun (Secretary), Eluk O’Rock (PR Secretary), Tselane Morabane, Kenny Lasaki, Ramsey Adegoke, Jolly O’Rock, Nthabi Ndawo, and Ade Oke
Every year, Carlow African Film provides an annual platform to celebrate the beauty and diversity of Africa through Film, honor excellence in African filmmaking and promote cultural interaction and integration in Ireland.
From inception, the festival has enjoyed tremendous support and sponsorship from the Carlow County Council, KCLR 96FM, Arts Council, Seven Oaks Hotel, Talbot Hotel, and other local businesses.
In 2008, the festival was declared Winner of Excellence in Embracing Diversity at the Carlow County Chamber Business Awards 2008 sponsored by Vodafone.
In 2009, the Festival welcomed Eastenders’ Actor, Rudolph Walker (Patrick Truman) as it’s Patron.
Each year, the Festival invites eminent African Actors and Film Makers to join in this great celebration.
The first guest to grace the Festival was South African Actor, Presley Chweneyagae who played the lead in Oscar award-winning movie, Tsotsi. Presley attended the Festival in 2006, the year the film won the Academy Award in the best foreign film category.
In 2007, Nigerian Actors, Jeta Amata, Mbong Odungide were Festival guests alongside South African Actress, Bonnie Henna and Oscar Award-winning Producer, Arthur Lappin.
Nollywood Anthony Monjaro was Festival guest in 2008 along with Uk/Nollywood Film Maker, Obi Emelonye and Cameroonian filmmaker, Florence Ayisi.
In 2009 the Festival played host to Nollywood Actor Desmond Elliot, Film Director Lancelot Imasuen, Eastenders’ Rudolph Walker (Festival Patron), Storyteller Mara Menzies and Kenyan’s Film Producer Susan Wamburi.
Nollywood Actor, Yemi Blaq & Film Director Lancelot Imasuen attended the 2010 edition of the Festival.
2011 saw Ghanaian Actress Nadia Buari & South African Actor Vusi Kunene attended the festival as the special guest of honor.
Celebrated Ghanaian actor, Van Vicker, Koby Maxwell and Film Producer Dr. Clarice Kulah from the States were the Festival guests in 2013.
In 2014 British/Nollywood Actor, Anthony Monjaro attended the festival a second time.
Nollywood Actor Frederick Leonard and South African Actress, Nozipho Nkelemba attended the Festival in 2015.
In 2016 renowned actress, Leleti Khumalo of Sarafina fame was festival guest alongside her husband.
FILMS SCREENED AT PREVIOUS FESTIVALS
Divine Love - Ghana
Tsotsi - South Africa
Kirikou and the Sorceress - France
The Boy Called Twist - South Africa
Night of Truth - Burkina Faso
Amazing Grace - Nigeria
Catch a Fire - South Africa
Moolaade - Senegal
U-Carmen - South Africa
London Successor- Nigeria
Days of Glory - Algeria
Azur and Asmar - Children Film
Confession of a Gambler - South Africa
Amandla- South Africa
Jerusalema - South Africa
Kirikou and the Wild beast - Children Film
Home in Exile - Nigeria
Soulboy - Kenya
Imani - Uganda
Backyard Shorts - Children Film - South Africa
First Grader - Kenya
Checkmate - Ghana
Legend of the Sky Kingdom - Zimbabwe
The White Wedding - South Africa
Paparazzi- Eye in the Dark - Ghana
Adventure of Zambezia - Children Film, South Africa
Khumba- Children Film, South Africa
The Goodman - Ireland/South Africa
After the Proposal - Nollywood
Deja Vu - Nigeria
The Forgotten Kingdom- Lesotho/ South Africa
Sarafina - South Africa
Half of a Yellow Sun - Nigeria
Mission Statement & Key Objectives
To celebrate and promote excellence in African Filmmaking by showcasing and honoring the best film works in Ireland.
The Carlow African Film Festival will endeavor to advance African Film in Ireland and strive to accord its pride of place in Irish culture.
- Showcase highly produced African films in Ireland.
- Support regular screening of African films in Irish Cinema.
- Honor best works in African Cinema.
- Establish links with other African Film Festivals around the world and identify conjoint opportunities by operating in partnership with all internal and external stakeholders.
- Employ the Festival as a means of promoting integration and cross-cultural understanding in Ireland.
- Foster links between African filmmakers and their Irish/European counterparts.
- Facilitate a forum for meaningful discussion in relation to the Development of African Cinema and participation of Africans in Irish Cinema in the future.
- To celebrate excellence in the African Cinema.
- To introduce African Culture to an Irish audience through film and dialogue.
- To create social awareness, integration and cross-cultural understanding.