Aside from the long-feature film competition, the Luxor African Film Festival included other competitions which brought dozens of films from all over the continent, in different forms, long features, documentaries, and shorts.
In the long documentary films competition, 10 films were screened. The first was Boxing Libreville. It follows Christ, a young boxer who trains tirelessly during the day, and at night he becomes a watchman at a discotheque. At the same time, another fight is played, or replayed–that of the presidential elections. But the question remains whether there is hope for a democratic transition.
In the Egyptian film Dreamaway, it has not been long since rich tourists from around the world stayed in the luxury hotels of Sharm El-Sheikh. But the Arab Spring and the confusion of the post-revolutionary period quickly robbed the city of its charm as a go-to summer resort. Saturated with elements of surreal fiction, this documentary takes us into a shimmering city of ghosts to visit its last inhabitants–the employees who feverishly dream throughout the abandoned hotel suites.
As for Fiifiire in Cuballo Country, it follows a character which belongs to traditional fishing people of the Senegal River Valley, whose family has always chased crocodiles and hippos from the river using mystical formulas. Today, with the impact of the climate change due to global warming, crocodiles have disappeared, leaving behind fishermen and a river with hardly any fish to catch.
In the Libyan-British production Freedom Fields, the film takes place in post-revolution Libya, where a group of women are brought together by one dream to play football for their nation. But as the country descends into civil war, and the utopian hopes of the Arab Spring begin to fade, can they realise their dream?
In the Malian film, Gao, Resistance of a people, we see how in 2012 northern Mali was occupied by various armed groups who want to secede from the rest of the country and impose Sharia Law. In Gao, the historic capital of the north, the resistance against the occupation is organised by groups of young people, who undertake the task to protect their families and liberate the city.
Another film, Lost Warrior, follows a former Al-Shabaab-member, Mohammed, who was recruited at a young age by the terror organisation in England. After finding out what the group was really about, he deserted Al-Shabaab and lived underground in Mogadishu without any papers. He wants to escape to Somalia and unite with his young wife and son back in England before Al-Shabaab finds him and kills him.
The Senegalese film, Migrants, talks about Senegalese migrants who are estimated to be 1 million, many of whom are illegal migrants. Although they have been living in Europe for years, they are being hunted and deported. That is what the main character, Tcheky, has experienced. But he died before starting to shoot the film. His death was filled with emotions and riddles. Why do they not want to return to their home country?
In the South African film, Whispering Truth To Power, the director documents the last year in the work of the Public Protector in South Africa. In a country raging with corruption and ever-increasing economic inequalities, Thuli Madonsela is the only hope for the country’s poorest citizens. Before the end of her term, she manages to successfully accuse the incumbent president of embezzlement of public funds and start a battle against another corrupt system at the highest echelons of power.