University of Pittsburgh
November 2, 2005

Pitt Presents Contemporary Francophone African Film Festival

The Francophone African Film Series is the inaugural event for Bellefield Hall as the University's movie theater
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh will feature a film series Silence-on tourne: Cinemas of Francophone Africa, from Nov. 3 through 5 and 10 through 12 in Pitt's Bellefield Hall Auditorium, 345 S. Bellefield Ave., Oakland. All screenings begin at 7 p.m. and are free and open to the public. This is Bellefield Hall's premiere as the University venue for movies.

Nov. 3-5

The series opens today, Nov. 3, with Pièces d'identités (Congo/Belgium, 1998), directed by Mweze Ngaogura. Mani Kongo, the venerable king of the Bakongo, sets out on a quest for his long-lost daughter, Mwana, whom he sent to Belgium to study medicine many years before. The film won the first prize at FESPACO (International Festival of Pan-African Cinema) in 1999.

Tales of Ordinary People: Two of a Trilogy, directed by Djibril Diop Mambety, includes two 45-minute films to be shown Nov. 4. The first, Le Franc (Senegal 1994), is about Marigo, a penniless musician living in a shantytown, who is relentlessly harassed by his formidable landlady. He survives only through dreams of playing his congoma, a kind of guitar. The second, La Petite Vendeuse du soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun), (Senegal/Switzerland, 1999) is the story of a penniless but persistent paraplegic girl who symbolizes an Africa that refuses to give in to the handicaps imposed by international finance. It was named one of the 10 best films of 2000 by the Village Voice.

Abouna (Chad/France, 2002), directed by Mahamet Saleh Haroun and shown Nov. 5, is the final film for the weekend. In N'Djamena, the dry, dusty capital of Chad, an errant father abandons his family. When he fails to show up to referee their soccer match, 15-year-old Tahir and his youngest brother set out to look for him.

Nov. 10-12

The final weekend of the series begins Nov. 10 with Inch Allah Dimanche (Algeria/France, 2001), directed by Yamina Benguigui. The film is a portrait of an Arab woman's initiation into French provincial life in the mid-1970s.

Viva Laldjérie (Algeria/Belgium/France, 2003), directed by Nadir Moknéche and shown Nov. 11, explores the lives of three women in Algiers as they manage to get by despite their daily difficulties. Viva Laldjérie highlights the tensions between modern and traditional society in a country emerging from civil war and dominated by men.

The final film for the series, shown Nov. 12, is Les Suspects (Algeria/Belgium, 2004), directed by Kamal Dehane. Mahfoud is a young professor at a technical school in Algiers. With his technical and computer knowledge, he renovates an old weaving loom that he plans to show at an international inventor's convention in Germany. His travel plans, though, are frustrated by administrative obstacles. The film is based on the 1995 novel Les Vigiles by Tahar Djaout.

The series is sponsored by Pitt's Arts and Sciences Office of the Dean, Departments of French and Italian Languages and Literatures and Africana Studies, and the Film Studies and Cultural Studies Programs. For more information, call 412-624-5220 or visit