• LocationAccra, Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Black Star International Film Festival

The festival aims to serve as a bridge between African Cinema and the world.

The problem we aim to solve:

Major gaps in industry within Ghana and the rest of Africa means that African Cinema is unable to compete favorably on the world stage.

The solution our project offers:

Festivals create the opportunities for industry to thrive. When industry thrives, jobs are created, cultural exchanges are enhanced, global corporation and investments happen, local tourism picks up, etc.

The impact our project had so far:

With over 3400 films submitted, the festival screened 40 films during the 2016 festival & over 70 countries participated

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About the project

Our mission

The Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF) is a Non-for profit Organization. The festival aims at working to close the gaps in the sector in the region, to serve as a bridge between African Cinema and the world and to create a global platform where filmmakers can learn, network, do business and celebrate their craft within an African context. Advocacy is also a strong focus of the festival. Our goal is to advocate for industry friendly policies within the region. The festival is focused on enhancing the business of film.

The challenge

Major gaps in industry within Ghana and the rest of Africa means that African Cinema is unable to compete favorably on the world stage. This has created a wide gap that not only affects the business of film, but also limits the ability of film to serve as a cultural diplomacy tool and job creator in a region that needs both these things desperately. Compounding the problem is the lack of advocacy agencies, and the lack of adequate policies and frameworks to address the above problems. In addition, Ghana does not have a credible International festival that provides the opportunities for solutions.

The Executive Director, Juliet Asante, speaking at a press conference

The goal

… of the festival is to work on closing the gaps, to create a bridge between filmmakers in the region and the world, which will lead to the exchange of cultures, create employment, enhance investments in the sector and generally improve the skill sets and opportunities within the sector in the region. We achieve this through advocacy and and the enabling platform of the festival itself.

The 2016 festival employed over 100 volunteers, part-time and full-time workers. Over 70 countries participated in the festival from almost every continent; leading to great networking and learning opportunities, cultural engagements and exchanges, as well as business opportunities for participants. The vibrant platform also served as a great boost to the local industry and its prospects and perception within the region.

Europe's attendance: Betty Sulty-Johnson, a panel guest from France and Andrea Morghen, a filmmaker from Italy
BSIFF volunteers 2016

“Ghana is a critical voice in the region. We continue to impact the industry in very interesting ways. The festival will serve as a rallying point to connect the dots …” — Juliet Asante, Executive Director

BSIFF’s impact so far …

  • Through our advocacy work, the government of Ghana agreed in principle to show Ghana films in all Ghana embassies worldwide, to serve as a way of cultural engagement with the world.
  • The Ghana Investment and promotion council, in consultation with the festival also made a commitment to explore ways of enhancing investment opportunities within the sector.
  • With over 3400 films submitted, the festival successfully screened 40 films during the 2016 festival, over a four-day period.
  • Over 70 countries participated in the festival
  • The festival created room for volunteers to learn, network and build their resumes. Temporal jobs were also created during the festival
  • There were a number of business opportunities arising from the festival. The key focus of the festival on the business of film meant that distributors were a key feature of the festival, leading to business opportunities for the filmmakers
  • Key stakeholders were engaged. These included government and the private sector
  • Some key industry issues were addressed during the panel sessions. This lead to a lot of learning and commitment from industry and other stakeholders to working to close those gaps
Betty Sulty-Johnson, representing one of the top distributors in Africa, poses with the star of 'Beasts Of No Nation' - Abraham Atta at the festival
Actor Elikem Kumordzie ('Silverain' 2014) posing with the Festival bag
Sarah Wechselberger, Festival Producer and Juliet Asante, Executive Director (2017)

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* Submit your film * Apply to be a partner of the festival * Be a sponsor at the main event * Donate Your pa…

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