Cascade Festival of African Films dedicates 24th year to Mandela

Portland Community College’s 24th Cascade Festival of African Films is set to bring 19 films and two African directors to Portland in February.

The longest-running annual African film festival in the United States is set to entertain and inform from Jan. 31 through March 1. The festival, which is free and open to the public, shows films ranging from full-length features to documentaries and short films. More than 5,000 people attend the festival annually. Each night’s screening is followed by a discussion led by individuals with expert knowledge of the region shown in that evening’s film.

“The films celebrate Africa’s achievements, expose Africa’s failures, and reveal the possibilities for change and a more hopeful future,” said Tara Foster, film festival coordinator. “They show us pictures of Africa through the eyes of Africans, rather than a vision of Africa that is packaged primarily for western viewers.”

All films will be shown in the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building Auditorium, Cascade Campus (705 N. Killingsworth St.) with opening night festivities on Friday, Jan. 31 to be held at the Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd.). Feature films are on Friday and Saturday evenings (most features are also screened on Thursday afternoons) and documentaries are shown on Thursday evenings. Special matinees are to be held the afternoons of Saturday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 22.

This year’s event is dedicated to the memory of South Africa’s first black democratically elected president Nelson Mandela, who died on Dec. 5. On Thursday, Feb. 20, the festival will screen “Dear Mandela” at 7 p.m. This documentary addresses Mandela’s “unbreakable promise,” an ambitious plan to ensure housing for all. In 2012, when their shantytowns are threatened with mass eviction, three young South African activists take their government to the highest court in the land, putting the promise of democracy to the test.

This year’s films cover a wide range of themes and topics.

For a complete schedule and additional information click here.
(Announcement text and photo courtesy of PCC.)

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