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Filmmaker Sembene Dies

Ousmane Sembene

Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembene has died. He was 84.
Sembene was regarded as one of the pioneers of African cinema, and has won prizes for his work at the Cannes Film Festival, for Moolaade in 2004, and the Venice Film Festival for The Camp of Thiaroye in 1988.
He was also a prolific author and a co-founder of the Panafrican festival of film and television.
Former Senegalese president Abdlu Diouf credited Sembene as one of Africa's "greatest filmmakers" and a "fervent defender of liberty and social justice".
A tribute from the Malian Culture Minister Cheick Oumar Sissoko, himself a filmmaker and a friend of Sembene, added, "African cinema has lost one of its lighthouses."
Sembene's funeral is due to take place later today (11Jun07).

Moolaadé Review

Growing up in America, a self-proclaimed melting pot, there is always an enormous mix of cultural customs visible on the streets every day. But one custom that has not made it to our shores and seems extremely inhumane is that of female circumcision.

81-year-old writer-director-author Ousmane Sembene has been a provocative force for social change in his native Africa for over 50 years. Though most of his films do not get distributed on U.S. soil, they are a solid reminder of human rights issues that still need to be addressed. With his latest, Moolaadé, he gracefully illustrates the organizing of mothers in a small rural community to keep their daughters from being "purified".

Continue reading: Moolaadé Review

Glover Forms New Film Company

Danny Glover Ousmane Sembene

Actor and activist Danny Glover has launched a new movie production company which will focus on films of historical relevance with social messages.

The LETHAL WEAPON star formed New York-based LOUVERTURE FILMS with co-founder and producer/screenwriter JOSLYN BARNES.

The actor's publicist ARNOLD ROBINSON says in an announcement, "(Louverture Films) will support the employment and training of cast and crew from the African Diaspora, minorities and/or marginalised communities."

Continue reading: Glover Forms New Film Company

Million Dollar Baby Triumphs With Critics

Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby Hilary Swank Imelda Staunton Vera Drake Ray Charles Zhang Yimou Hero Ousmane Sembene Thomas Haden Church Virginia Madsen

Clint Eastwood is celebrating after his film Million Dollar Baby and star Hilary Swank picked up two accolades at the NATIONAL SOCIETY OF FILM CRITICS AWARDS on Saturday (08JAN05).

The veteran film-maker and actor's boxing drama was named Best Film, while Swank tied for first place in the Best Actress category with Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake.

Fifty-six newspaper and film critics gathered in New York city's Sardi's Restaurant to announced the winners, which included another gong for JAMIE FOXX's uncanny performance as Ray Charles in biopic RAY.

Continue reading: Million Dollar Baby Triumphs With Critics

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