Germany’s Filminitiativ Koln Recognizes Gambia’s Cinekambiya International Film Festival

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The Gambia’s premier international professional film festival has earned a breakthrough on the global stage by winning the support of FILMINITIATIV KÖLN, one of Germany’s most respected cultural development organizations.

In a letter of intent addressed to CINEKAMBIYA Founder, Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu, the President of FILMINITIATIV KÖLN Karl Roessel, says “we are very excited about the launching of the CINEKAMBIYA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF) in The Gambia in December 2015. As organisers of Germany’s oldest AFRICA FILM FESTIVAL we hope, that the festival CIFF will have a long and bright future. It is very important that films by African filmmakers first of all reach their African audiences and CIFF is an important contribution in achieving this aim.”

Karl confirms that “FILMINITIATIV KÖLN therefore is prepared to support the founder of CIFF in the preparation of future editions of this film festivals in The Gambia. We had the pleasure to get to know Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu, when he studied at Cologne’s film school. He also assisted as volunteer in the organisation of our AFRICA FILM FESTIVAL. Therefore, we are eager to assist in the organisation of CIFF providing contacts to filmmakers, producers and distributors of films around Africa and in the African diaspora.”

Since 1992 FILMINITIATIV KÖLN has presented the “OUT OF EUROPE” AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL in Cologne, Germany. Initially being held at irregular intervals, the festival has taken place every two years since 1996. The 14th edition will be held from September 15th to 25th presenting about 70 films from 20 African countries and 30 guests.

During the last two decades more than 650 films from 40 African countries have been screened in Cologne, and 130 filmmakers have been invited to present their works and hold discussions with the general public. Today Cologne’s Africa film festival presents the most comprehensive range of contemporary African cinema to be found anywhere in Germany. (See:

FILMINITIATIV KÖLN hereby gladly confirms its partnership with the CINEKAMBIYA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF).  Long live African cinema and the partnership of the Africa film festivals in The Gambia and Germany” Karl Rössel concludes.

It can be recalled that prominent Gambian international filmmaker and scholar, Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu pioneered the first ever annual domestic film festival to put The Gambia on the global film map. The maiden edition of the CINEKAMBIYA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (CIFF) l took place between the 26 December 2015 and 03 January 2016 at the Global Hands Development Hub in Manduar village, West Coast Region under the theme of African Cinema and Gender Valuation” Dr. Isatou Touray of GAMCOTRAP served the grand patron of the 2015 edition. The second edition of CIFF 2016 themed “The Youth Factor” will have the Pan African Screen Awards (PASA) as part of its key highlights.


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