Film festival takes Africa's HIV/AIDS campaign to TICAD III

Tokyo- Japan (PANA) -- In her crusade against HIV/AIDS, Gabonese First Lady Edith Lucie Bongo would on Tuesday be guest speaker at a film festival underway here on the sidelines of the 3rd Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD III), officially billed to start 29 September.
The Tokyo African Film Festival, holding at the Tokyo Women's Plaza Hall under the auspices of the Africa Visual Forum in Tokyo and organised with the support of the UN Development Programme, was launched on Saturday by UNDP Communications director Djibril Diallo.
In a packed schedule, the Japanese audience here would between 27 September and 3 October watch 100 long and short films as well as features and documentaries on HIV/AIDS in Africa, some of them dating back to the 1980s.
Explaining the idea behind the initiative, Diallo said the objective was "to make sure that TICAD III reaches beyond governments to the civil society, including the film industry.
" HIV/AIDS is among key topics lined up for discussion at what is steadily taking the form of a five-yearly Afro-Asian summit known as TICAD.
   Diallo hailed the film festival as "a bridge between Japan and Africa," noting that the repertoire include films with a positive side to the image of the continent.
The films were for a large part produced and directed by Africans, some of whom flew in from South Africa and Kenya to attend the event.
The festival kicked off with the screening of "A Red Ribbon Around My House," a 26-minute South African documentary featuring a woman in her late 30s who contracted the dreaded virus during a bone marrow transplant.
   Outgoing and aglow with life -- or making the best of it while it lasts -- the infected mother has no qualm speaking publicly about her condition and spreading the message about the reality of AIDS, even to the embarrassment of her teenage daughter.
The documentary cuts across as an educating piece against the stigma on AIDS sufferers, but more especially against the extreme despair with which some victims learn about their status.
Other bodies behind the Tokyo African Film Festival include the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.
At Saturday's launch, festival director Kenji Shiraishi said the idea was to "raise further interest in AIDS-related problems among both African and Japanese people through African films.

28 Setembro 2003 09:24:00

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