Festival Director's Aspirations spark Atlanta Film Fest
"It all happened by chance," said Mojisola Sonoiki (pictured), founder and director of Atlanta's 3rd Annual Women of Color Arts & Film Festival (WOCAFF). The festival kicks off at Atlanta, Georgia's Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History on March 23.
"I stumbled into the whole film thing by accident," Sonoiki told The AFRican, "from my days when I used to live in London, I knew a lot of film makers. These were mostly women of color who had no venues for their films. One thing led to another and the next thing I was hosting screenings." Those fateful screenings led to a successful film festival in London.
"It was natural for me to continue screenings when I came to America," said Sonoiki, "besides, there was no woman's film festival in Atlanta."
Sonoiki told The AFRican that her secret passion is to make films that tell the African story. "I want to make films about stories that talk about life in Africa. Americans have no clue about life in Africa. I particularly want to tell stories about our politics and government before the advent of the white man. People think that we had no politics or government before they came," she said.
Over the three day festival, more than twenty independent films will be screened. This year's festival opens with Shoot the Messenger, a film by British Nigerian filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah. The film explores racism, relationships and stereotypes in Britain.
Other films that will highlight the festival include AWOL, directed by Brigid Maher, a tale of an African American female soldier who goes AWOL in Iraq. Once More Removed, directed by Shundell Prasad, follows the filmmaker's journey to three continents as she traces her roots from New York to Guyana and on to India.
Hosting the film festival offers the aspiring film maker a chance to stay connected with a world that she truly enjoys. Another of her passions is music. This years festival will incorporate a musical showcase featuring Tiwa Savage, Toni Blackman and St. Just. The musical showcase takes place at Apache CafÃƒÂ©, 64 Third Street, NW, Atlanta, GA 30308.
The venue for all the film screenings is the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture & History, 101 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303. The screenings are free to the public. For more information visit the website or call 404.730.4001 xt 210.