By MUHAMMED S. BAH & Rohey Cham
A yearly film festival initiated by CineKambiya is aimed to dedicating this event to the late Kora Griot Jali Alhagie Mbye. This initiative is said to be starting this year which is slated from the 25th to the 28th February 2019 at various locations in the country. The theme of this year’s edition is: FILM AND GAMBIA’S NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP) 2018-2021.
The founder of the annual film festival Prince Bubacarr A. Sankanu, said they will be screening films from the Gambia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal, United Kingdom, Egypt, USA, France, Sweden and other countries; that they expect international guests from Senegal, Cameroon, Nigeria and the US.
This year’s event Sankanu said, is dedicated to honour Jali Alhagie Mbye, and to briefly show highlights of the Government’s National Development Plan.
Sankanu disclosed that they went through a difficult pilot phase in 2015, 2016 and 2017; that the fourth edition of the Gambia’s premier annual ‘Cinekambia’ International Film Festival (CIFF), takes place on the same dates. He said the film festival which will take place in February of every year, will pay special tribute to the late Jali Alhagie Mbye; that the first event will kick start on Monday February 25th 2019, at the a local hotel in Kotu from 5pm GMT onwards.
“The late Jali Alhagie Mbye was an asset during the research and production stages of CIFF, and it is befitting to honour him and keep his memory alive,” Sankanu explains.
Amongst the activities, Sankanu said the festival screening will take place at Global Hands Development Hub in Manduar village on Tuesday, February 26th 2019. “There will be mix cultural performance, international film shows and discussions on the role of the industry in national development,” Sankanu narrated; that the other activity will be held on Wednesday February 27th 2019, which includes the screening of indigenous Gambian films at ‘Tendato’ Eco Lodge and Cultural Hub in Mandinari village.
Dilating on the activities, Sankanu said another highlight of “CIFF” 2019 is the launching of the five year Master Plan of Arts for Social Transformation; that the project is under Teaching Artist Institute (TAI) and SHEROES Sisterhood of the Gambia.
Sankanu said Ms Kim Pool is the project initiator from Baltimore in the US; that she is expected to be in the country for the event, which is part of the Year’s Returnees from African descendants, and the date for the launch is slated for Thursday February 28th 2019, at 151 Mosque Road in Serre Kunda.
Jali Alhagie Mbye died in December 2018. The late Jali was not only a Griot but a historian who represented the Gambia worldwide. He represented the country in numerous international cultural events. In 2009, the late Jali was part of the Gambia’s delegation to the Algiers Pan African festival. In 2011, he travelled with a group of talented Gambian griots to a cultural festival in Taiwan.