ReelAfrican Brings African Films to the US
Changing the Situation
Since its inception in September 2011, ReelAfrican has provided free and instant online access to a variety of African films, television programs, music videos and documentaries, from all across Africa.
It is our goal to provide a premier experience in the US for finding and watching the most popular movies, TV shows and music videos produced in Africa, while giving exposure to the vast amount of talented and often unrecognized filmmakers working in the country.
- All our content is legally licensed from the film-makers – it is part of our mission to undercut piracy of African content
- All of our content is free to enjoy—Reel African generates revenues by interspersing ads in the content – it keeps us in business and allows our audience to enjoy free quality entertainment.
So why’s ReelAfrican important?
One only needs to look at Africa’s history to answer that.
Prior to African independence in the early 1960s, African films were only made by white filmmakers, especially in the French colonies, under the Laval Decree—a law which banned native Africans from any type of artistic expression.
Despite this law, some Africans, such as Paulin Soumanou Vieyra, were still determined to make films. Relocating to Paris, Vieyra directed the first Francophone African film, Afrique sur Seine (1955), a documentary that explored the perception of African immigrants living in Paris in the 1950s.
Once many African countries claimed independence in the 1960s, a Renaissance was slowly underway, which finally allowed many African artists the opportunity to make films for the first time. Vieyra was instrumental in establishing The Federation of African Filmmakers in 1969, which has helped promote the importance of African film while also cultivating Africa’s image, heritage and history through creative expression.
Other artists would create films that greatly emphasized Africa’s rich culture, as well as a revolutionary sense of realistic filmmaking. Artists such as Ousmane Sembène (the “father of African film” whose films addressed issues such as colonialism, class structure and women’s rights), Yusuf Chahine (a prolific Egyptian director), Idrissa Ouedraogo (whose film Tilaï won the Grand Prix at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival), and Gaston Kabore (director of the Centre National du Cinéma in Burkina Faso and the recipient of a French César award), were instrumental in shedding the attitudes of the colonial past.
These filmmakers explored culture, societal concerns, and history in a visual medium that had been suppressed for decades. Finally, the true essence of African culture was able to be shared with the world, emphasizing a wealth of talent and giving insight into the ‘real’ Africa.
It is this ‘real’ Africa that we wish to continue here.
As the African film industry has grown over the decades, and with technology changing at a rapid rate, it has now become possible to see some of the great films and TV programs that are being produced in the country. ReelAfrican believes in supporting and rewarding the producers, actors and musicians shaping Africa’s rapidly growing entertainment industry.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy what ReelAfrican has to offer.