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About: Planet Africa Announcement

Thu, 4 Dec 1997 08:36:11 -0800 (PST)

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    Originally dated: Thu, 4 Dec 1997 08:36:11 -0800 (PST)

    > From: Cameron Bailey <>
    > Subject: Planet Africa Announcement
    > Dear Friends of Planet Africa,
    > I am writing to you to announce my resignation as programmer of the
    > Planet Africa series at the Toronto International Film Festival. The
    > September 1997 festival was my last.
    > After launching the program in 1995 and seeing its success grow over
    > the
    > past three years, I am ready to move on. My plan is to spend more time
    > writing. (Don't be surprised to see a book or another screenplay
    > sometime soon...)
    > Here's the important news: Planet Africa will continue. The Toronto
    > Film
    > Festival remains committed to developing the audience for African and
    > African diasporic cinema in North America, and to showcasing the best
    > films from the African film world. A new head for the Planet Africa
    > section will be named in the coming weeks.
    > Those of you who attended the festival this September will know that
    > 1997 was our most successful year. We screened 13 films in the
    > program,
    > plus a gala world premiere of Kasi Lemmons's Eve's Bayou, one of the
    > most successful American independent films of the year, and a special
    > presentation of Spike Lee's powerful documentary 4 Little Girls.
    > Besides Lemmons and Lee, we also hosted Safi Faye, Ramadan Suleman,
    > Shirikiana Aina, Nadia Fares, Balufu Bakupa-Kanyinda, Chris Cherot,
    > Nelson George, Lina Gopaul and David Lawson from London's Black Audio
    > Film Collective, and Barbara Sanon, Don Letts and Rick Elgood, plus
    > friends from other festivals, critics, scholars and just plain African
    > film fans.
    > My own highlights included the packed screenings for Safi Faye's
    > Mossane
    > and Chris Cherot's Hav Plenty, which was picked up for distribution by
    > Miramax here in Toronto. Then there was the wild, closing night
    > screening of the Jamaican hit Dancehall Queen.
    > Planet Africa will build on this success, and I hope you will be a
    > part
    > of that. I'm writing to you because you have all been supporters of
    > the
    > program, and I want to give you this news first-hand. I also want to
    > thank you for your support, your advice, your attendance and your
    > films.
    > Peace,
    > Cameron Bailey
    PS from Steve Smith. I'm sure all our subscribers join in wishing
    Cameron well. He has performed a wonderful service to the development
    of African cinema in helping to build a market for it in North America.

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