MUICA African Film Festival in Colombia -Muestra Itinerante de Cine Africano- is a biennial event directed to audiences of different cities in Colombia, presenting a selection of African and Afro-diasporic films, aimed at highlighting and disseminating the creative versatility of African and Afro-descendant artists. MUICA works in the creation of new audiences, enriching the perceptions about the African continent, and hoping to contribute to fill those gaps left by educational institutions, dominant cultural initiatives and the media. These gaps result in institutionalized behaviours of marginalization, discrimination and inequality.
The showcase takes place during the month of May, the month of African heritage in Colombia, in different spaces such as alternative and independent movie theaters, cultural centers, universities, schools and neighborhoods in three main cities: Cartagena, Cali and Bogota, adding other territories in each version such as: Providencia, Buenaventura, San Basilio de Palenque, Tumaco, among others.From documentaries to thrillers, historical drama and science fiction, MUICA presents a special curatorship of African cinema, divided into 3 sections: Made in Africa, Diaspora and Other Views. All screenings are presented and contextualized by a member of the curators and/or the production team, and some panellists or local experts are invited to stimulate the discussion at the end of the screenings.
The presence of special African guests seeks to encourage direct dialogues and possible exchanges between local artists and those from the other South. MUICA has counted on the participation of Cameroonian avant-garde filmmaker Jean-Pierre Bekolo, as well as Sunny Dolat, representative of the artists' collective The Nest, creators of the film Stories of our Lives, which portrays the LGTBI community in Kenya.
MUICA has presented more than 70 films from 40 African countries, in more than 300 screenings, attracting around 8,000 spectators, an audience that for the most part had not been exposed to African cinema. More than 50 organizations have joined forces to make MUICA possible, and more than 12 cities, inside and outside Colombia, have requested the participation of the showcase in their events and cinemas. MUICA has been a special guest at other festivals such as the OCOTE Documentary Film Festival in Chiapas, Mexico, Making Africa Exhibition in Barcelona, Spain, FECISLA in Isla Fuerte, Colombia, the International Afro Kunta Kinte Film Festival in Medellin, Colombia, Gracias Africa in Bogota, the National Festival of Afro-Argentinean Culture in La Plata, Argentina, among others.
In the context of MUICA, other special screenings have been organised in different spaces. In 2017, for example, it paid special tribute to Pan-African leader Thomas
Sankara, commemorating the 30th anniversary of his disappearance, with special screenings of a documentary on his life and important legacy, in Cali, Buenaventura, Bogota, Medellin and San Basilio de Palenque. MUICA presents mainly contemporary African cinema. With the aim to explore the valuable origins of African cinema, the Africa ReXiste Workshop was born, which highlights the relationship between African cinema and the history of the continent, revealing at the same time some points of encounter with local situations in Afro-descendant in a post-colonial context. This workshop has been held in Cartagena, Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Providencia and Buenaventura, as part of MUICA's programming and in other events to which the workshop has been invited.
MUICA has also presented the photographic exhibition Angola Cinemas – A Fiction of Freedom, as well as the African virtual reality film series New Dimensions, the Streams from Africa virtual music festival and a series of online panel discussions with filmmakers, cultural
activists, human rights defenders from Africa and the diaspora.