The UK launch of An African Answer will take place 8-12 November, in the presence of the film’s protagonists Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye, the director Dr Alan Channer and producer Dr Imad Karam.
The UK premiere will be at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA), London at 6.30pm on Tuesday 9 November. The event will be chaired by
Sir Richard Jolly, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations.
The first screening for the general public will be at Friends House, Euston, at 7pm on Friday 12 November. Private screenings will also be held at St John’s College, Oxford University and Her Majesty’s Young Offenders Institution, Rochester – where Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye will facilitate a workshop with inmates on reducing re-offending.
An African Answer depicts a dramatic bid by Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa – former militia leaders turned peace-makers from Nigeria – to bring reconciliation in Kenya’s Rift Valley Province, following communal killings. It is filmed in the district of Kenya worst hit by the post-election violence of early 2008, when around 1000 people were killed and tens of thousands were displaced from their homes and farms.
Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, describes it as ‘A very important film. We need to learn, indeed, from Imam Ashafa and Pastor James’ says Annan, ‘and multiply in a thousand places their experiences of healing and reconciliation.’
An African Answer is produced by For the Love of Tomorrow Films (FLTfilms), the film-making division of UK charity Initiatives of Change. It follows an earlier, award-winning film about the two men, The Imam and the Pastor, shot in Nigeria and narrated by Rageh Omaar. This depicted the astonishing reconciliation between the former enemies, showing that it is possible for perpetrators of inter-religious violence to become instigators of peace.
‘After the global impact of The Imam and the Pastor, we wanted to make a film that depicts the peace-building methodology of Pastor Wuye and Imam Ashafa,’ says director Dr Alan Channer. ‘We were ready to follow them to any conflict in the world where they were invited to mediate. Then the post-election violence erupted in Kenya. We went to Kenya, they were invited back, and we followed them again. We found ourselves witness to Africans from one country working to help those in another, in a highly effective way.’’
An African Answer had its Kenyan premiere in Nairobi in May 2010, in the same hotel in which Kofi Annan brokered the National Peace Accord. Chief Guest Francis Kimemia, Permanent Secretary for Internal Security, said ‘There are no permanent angels or permanent devils in any community. Peace needs to be deepened.This film is a resource of best practice…. It reflects the indomitable spirit of the Kenyan people.’
Looking back on the process, Imam Ashafa says: ‘This work is about helping people take charge of their own destiny. Solutions can come from the grass-roots. We touched a spirit of reconciliation that was there in the Kenyan people.’
Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye were awarded the inaugural Fondation Chirac Prize for Conflict Prevention in December 2009.
An African Answer (38m)
Narrator — Kathleen Openda-Mvati
Camera – Robinson Malemo & Tony Biwott
Producer – Imad Karam
Director – Alan Channer
An African Answer is available on DVD from FLTfilms, price £15.99 (inc p&p)
Tel – 020 7798 6020 www.fltfilms.org.uk
For more information about the public premiere, please click here.
For more information on The Imam and the Pastor, please click here
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye will be available for media interviews during the day on 9 November, and on the afternoon of 12 November, as will the film’s director, Dr Alan Channer, and producer, Dr Imad Karam. Please use the contacts below for further information. Photographs of Imam Ashafa and Pastor Wuye and stills from the film are also available.
FLTfilms is an autonomous division of Initiatives of Change in the UK. Over a period of almost 50 years, FLTfilms has established itself as a world-class documentary film unit specialising in films which foster reconciliation and peace-building. Its name derives from a documentary film on Franco-German reconciliation, For the Love of Tomorrow.
FLTfilms is co-directed by Dr Alan Channer and Dr Imad Karam
About Initiatives of Change
Initiatives of Change is a global network of people from many cultures and nationalities who are committed to building trust across the world’s divides, starting with change in their own lives.
We run programmes for social and economic justice which encourage participants to find their own path to building trust in their community and country. These initiatives are based on a commitment to absolute moral standards of honesty, purity of heart and motive, unselfishness in private and public life, love and forgiveness. We are open to those of all faiths and none.
About the RSA
For over 250 years the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) has been a cradle of enlightenment thinking and a force for social progress. The RSA provides one of the biggest free events programmes in the UK, enabling leading thinkers and new voices to share ideas on key contemporary issues. The RSA’s work is supported by an international Fellowship of 27,000 people and is based at a historic London house designed by Robert Adam in the early 1770s.
Background to An African Answer
More than 1,000 people were killed following disputed elections in Kenya at the end of 2007. Suspicion over the validity of the poll and fears of a change in the balance of power between Kenya’s ethnic groups sparked widespread violence. On 1January 2008, near the town of Eldoret, a mob attacked and set fire to a church where hundreds of people had taken refuge. Some 40 people were burned to death.
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Smith (07986 179776)
Don de Silva (07904 122248)
020 7798 6000