The Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF) has announced a partnership with TikTok, a short-form video content platform with a global audience of one billion users, to bring African filmmakers, film talent, and storytelling to the platform’s global audience. ARIFF returns for its fourth annual edition, which commenced on November 25 and will close on November 28, 2021.
ARIFF has sought unique and innovative ways to attract film lovers to consume content digitally in line with digital era trends since its inception in 2018. The ARIFF Digital Hub features web series, virtual reality, interactive, and short-form content developed and produced on the African continent.
“We are humbled that TikTok’s aim of bringing African creative voices to the world has found common ground with ARIFF’s.” This is a crucial partnership for us,” says Ayanda Sithebe, festival director of ARIFF, who adds that such support is essential in magnifying an African-owned and driven narrative about the continent.
Other Digital Hub initiatives that the festival will activate this year include a visual and digital art exhibition, a virtual reality station, and a Podcast Lab, in addition to showcasing short-form content on TikTok (taking place on-site throughout the festival).
Sithebe views these as essential qualities for the festival and the continent’s creative minds to continue to thrive in the future. “As Africans, we have a variety of ways to communicate and distribute our stories, and the goal of the Digital Hub is to continue pushing limits, offering inspiration, and demonstrating to African creative talent what’s possible when we have a strong cultural and identity perspective,” he adds.
Aside from the online showcase and on-site activations, ARIFF’s Digital Hub will be hosting its Crazee Pitch event, which will bring together leading entrepreneurs to hear the ideas and pitches of young aspiring filmmakers to provide constructive criticism and potential investment in their future projects.
ARIFF collaborated with Birthmark on the project mentioned above, and the company is pleased to absorb some interns.
“As festival chair and an advocate for development and training for young and new entrants into the film industry, this excites me,” says Lala Tuku.