Students Staff

26 June 2014

International award for film on Angolan roots of capoeira

Team with award

Director Richard Pakleppa, editor Catherine Meyburgh and Dr Matthias Röhrig Assunção with the award

A remarkable film telling the story of combat games, dances and music which connect Brazil and Africa from the time of slavery to the present day has won the Sembene Ousmane Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival 2014 (ZIFF 2014).

ZIFF 2014 is one of the biggest festivals of its kind in Africa and the Sembene Ousmane Award honours feature films, documentaries and short films on development in Africa.

Jogo de Corpo/Body Games was created as part of a major three-year research project on the Angolan roots of Capoeira. Led by Dr Matthias Röhrig Assunção in the Department of History at the University of Essex the project was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) with additional financial support from a crowd funding campaign supported by lovers of Capoeira around the world.

The project team included Mestre Cobra Mansa – the co-founder of the International Capoeira Angola Foundation (ICAF) who has helped to develop interest in Capoeira around the world, ethnomusicologist Christine Dettman, Namibian film director Richard Pakleppa and editor Catherine Meyburgh.

The film includes remarkable footage from both Brazil and Angola and is driven by the thoughts and insights of Cobra Mansa and his need to understand the ancestry of his art form as part of a wider concern with his Afro-Brazilian heritage.

The award is named after Ousmane Sembène a hugely influential Senegalese film director, producer and writer.

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