(Elzahra Ibrahim) - Sudanese cinema had a very long period of stagnation. Now we don’t have a single movie-theater in the whole country
that still works, despite the long history and great legacy. Our inheriting was blown away by the wind of neglect and destruction. We have a very poor and unavailable archive. Our situation today comes as a shook, looking back at the completely different past. We used to have cinemas all around; promising film-industry and the community understood the value of films-watching.
Sudanese Film Group (SFG) has launched an initiative earlier this month, in Khartoum under the title “Sudanese initiative for feature films”. The conference came as a cry for help from the SFG in order to have their message broadcasted through the media, to raise people awareness about films-making situation, plus making a move to bring cinema to life once again.
At first Mr. Suleiman Mohamed Ibrahim, the head of the group, gave people a brief information about the current status of cinema, beside enlightening the audience- which contained press people and interested individuals- about the SFG, and there activities so far. SFG is a cultural group concerned about filmmaking and cinematic activities, plus movies screening in order to bring back the culture of films-watching to the Sudanese communities again.
Then Mr. Abdurrahman Najdi, the cinematic reviewer, spoke about Sudanese film making in general, then he tackled the initiative issue saying; “we want to produce feature films, from my point of view, nothing can present the people thoughts and ambitions but the feature films. I wish that people will take this attempt seriously”.
The last one to speak was the well-known Sudanese director Ibrahim Shadad, saying “Sudanese people once had the privilege of going to cinema theaters and enjoying films, unfortunately they had lost that right in the late eighties” he mentioned the efforts done by the youth in the few past years, saying that though its good, but it can’t be called cinema, because the YouTube, TV and movies on smart devices are different than cinematic-produced films.
All three speakers have mentioned that the SFG, has no sponsors, and there is no available budget to make films, yet they express their hope for their sounds to reach the people, in order to make practical moves. The audience received three books about Sudanese film-making and its history and the first issue of a magazine that used to come out decades ago under the name of “Cinema”. And they finished the conference by sending a message to everyone out there to assist in this initiative so that people will have their right of making national films and having movie-theaters again.