MONROVIA – A Liberian short film, , has be awarded the “Best Narrative Production” at the 2021 Black International Cinema Berlin, Germany, for the first time since the festival was founded 30 years ago.
The film won ahead of hundreds of other films submitted by filmmakers from many different places in the world.
Produced in 2020 during the heat of the Coronavirus pandemic in Liberia, the Film was written and directed by Mr. Luther N. Mafalleh, a WELTFILME trained Liberian Filmmaker.
It was shot in Monrovia and it sheds light on the some of the challenges that women, especially girls and single mothers, faced during the coronavirus lock down in Liberia.
Behind the Mask is a story about the high increase of rape in Liberia during the peak of coronavirus pandemic. It particularly highlights some of the events that reported that law enforcement officers were the rapists.
Speaking during an interview in Monrovia, Mr. Luther N. Mafalleh expressed gratitude and joy for winning the accolade.
“It was a feeling of total ecstasy as I read the email that our film has won! It is a won for Liberia. It is an achievement that will go a long way for the entire team. It validates our work and what we are capable of doing as Liberian filmmakers when we willing to learn and put in our best. We have the raw talents in Liberia for acting, writing, directing, producing, etc. Congratulations to us”.
Mr. Mafalleh is further calling on the all higher institutions of learning to establish performing arts departments at their Liberal and humanity Colleges.
“All around the world and from days of old, performing arts and theaters are established at numerous universities and colleges. They help to preserve cultural heritage and provide opportunities for the percent of the population that are passionate about arts. It is educational and has money. It contributes to the economies of all the great nations of the world. I, therefore, call on the leaders of all the universities and colleges in Liberia to establish performing arts departments at their institutions of learning”, Mr. Mafalleh averred.
In his concluding words, the winner thanked the cast and crew of the film, the National Adult Education Association of Liberia and WELTFILME for their support in helping him to reach such a milestone.
Luther N. Mafalleh has written and directed feature and documentary films such as Accra Flowers, Ride With Me, Think Twice, Gifted Voice, etc. Behind the mask is important because it presents ill happenings in the Liberian society that undermine the peace of the state. You can watch the award-winning short film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YxsEDK_cQ04
Black International Cinema Berlin is an international, intercultural community of persons, engaged in achieving increasing understanding and cooperation between individuals and groups.
Fountainhead®️ Tanz Théâtre and Black International Cinema Berlin became partners during the creation of the first European Black Cultural Festival in 1986 and since this creative and inspirational occasion, continued their international, intercultural diplomatic film, seminar, dance, music, art exhibition and publication presentations annually in varying forms since the historic three week birth in West Berlin. The 2021 festival, “Footprints in the Sand?” was held between November 18 and December 6, 2021 in Berlin, Germany.