The Born of the DjarFogo International Film Festival

The history of film festivals dates back as early as the 1930s. Today, there are thousands of film festivals around the world. As Hollywood and commercial film began to gain notoriety in the 1920s, the first film societies began to sprout up. These societies helped fuel the creation of film festivals. One of the world's oldest and most well-known film festivals is the Cannes film festival, which began in 1939.

Although some film festivals are well known, such as the Tribeca, Toronto, Berlin, Cannes, and Sundance, most are small and go unknown to the rest of the world. However, Cape Verde only has two active film festivals and a unique international film, DjarFogo International Film Festival.

DjarFogo International Film Festival ( is an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2019 by award-winning filmmaker and film and visual media professor Guenny K. Pires and Txan Film Productions & Visual Arts members.

DIFF has its headquarters in Los Angeles and Cape Verde Islands. It incorporates an International Film Festival, Africa Film Lab/Filmmaking Mentorship, and Academic and Cultural Exchange to promote African stories and images by exhibiting Film, visual art, and other imaginative presentations. It is an international beacon for the Africa and Diaspora visual arts community to showcase "Black narratives" and maintain the cinematic originality of Pan-African and Diaspora Culture.

DIFF is a one-week film and culture celebration event held on the islands of Santiago and Fogo, Cape Verde, from November 4 to 10, 2024. DIFF aims to develop, showcase, and celebrate the culture and talent of Africa and the Diaspora" which have significantly impacted the cultural ties between nations and people across the globe.

For critics, DIFF has become an exceptional International Film Festival focusing on teaching visual storytelling and promoting African culture worldwide. It is considered one of the most prestigious growing International Film Festivals in the C.P.L.P. community of Portuguese-speaking countries, particularly in former Portuguese colonies Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe.

In 2023, DIFF featured filmmakers and visual artists from over 82 countries and six continents to the islands of Santiago and Fogo.

Every year, DIFF continues to showcase over 80 new high-quality films from the U.S., Africa, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, the South Pacific, Canada, and, increasingly, Asia. It presents inspiring and informative panels and workshops –– featuring top industry professionals — and showcases rare cinematic gems followed by filmmaker Q & As.

Our five-year plan is to create the first Cape Verdean International Film School to educate disadvantaged young Africans in visual arts and Cinema, thus contributing to reducing poverty, appreciating African culture, and promoting tourism in the country.


DIFF's mission works tirelessly toward developing, showcasing, and celebrating Black and World Cinema, Cape Verdean culture, Africa, and Diaspora.


DIFF aims to educate, entertain, encourage, and inspire disadvantaged youth to join in African Cinema, visual arts, and world cinema, thus reducing poverty, appreciating African culture, and promoting visual storytelling.

DIFF offers free visual arts and filmmaking education programs for all ages, with learning opportunities available to filmmakers, aspiring filmmakers, and festival attendees.

DIFF seeks to showcase independent Film and culture, contributing to a better global understanding and fostering communication worldwide between peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles.

Raise monetary funds to support filmmakers from Africa and boost Cape Verde's production, increasing Fogo's business and employment opportunities.

Pay tribute to local and Diaspora actors and personalities who used the power of visual storytelling and arts to evoke positive social reform.

Bring filmmakers, distributors, T.V. program buyers, journalists, producers, and aspiring film students across the globe.

Creating bonds of friendship with Cape Verde and Diaspora to increase cultural exchanges between the various personalities and professionals at the event.

In addition, DIFF intends to promote the island of Fogo as part of the World Biosphere Reserve approved by UNESCO in 2020. We also have a sizeable cultural program and produce short films on traditional medicine, coffee, wine, music, dances, and local elderly stories.

Every culture has its own stories and narratives, shared as entertainment, education, cultural preservation, and enlightenment of moral values. Storytelling is the artistic expression of humanity, and each story opens a window into the community to which it belongs.



The program includes a welcoming by Cape Verdean authorities, Cultural Animation, Opening Night, Africa Film Lab/Filmmaking Mentorship, Cape Verde Film Market, Africa Fashion Show, a film screenings competition, workshops, and filmmaking classes for Cape Verdean students and filmmakers. We aim to give them a voice and means to express themselves creatively through Film. We offer filmmakers ​opportunities​ ​to​ connect with distributors and investors and provide a free online filmmaking teaching program for students from 1st to 12th grades and Universities. DIFF also helps increase film production locally and allows filmmakers from African nations and female minorities directors to share their stories worldwide.

Since 2021, DIFF has been a public utility event recognized by His Excellency Mr. Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Mr. José Ulisses Correia e Silva. It received several honorable mentions, including former and current Presidents of the Republic of Cape Verde, His Excellency Mr. Commander Pedro Pires, Mr. Jorge Carlos Fonseca, and Jose Maria Neves, Amilcar Cabral Foundation, Olof Palme International Center, Pan African Film & Arts Festival, Fespaco, Pavilion Afrique's Cannes Film Festival, to name a few.


DIFF24 will continue to provide an opportunity to form co-production through the Cape Verde Film Market created to serve Africa, including Diaspora, Cape Verde islands, and C.P.L.P. It aims to provide distribution and co-production opportunities for all, including national, African, and Diaspora filmmakers. The event expects to receive experts from several international film markets, mainly Durban FilmMart, European Film Market, and American Film Market.


DIFF22 founded the Africa Film Lab/Filmmaking Mentorship (A.F.L.F.M.) to honor Rigoberto Lopez's filmmaking legacy. It is a mastery training program created for youth and industry professionals directed and instructed by African and international industry specialists, professors, and film mentors. The program will cover all diverse aspects of the visual storytelling of filmmaking, from development to distribution. It seeks to furnish African and Diaspora filmmakers with classic crafts and wisdom, allowing them to tell and share their stories more effectively.

The classes are both theoretical and practical, and by the end of 2024, up to 150 participants will have had the chance to comprehend and put their crafts into practice on actual film stages. DIFF member advisors will trust these candidates and their films, and they will be screening at the 4th edition of DIFF and the foremost international film festivals worldwide. A.F.L.F.M. will occur in several cities and countries in February and March in Los Angeles, April, and May in Morocco, June in Guinea-Bissau, and August in Cape Verde before the date of DIFF.


DIFF intends to bring over one hundred guests, including filmmakers, producers, experts, students, and film mentors. It encourages local filmmakers, artists, national cultural agents, universities, museums, high and middle schools, and others to be part of the 3rd edition and mobilize the entire archipelago, the African continent, and the Diaspora to embrace and celebrate one week of Cinema in Cape Verde.

The 4th edition of the DIFF24 opening ceremony will start at 5:45 pm at Cinema Plateau Praia, Cape Verde. It follows a unique cultural animation, the African Fashion Show, and Cape Verdean authorities' welcoming to filmmakers and guests.



DIFF24 will continue honoring African filmmakers, actors, scholars, and personalities. This year's festival, we will pay a special tribute to celebrate Amilcar Cabral's life and legacy; they will turn 100 years old on September 12, 2024, if he is alive.

Cuba Cinema will receive special recognition. DIFF24 will screen some films by Cuban filmmaker Gloria Victoria Rolando.

Several local, African, and international filmmakers, including activists, sports figures, and world leaders, will be honored at the 4th DIFF.

DIFF24 designed a program for students focused on short films produced by four film clubs created in DIFF22.

DIFF24 expects to receive over 1,700 films worldwide and select 85 movies; only 20 will compete for ten awards.

DIFF24 aims to teach and train over 1500 students from the islands, Diaspora, and the rest of the world. DIFF24 intends to teach over 100 workshops, 55 masterclasses, and several free online lectures and record more than 600 footage hours, triplicating the 200 hours recorded in 2023. It will allow the production of short films celebrating the History and Culture of Fogo, including traditional medicine, coffee, wine, music, dances, and local stories.

DIFF24 aims to reach more than 80,000 viewers locally and thousands of streamed views internationally, making it one of the most significant cinema events in the country and West Africa.

DIFF24 aims to promote and help sell an exhibition of local and archipelago visual artists' works.

DIFF will promote academic and cultural exchange experiences by hosting films, filmmakers, students, and professors from Worldwide. We focus on students and professors from Boston Public Schools, Mount Saint Mary's University, Sonja H. Stone Center for Black Culture and History, U.N.C., the University of Santiago, University of Cape Verde, Lusophone University, Atlantic Technical University, and the all-High Schools of Cape Verde.

For more information about the festival, please visit:




São Filipe,
Cape Verde
+238 997 25 67,

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