The Matatu

In East African nations, matatu (Swahili) are privately owned minibuses or easily accessible share taxis. Often decorated with popular icons and sounds, matatu offer not only a means of travel, but access to another world. We are impassioned by the belief that everyone has a spectacular story regardless of age, geographical bounds, sexual preference, race, and socio-economic status and that story represents the sacred agreement among otherwise disparate communities.

And if you’re like us, you’re tired of stale popcorn, sugary sodas, and the usual Hollywood blockbusters typical of the theater experience. We invite you to come aboard the Matatu Film Festival, exploring some of the world’s most spectacular stories in some of Oakland’s newest spaces. Begin by browsing our 2014 FILM GUIDE, then follow the BUY TICKETS link to secure your seats. Enjoy the ride.

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Bay Area Reporter

Gorilla love. If you’ve not yet succumbed to their simian seductions, you will by the end of Virunga, an extraordinary new documentary about the role these great apes play in the never-ending battle to stop foreigners stripping Congo of its natural resources. Two hundred mountain gorillas live amidst the 3,000 square miles of Virunga National Park, Congo’s oldest, where 150 park rangers have been killed by poachers and rebel militias.

Catch this exotic, exciting, excruciating record of conservation-in-action during the second annual Matatu Film Festival, July 16-19.

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The Bay Area Reporter Online | Inescapably real screeningsin Oakland.

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Okay Africa

After a successful inaugural edition last year, the Matatu Film Festival is scheduled to return to Oakland, California, next week from July 16th-19th. Named for the matatu, a popular East African mode of public transportation, the second installment of the festival promises an eclectic array of feature films, documentaries and shorts spotlighting “a unique journey regardless of age, geographical bounds, sexual preference, race, and socio-economic status.”

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Cinemafrique: African Film & TV News Okayafrica..

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SF Bay Guardian

In Oakland: the second annual Matatu Film Festival, which takes its name from colorfully decorated mini-buses found in Kenya and other East African countries.

The reference suggests a focus on films from that region of the world. But while it is an international festival, it’s more interested in “matatu” as metaphor, presenting films as a way to transport the viewer to new places or points of view. Amid an overall strong program, one of the most timely entries is Mala Mala, a gritty yet joyful exploration of Puerto Rico’s trans community that makes great use of neon-lit streetscapes, a retro-synth score, and the oversized personalities of its subjects.

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Moving pictures | SF Bay Guardian.

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Shadow and Act

Check out the poster below for British filmmaker Nosa Igbinedion “Oya: Rise of the Orishas” – a project we’ve been following on this blog for about year, since the filmmaker took to crowdfunding to raise money to complete it.

Ethosheia Hylton stars in the film which will make its USA screening debut at the 2nd annual Matatu Film Festival in Oakland, CA, which runs from July 16 to 19, at The Flight Deck and Impact Hub.

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"A Storm Approaches" in Poster for 'Oya: Rise of the Orishas' Premiering at Matatu Film Festival (Lineup)|Shadow and Act.

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Berkeley Sun

“San Francisco no longer has a lock on international film festivals. Moviegoers, start your engines: it’s time for the second roll-out of Oakland’s Matatu Film Festival which is set to run from July 16 to 19 at The Flight Deck (1540 Broadway) and Impact Hub (2323 Broadway).

First order of business: what’s a “matatu”? Well, matatus (it’s a Swahili word) are popular and highly decorated minibuses that fill East Africa’s busy streets with color and the blare of onboard music. The connection? As festival founder Michael Orange explains, both movies and matatus transport people to new (and sometimes surprising) destinations.”

more at:

The 2nd Annual Matatu Film Festival July 16-19, 2014. Category: Arts & Events from The Berkeley Daily Planet.

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