2012 will witness Sierra Leone’s first ever International Film Festival (SLIFF), from the 29th of March to the 2nd of April.

The festival will showcase international and local documentaries, feature films, shorts and music videos, providing a platform for filmmakers to have their films seen by both the local and international community.

Top media professionals including Kay Armatage, the programmer for Toronto Film Festival for over 24 years, Alice Dunseath, an animator/filmmaker with credits such as “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”, Ngardy Conteh, a diaspora filmmaker/editor and many more will be on hand giving talks, workshops, participating in panels and of course watching films. The panel of jurors is made up of local arts professionals who will be judging the Sierra Leonean films. The top winner will be crowned Salone Star 2012, and will receive 10 million leones towards the making of their next film.

The festival will include two special categories: Women of the World, and Adventure Travel and Sustainability. Films in these categories have been given a distinct space at the festival, to highlight the importance of these themes to Sierra Leone and its development.

The Woman of the World series includes films and panels presented throughout the festival with a full day women’s conference and films on Saturday March 29th at British Council by invite. The day is presented in collaboration with the Institute for Gender Research and Documentation at Fourah Bay College with Dr. Aisha Fofana and Fulbright Scholar and Professor Josephine Beoku-Betts and features a section titled “In Conversation with the First Lady” a live interview with the First Lady, several films about women from around the world. The films are presented through a partnership with WMM-Women Make Movies. The day is sponsored by the British High Commission. Panels include: Salone woman in media and At risk women’s film project discussion and Q&A.

Adventure Travel and Sustainability series presented in collaboration with Mountain Film Festival will take place throughout the festival and on April 3rd at TribeWanted, Jon Obey beach. Other events at the festival include a spectacular opening night Thursday March 29th and Awards Show Sunday April 1st.

SLIFF will take place in Freetown and on April 3rd at Jon Obey Beach TribeWanted Village. Year round programmings will also include screenings in Bo, Kenema, Kono, and Makeni, unifying the country in a celebration of filmmaking.