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A challenging social environment such as Sierra Leone would not be likely to rank highly on a list of places filmgoers would expect a film festival to take place. However, the organizers of the Freetown Film Festival have actively challenged this perception over the past few years, and the event has now grown to become a unique annual display of cinematography from both domestic and foreign filmmakers.
For travellers who are also film aficionados, a trip to this festival provides an opportunity to view films from an African country whose films are not widely promoted or distributed. Currently there are six films per year that are produced by filmmakers from within the country, but these very rarely get to be seen outside of the country's borders due to a poor film distribution network.
The event provides benefits to audiences and filmmakers alike. Audiences at the festival are being treated to movies they would otherwise not have an opportunity to see, and the film-makers achieve valuable exposure to markets and various sponsor representatives that would have been out of reach were it not for the festival.
The Freetown Film Festival is the only event in the country to be recognised worldwide for its immense contribution to the local Sierra Leonean film industry. This pioneering festival has been held annually in March since 2007 and currently continues to grow in popularity.