• KWAKU
    The West African fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of Nyan, attending her estranged father’s funeral; Nyan’s father led two separate lives with two wives, one in Ghana, one in the United States; her ambivalence about her father’s double life is a reflection of a broader truth about the nature of our personal relationships.
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  • AYA DE YOPOUGON
    Based on the comic books by Marguerite Abouet, and set in the 1970s against a serene atmosphere of warm colours seasoned with popular songs, this breezy animation introduces us to Aya and her friends from the Ivory Coast suburb of Yopougon. Here, no matter what the circumstances are, people stay optimistic by relying on neighbourhood solidarity.
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  • OF GOOD REPORT
    So incendiary that it was banned, Of Good Report is a stylish nod to film noir; high school teacher Parker Sithole realises that his love for his student is forbidden; faced with a moral dilemma, he makes the wrong choice, with disastrous consequences. Shot in seductive monochrome, this film is a dizzying trip into a debased mind.
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  • SODIQ
    A rigorous and heartbreaking documentary about 20-year-old Sodiq Adeojo, a promising London teenager charged in 2012 with the gang-related shooting of a peer; With a scrupulous look at the evidence in the case, director Michael goes right to the heart of this tragic story, in which two promising futures were shattered in one stroke.
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  • LA PIROGUE
    Moussa Touré’s visually stunning and politically astute odyssey is among the best films to have emerged from Senegal in recent years. It tells the story of Baye Laye (Ndiaye), a retired boat captain who reluctantly agrees to take a group of 29 African men across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain aboard a small wooden fishing boat.
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  • Colonial Visions: Britain’s African Empire on Film
    A special programme of rarely seen colonial-era archive film, curated and introduced by Francis Gooding, Colonial Visions provides a rare chance to see Britain’s African colonies on film. The screenings will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A session reflecting on the issues raised by the films.
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  • PAPER BOAT
    The Egyptian revolution awakened the of possibility of change for the Egyptian people; however, the social and political developments since the resignation of ex-President Mubarak left many frustrated; in this beautifully shot film, a man and a woman consider how to cope and what to do in the complex aftermath of the Egyptian revolution.
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  • LA NOIRE DE
    Ousmane Sembene’s first feature is a searing account of the isolation of a young black domestic servant working in Antibes. “For us, it was necessary to become political”, said Sembene, “to become involved in a struggle against all the ills… we have inherited from the colonial and neo-colonial systems.” His film uncompromisingly bears out this attitude.
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  • MILLE SOLEILS
    Mati Diop’s compelling mid-length essay film picks up the story of the two main characters from Touki Bouki, the cult film made by her late uncle Djibril Diop Mambety 40 years ago. Diop’s family is inextricably entangled with the dual histories of cinema and Senegal, and she uses this fact to merge temporalities to haunting effect.
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  • GRISGRIS
    Charming, visually lush, and consistently surprising, Grisgris is Mahamat-Saleh Haroun’s most optimistic film to date; a powerful film that ingeniously tracks its hero’s journey as he overcomes all kinds of obstacles, including his disability and classic bad guys to present a dazzlingly beautiful and complex vision of living in Africa today.
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  • TOUKI BOUKI - 40th Anniversary Special Screening
    Mambéty’s mythical, freewheeling road-movie prefigured the spirit of punk and forged a new direction for sub-Saharan cinema; it tells the story of two young lovers plotting their escape route out of Senegal – with a cornucopia of stunning imagery, sonic dissonance and slyly political subtext. Touki Bouki is a stone-cold classic that’s not to be missed.
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  • COZ OF MONI 2
    Award-winning duo FOKN Bois, popularly known for giving the world its first ‘Pidgin Musical’ Coz Ov Moni and for their unconventional style and shocking lyrics. In this uproarious sequel to their first film the Bois are out for revenge on a machete-wielding gang that ambushed, wounded, robbed and left them for dead.
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Let the healing begin – Something Necessary

By Robin Steedman The 2007 Kenyan Presidential election was widely disputed, and in its aftermath violence erupted across the country, leaving at least 1,000 people dead and 300,000 displaced. The violence ostensibly ended when President Mwai Kibaki and his rival Raila Odinga agreed to a Kofi Annan-mediated power-sharing agreement, and much of the media coverage of the election crisis celebrated this as a moment of resolution. Yet, for hundreds of thousands of Kenyans, the images of smiling politicians did not mark the end of an event, but rather the beginning of the messy and arduous rebuilding process. Echoing the sentiments of many of these ordinary Kenyan citizens, Judy Kibinge’s Something Necessary sees this moment as a beginning; consequently it is a work rich in both humane topicality and exceptionally powerful drama. Something Necessary opens with its protagonist Anne (Susan Wanjiru) badly injured in hospital and waiting to see if her comatose son will ever wake up. She has a bloody bandage across one cheek, and as the film progresses Anne’s cheek becomes a metaphor for the country. The blood is washed away and eventually her face heals with no visible scar. However, the healing of this superficial wound does not mean Anne is healed. […]

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A world of connections – Jeppe On A Friday

By Maya Osborne Documentary Jeppe On A Friday – which screens in the main programme of Film Africa 2013 - opens to the sound of Lotus FM accompanying a broad aerial shot of Johannesburg in all its built up glory, shining in the early morning sunlight. The radio station thanks me for listening, and I wonder how many Jo’burg citizens listened to this exact same show on Friday 9th March, 2012. Largely shot in the old neighbourhood of Jeppestown, the entirety of this absorbing documentary was filmed on this day by eight women directors, and brought together by Shannon Walsh and Arya Lalloo. Suddenly the city shrinks: the film cuts to a shot of Arouna, a restauranteur, washing himself in his bathroom sink. Following a day in the lives of five people, the intimate particulars of daily affairs are brought to the fore. We are shown how porous urban life can be: the domains of private and public bleed together in exciting and strange ways so that although the film’s five characters never meet, their lives feel implicitly interconnected. We meet Vusi, earning his livelihood by selling what he finds in the rubbish bins. Private life becomes public fare as the camera focuses on […]

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Looking Forward to Film Africa 2014

Thank you once again to everyone who joined us for Film Africa 2013 back in November. We hope you enjoyed the festival and that you are looking forward to Film Africa 2014 as much as we are. Film Africa will return for its fourth edition, taking place once again in early November 2014 (exact dates TBC) over ten days and across different London venues, including the BFI Southbank, Ciné Lumière, Hackney Picturehouse, Rich Mix, Ritzy Brixton, South London Gallery, and the University of Westminster. We are very excited to announce that this year Film Africa plans to work much more closely with the other UK African film festivals – Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Afrika Eye in Bristol, the Cambridge African Film Festival and Watch Africa in Wales – creating a UK-wide African film season. This strategic partnership aims to increase the choice of African films available to audiences across the UK, raising the profile of African cinema nationally. Now more than ever, we stand a real chance of mainstreaming African cinema and we invite you to help us achieve this. We welcome sponsorship support for Film Africa 2014 and beyond. Please do get in touch if you […]

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Film Africa daily blog – Day 10 [Sun 10 Nov, 2013]

Well, we’re nearly there. Across the last nine days at six great London venues, we’ve enjoyed an absolute feast of African cinema and culture. Amazing to think how quickly it’s all whizzed by – our opening night film, Of Good Report - seems like a lifetime away now! Yesterday was the busiest day of Film Africa. We kicked off with day one of the African Film Conference in Westminster, while over at the BFI director Destiny Ekaragha and writer Bola Agbaje held a great, informative young people’s workshop. At 2pm, it was a shame we couldn’t all be in two places at once, as our celebration of Nollywood at the South London Gallery (a talk from programmer Phoenix Fry followed by a screening of hilarious comedy Osuofia In London) went directly up against our double-bill of Alain Gomis’ Tey and Ousmane Sembene’s Borom Sarret at BFI Southbank. At 5pm there was another embarrassment of riches, with a double-bill of Djibril Diop Mambety’s classic Touki Bouki and Mati Diop’s Mille Soleils at Hackney, and Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun’s superb blend of documentary and fiction, 2morrow Far Away at Ritzy. Following Urcun’s film, we screened Cameroonian director Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s controversial film The President, followed by a great Q&A with the man himself. Then, back over at Hackney, we wrapped with […]

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Film Africa daily blog – Day 9 [Sat 9 Nov, 2013]

Hello, and welcome to Day 9 of the Film Africa daily blog – hard to believe it’s the penultimate day of the festivities. Where has the time gone? Time is short today (it’s our busiest day in the programme by far), so we’re going to give you a quick visual blast of what happened in Film Africa’s world yesterday, before moving onto a whistlestop tour of today’s many highlights. Last night we welcomed the great Alain Gomis to South London for screenings of his first two films, L’Afrance and Andalucia. But before Gomis beat the path to Coldharbour Lane, his services were required for an interview with CNN: Then, following Andalusia, Gomis took to the stage for a Q&A. Here he is with our curator Suzy Gillett and programmer Isabel Moura Mendes: Then, up at Hackney Picturehouse, it was time for some serious FOKN revenge with the world premiere of the FOKN Bois Coz ov Moni II. Here’s the Bois’ Mensa mid-Q&A after the screening: One Tweeter took an analytical approach to assessing the film: @FOKNBOIS fokn Bois are seriously something in both good n bad way,coz ov moni,talent n creativity at its highest level.. — Oppong christopher (@Chris233_gh) November 9, 2013 Another went with the gut: @FOKNBOIS The […]

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Powerful dialogue – The President

By Samira Sawlani There are very few films which achieve the right balance between activism, making a statement and serving as a piece of entertainment, and it is in this area that Cameroonian director Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s controversial film The President (screening tonight at Film Africa) triumphs. The film has already made headlines due to its widespread banning within Cameroon. Numerous media houses and organisations have refused to screen it and its cast and crew have allegedly been on the receiving end of persecution. However, Bekolo is no stranger to controversy: his award-winning science-fiction film Les Saignantes (2005) had also troubled Cameroon’s film censorship board on account of its frank depiction of sexuality and subversive political content. Anyone with knowledge of the political situation in Cameroon will be aware that Bekolo has taken a brave step in tackling a subject matter which was always going to rile up the Government of President Paul Biya, who has been in power for over 30 years. The film depicts Cameroon facing a political crisis due to the mysterious disappearance of the president (Gerard Essomba) which leaves behind a political vacuum and an atmosphere in which people are finally free to air their opinions regarding the state of the country. Chronicled […]

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Film Africa daily blog – Day 8 [Fri 8 Nov, 2013]

Hello, and welcome to Day 8 of the Film Africa daily blog – only three days left now for you to pack in as much African film viewing as you can. Let’s first take a look back at yesterday’s action. Firstly, at Covent Garden’s London Film School, we were delighted to welcome back filmmaker Judy Kibinge for an in-depth discussion about cinema and politics. Here she is with our own Robin Steedman: Our first films of the day came in the form of a musical double bill - Death Metal Angola and Angola: The Birth of a Movement - hosted by programmer Emma Dabiri up at the Hackney Picturehouse. Here’s Emma doing her thing: The films struck a chord (boom boom) on Twitter: Just saw a sincerely awesome film about DIY metal in Angola called Death Metal Angola. @DMA_FILM — Golnar (@g_nar) November 7, 2013 Was lucky to catch an awe-inspiring film called DEATH METAL ANGOLA about building a DIY metal scene in Angola, it was amazing! @DMA_FILM — Bryony Beynon (@bryonybeynon) November 7, 2013 Then all eyes were down south at the Ritzy Cinema, firstly for a sold-out screening of Adeyemi Michael’s Grierson award-winning doc Sodiq, followed by a lively Q&A with the enterprising filmmaker […]

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