Richard began working in journalism, joining The Times foreign desk in 1980. He reported on the Middle East and African, and was appointed Africa Editor at The Independent when it was founded in 1986. He has written extensively about Africa, and has made three full length documentaries on Africa for Channel Four and the BBC, and several shorter films.
He became director of the Royal Africa Society in November 2002.
He continues to write on African issues and appear frequently as a commentator on African affairs on the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Sky News and other broadcast media.
His book: Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles was published by Portobello Books in September 2008 and in the US in March 2009.
Lindiwe, originally from South Africa, is a curator, reseacher, maker, and teacher of African film. She is Senior Lecturer in African Film and Performance Arts at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, and has been programming African film for more than a decade, since she co-founded the Cambridge African Film Festival in 2002, the UK's oldest annual African film festival.
Her book, African film and literature: adapting violence to the screen (Columbia University Press, 2009) won a Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award. She is currently the recipient of a prestigious Philip Leverhulme research fellowship which is allowing her to do research for two new books on African film.
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Singer, songwriter, photographer and cultural events curator, Namvula continues to enjoy a diverse career! After working as a press photographer in Sierra Leone, she returned to London to run the Royal African Society’s vibrant events programme for three years, during which time she became one of the founders of the London African Film Festival. She is on the jury for the Mapungubwe Golden Rhino South African film festival.
From as early as 1997, Eric has been involved with medical, education, and labour related development projects in Africa, Latin America and the United States -- inspiring him to pursue a degree from SOAS. Prior to his time in London, Eric co-managed a production design studio in Portland, Oregon, US and in 2009 joined the David Lynch Foundation in New York working as a project manager and media consultant. He is passionate about travel, food, photography, politics and film.
Robin has a BA (Hons) in International Development and Religious Studies from McGill University and has just finished a Masters degree at SOAS, University of London focusing on the relationship between film and other cultural production, and democratization in Kenya. She is passionate about challenging stereotypical depictions of 'Africa', something that corresponds perfectly with the objectives of Film Africa 2012.
Simone is the director of global boutique PR agency Bresi-Ando consults with over 10 years experience in the industry.
Simone started her career as personal secretary to the Rt Hon. John Prescott and at the same time, launched her culturally significant events outfit; PUSH which led her to work with two Grammy award winners Estelle and Floetry as well as 2004 Mercury Music Prize nominee Ty. Within seven years, Simone rose to the role of global corporate PR manager for Sony Ericsson (now Sony Mobile) and managed the global sponsorship property of women's tennis.
John, a final year BA African Studies student at SOAS, studies Swahili, Amharic and Somali. His language exploits have led him from football commentary on BBC Swahili to flying out to host weddings in Tanzania - experiences which have sparked a keen interest in African film and literature.
Marian is a film curator, specializing in content for video on demand platforms. She has just finished an MA in Film Curating at Birkbeck, University of London. She also studied Film Production in Madrid's Film & Media School, ECAM (Escuela de Cine y del Audiovisual de la Comunidad de Madrid).
Before embarking on film curating, Marian worked as a post-production supervisor for over a decade, collaborating in more than 25 films with internationally renowned directors such as Alejandro González Iñárritu, Tran Ang Hung, Steven Soderbergh, Oliver Stone and Carlos Saura. Marian Briozzo was born in Buenos Aires, grew up in Madrid, and is currently based in London.
Christine holds a BA in African Studies and Development in addition to
an MA in Global Media and Post-national Communication from SOAS. She
has worked at local and international NGOs and charitable media
organisations, focusing on young people in South Africa, Germany and
the UK. These experiences eventually led her back to SOAS where she is
currently pursuing a PhD in Media and Film Studies. Her research
explores contemporary film, video and television in South Africa in
relation to children and youth. Also enjoys writing, yoga, baking and
Michael Thomas is a 3rd year Undergraduate student at SOAS, University of London studying African Studies and Development Studies. Michael has spent time in Ethiopia since February 2010 with family residing in Addis Ababa and is the Ethiopian film advisor for Film Africa 2012.
Sheila Ruiz is the Programme Co-ordinator for the Royal African Society. With a background in arts management and a keen interest in current affairs with a specific focus on Africa, Sheila mixes her skills in event production, research and analysis to develop the RAS’s events program. Prior to starting at the RAS, Sheila worked as a Communications and Programming Consultant for the Africa Centre. Previously, she worked as a freelance events producer for various community arts projects in London. Sheila holds an MA in African Studies and a BA in History. She is of mixed Spanish/Equato-Guinea heritage and is bilingual in Spanish and English. Sheila has a passion for the arts, and dance and music in particular, having performed at various carnivals and with the London Lucumi Choir.
I am a native Tanzanian living and studying in the UK. Following an MA in Human Rights, I interned for a number of organisations locally and internationally. This included working as a legal intern for the United Nation International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (UNICTR) where I assisted senior prosecutors on drafting and researching legal motions and responses.
Whether researching or liaising with colleagues, my time working at the festival has been an eye opening experience on the grit and hard work behind the scenes. As something very new to me I have learnt a lot and enjoyed working in many aspects of it. As a keen athlete I enjoy running and playing football as well as reading.
Joshua McNamara has a BA in Philosophy and Literature and MA in Critical Media Studies, where he studied continental philosophy, media and cultural theory, and focused his Masters research into the Kenyan film industry. He is editor and co-founder of interdisciplinary art journal #3, and is currently reading for a PhD at SOAS, University of London, researching the relation between humanitarian aid and audiovisual media production in Kenya.
Dr. Julie MacArthur holds a PhD in African history from the University of Cambridge and has taught African history and culture at the University of Toronto and McGill University. In 2013, she will take up a post as Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia and a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Makerere Institute for Social Research in Kampala, Uganda. Julie has worked for five years as a programming associate with the Toronto International Film Festival specializing in African and Black Diaspora, Indian, Middle Eastern and British cinema and was the Director of the Cambridge African Film Festival for several years. She has curated film programmes and participated in film workshops and festivals across North America, Africa and the UK. She has published widely on African film and history and is actively involved in promoting African film culture throughout the world.
Born in Lagos, Nigeria Joseph a. Adesunloye is a Director / Screenwriter / Producer. He works at DreamCoat Productions which he founded to bring together his interest in film and theatre work in Africa and Europe.
He graduated from the University of Aberdeen, with a Masters of Arts in English Literature and Film Studies and subsequently attended the London Film Academy – where he also worked on the Filmmaking Foundation Courses as a tutor after completing his yearlong Filmmaking Diploma.
After an MA in African Studies at SOAS in 2004, Natasha moved on to work in education and she has been a school teacher for the past six years. Having completed further study in ‘Education and Social Change’ at Birkbeck College earlier this year, she has worked on the education team for GAP (Global Action Plan) - the UK’s leading environmental behaviour change charity. She is currently engaged in an exciting new project that aims to create effective teaching resources in line with the Government’s ‘Global Dimension’ initiative in education.
Michael grew up in Southern Africa and graduated with a BA in Film Studies from Kent, having also studied abroad in Kansas, before settling in Cambridge. He has worked at various film festivals, including Telluride and Sundance, and interned at Dogwoof Pictures. Michael is currently the director of the Cambridge African Film Festival and Communications Manager for Take One, the official review publication for the Cambridge Film Festival, at which he is also annually involved, most recently as Volunteer Coordinator.