Why I’m Here: Stories of Migration

Amid the ongoing negative discourse on migration today, it’s easy to forget that history has been shaped and defined by the continuous movement of peoples. Humans have been on the move since life first began over 200,000 years ago in Africa. Like so many species in the animal kingdom, human migration is a natural and adaptive response to a change in resources, climate and safety. This year Film Africa presents a collection of personal stories, both fact and fiction, that reflect on the complex relationship between self and place. Some of these stories challenge the legitimising of certain narratives of migration over others; whilst the rest simply highlight what binds us as people and makes us intrinsically human.

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Soweto: 40 Years On

On 16 June 1976, some 20,000 students from schools across the Johannesburg township of Soweto took to the streets in protest to the introduction of Afrikaans, famously labeled the “language of the oppressor” by Desmond Tutu, as the teaching medium. What began peacefully ended in carnage; police killed an estimated 700 young protesters in a display of brutality that shook the world, and was the eventual death knell for the country’s racist government. 40 years on, this date is now the popular Youth Day holiday. With a new wave of student protests currently sweeping the country, we present a double bill to remember the sacrifices and successes of the youth movement, while also highlighting the deep racial and class inequalities still being felt across South Africa today.

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Nollywood Nights

Over two decades after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nollywood has become one of the world’s most prolific film industries. Complex, intriguing and full of energy, this most popular genre of Nigerian cinema is now firmly on the map. As the industry grows, so too do the budgets and visions of its filmmakers. This year we bring you the latest works from three of Nigeria’s most popular directors: Kunle Afolayan, Niyi Akinmolayan and Femi Odugbemi. Tales of love, deception and gender equality are brought to the screen by some of the biggest names in the game, including Wale Ojo, Agelique Kidjo, O.C. Ukeje and Adesu Etomi. Nollywood Nights is presented by the UK African Film Festivals (Film Africa, Africa in Motion Film Festival, Afrika Eye, Watch Africa and the Cambridge African Film Festival). Part of the BFI BLACK STAR season. #BFIBLACKSTAR www.bfi.org.uk/black-star

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Music On Film: Sounds of the Continent

Africa is synonymous with wonderfully rich and varied music. Each year, Film Africa showcases films that celebrate Africa’s diverse musical traditions, as well as the wealth of new talent emerging from the continent and its diaspora. Meet musicians from one of the world’s oldest and most renowned music scenes, recently under threat from Islamic militants, in Mali Blues; go on a journey of discovery into Ethiopia’s myriad music traditions in Roaring Abyss, featuring never before seen or heard live recordings of some of the country’s most beautiful music; and find out how music became a catalyst for political action in Senegal in the energising doc The Revolution Won’t Be Televised.

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