UK African film fests collaborate
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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 14:53
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This year for the first time, the UK’s four biggest African film festivals – Africa in Motion (AiM) in Edinburgh/Glasgow, Afrika Eye in Bristol, the Cambridge African Film Festival and Film Africa, London – are uniting to share films and filmmakers in a drive to bring a greater variety of contemporary African cinema to a broader UK audience.

The festivals have joined forces to tour a quartet of highly-rated new feature films from Africa and to enable UK cinema-goers to talk to three of the filmmakers makers about their work. The shared programme includes:

• Judy Kibinge, a rising star on the Kenyan cinema scene, presenting Something Necessary, her riveting drama about political violence in Kenya, followed by a Q&A at AiM, Afrika Eye and Film Africa (with a screening at the Cambridge African Film Festival).
• South African Jahmil XT Qubeka presenting and discussing Of Good Report, his controversial, Lolita-inspired, film noir, at AiM and Film Africa.
• Franco-Senegalese director Alain Gomis presenting and discussing his multiple award-winning latest film Tey – a contemplative drama following a man (Saul Williams) through his last day of life – at Film Africa and Afrika Eye, with a screening at the Cambridge African Film Festival.
• Screenings at AiM and Afrika Eye of David ‘Tosh’’ Gitonga’s Nairobi Half Life, a fast-paced urban thriller about a young, aspiring actor surviving on the mean streets of Nairobi.

Speaking on behalf of the four festivals, AiM’s founder and curator Lizelle Bisschoff said: “The collaboration by these four African film festivals, taking place in Edinburgh, London, Bristol and Cambridge in October and November this year maximises our ability to showcase the best of African cinema and excite audiences with what’s available.”

Filmmaker Simon Bright, the Zimbabwe-born co-director of Bristol’s Afrika Eye festival, held at Watershed, added: "Currently only 0.01 % of cinema screenings in the UK show African films. Yet Africa is where storytelling first began and a new generation of Africans is finding exciting ways to bring this ancient talent to the screen via features and documentaries that thoroughly deserve the attention of UK cinema- goers.”

The season of festivals begins with the Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival in Edinburgh and Glasgow (Thursday 24 October – Sunday 3 November) then continues with Film Africa in London (Friday 1 November to Sunday 10 November) and the Cambridge African Film Festival (3 – 7 November and other dates) before concluding with Afrika Eye in Bristol (Friday 8 November to Sunday 10 November).

All four festivals are showing many other films as well as the shared content and most also feature debates and African cultural celebrations. For programming details and bookings, please see:

Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival - www.africa-in-motion.org.uk – taking place at Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh - www.filmhousecinema.com and at Glasgow Film Theatre - www.gft.org.uk
Film Africa, London - www.filmafrica.org.uk
Cambridge African Film Festival – www.cambridgeafricanfilmfestival.org.uk – taking place at Cambridge Arts Picturehouse www.picturehouses.co.uk/cinema/Arts_Picturehouse_Cambridge/
Afrika Eye – afrikaeye.org - taking place at Watershed, Bristol - www.watershed.co.uk

The visits to the UK by Judy Kibinge and Jahmil XT Qubeka are being made possible thanks to funding from the British Council.

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