Seattle International Film Festival 2014 announces selection of films from Africa


The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF), which takes place from 15 May to 8 June, has revealed the selection of films from and about Africa as part of its African Pictures programme.

This year’s line-up includes the world premiere of South African film Leading Lady by Henk Pretorius who was also at the helm of Fanie Fourie’s Lobola, which won the Audience Award at SIFF 2013.

South African director Ian Gabriel’s Four Corners makes its North American debut at SIFF this year.

The following African Pictures titles will screen at SIFF 2014:

African Metropolis
Directors: Marie Ka, Philippe Lacote, Ahmed Ghoneimy, Vincent Moloi, Folsakin Iwajomo, Jim Chuchu from Kenya, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria and South Africa, 2013, 92 min

Through innovative short stories featuring six developing major cities namely Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos and Nairobi, filmmakers from across the African continent paint a vivid picture of a new, urbanised Africa in African Metropolis.

B For Boy
Directed Chika Anadu, Nigeria 2013, 118 min

Amaka, a 40-year-old Nigerian woman is expected to produce a male heir in Chika Anadu’s award-winning debut film. After her baby dies in utero, she desperately tries and finds a solution that will stop her husband from taking a second wife.

Directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, Ethiopia 2014, 99 min

Based on a true story, 14-year-old Aberash shoots and kills her attacker in an act of self-defence after being beaten, assaulted, and kidnapped. This act pits her and her determined lawyer against Ethiopia’s long-standing tradition of marriage by abduction.

Electro Chaabi
Directed by Hind Meddeb, Egypt / France 2013, 77 min

Now among Egypt’s fastest rising stars, Electro Chaabi started as performers in the poorest neighborhoods of Cairo. Their exhilarating version of Arab hip hop has thrived across social classes to become the inspirational soundtrack to a difficult time.

Finding Fela
Directed by Alex Gibney, USA 2014, 120 min

Through historic clips and scenes from the Broadway musical FELA! Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti’s life’s work is portrayed as well as its social and political significance.

Four Corners
North American Premiere
Directed by Ian Gabriel, South Africa 2014, 114 min

Just as the father he has never known is released from prison, 13-year-old chess prodigy Ricardo gets caught between two long-warring gangs, the 26s and the 28s of the merciless Cape Flats of South Africa.

Half of a Yellow Sun
Directed by Biyi Bandele, Nigeria / United Kingdom 2013, 106 min

Half of a Yellow Sun, based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, follows the lives of two Nigerian sisters in the 1960s who return home after receiving educations in England with the Nigerian Civil War as its backdrop.

Leading Lady
World Premiere
Directed by Henk Pretorius, South Africa 2014, 96 min

An uplifting tale of a teacher and a struggling actress who enlists the help of a South African sheep farmer to assist her in preparing for the film role of a lifetime.

Rags and Tatters
Directed by Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt 2013, 87 min

In Rags and Tatters, a nameless fugitive fights his way through the chaos of revolutionary Cairo to deliver cell phone footage of police brutality from his dying friend to the outside world.

The Rooftops
Directed by Merzak Allouache, Algeria / France 2013, 92 min

Allouache weaves the story of five Algiers neighbourhoods organised according to the five calls to prayer over the course of one day.

Salvation Army
Directed by Abdellah Taia, Morocco / France 2013, 82 min

The film, inspired by Taia own experiences, tells the journey of a gay Moroccan teenager who uses his sexuality to advance his position in, and ultimately escape, the society that rejects him.

Under the Starry Sky
Directed by Dyana Gaye, France / Senegal 2013, 86 min

Three emotionally charged story lines take viewers from Senegal to Italy to America and back again. In this richly realised examination of the African diaspora, the destinies of three far-flung sojourners connect. T

White Shadow
Directed by Noaz Deshe, Germany / Italy / Tanzania 2013, 115 min

Young albino Alias is on the run after witnessing his father’s murder in Tanzania. In this intense and stunning feature debut, Alias finds city life as fraught with danger in this film centred on crime perpetrated because of superstition.


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