Film Africa – London’s annual celebration of African cinema – returns for a third year with a line-up of over 60 films from across the continent screening at six major venues over ten days (Friday 1 – Sunday 10 November).
Organised by the Royal African Society, the UK’s prime Africa organisation, Film Africa 2013 will also feature a vibrant programme of events including post-screening Q&As, directorial masterclasses, an Industry Forum, Film Africa LIVE! performances, schools screenings, young people’s workshops and other special events.
Film Africa 2013 launches with the controversial new film, Of Good Report, from South African director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka. Briefly banned from showing at the Durban International Film Festival on account of its provocative, Lolita-inspired subject matter, Of Good Report is a thrilling, devilishly comic and supremely assured work from one of Africa’s most exciting up-and-coming filmmakers.
In addition to director Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, this year’s festival will host 15 visiting filmmakers and guests, including: Alain Gomis (Senegal/Paris), Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon), Judy Kibinge (Kenya), Sami Tlili (Tunisia), Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun (France), Mensa Ansah – of FOKN Bois (Ghana), Joao Viana (Guinea-Bissau), Armand-Brice Tchikamen (Ivory Coast), Josephat Torner (Tanzania), Katrine Kjaer (Denmark), and UK-based Pieter van der Houwen, Harry Freeland, Michael Adeyemi, and Ana de Sousa.
The 2013 programme profiles the work of three major names in African cinema. The trio of directors includes Chadian Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, one of the most respected auteurs in world cinema whose latest film, the charming and consistently surprising Grisgris, will be our Closing Night film; the award-winning Franco-Senegalese visionary Alain Gomis, who will present all three of his feature films in person, and the supremely talented experimental filmmaker and actor Mati Diop, niece of legendary Senegalese director Djibril Diop Mambety, whose cult film, Touki Bouki, will be screened to mark its 40 year anniversary alongside Diop’s Mille Soleils.
Film Africa 2013 also celebrates Nigeria’s vibrant film industry with Coming of age: Celebrating 21 years of Nollywood, featuring special full-length screenings of classics Living in Bondage and Osuofia in London and a ‘Nollywood for Begginners’ session. Additionally, during our industry forum, The Business of Film in Africa, an expert panel will discuss the shifting priorities in the Nigerian film market and the move to higher quality film.
Film Africa 2013 once again presents an exciting programme of innovative short films in competition for the annual Baobab Short Film Award, which this year will be judged by a panel of industry experts comprised of Kate Gerova, Artistic Director of Birds Eye View film festival, Nick Denes, Co-Director of the Palestinian Film Foundation, and award-winning director Yaba Badoe.
Other festival highlights include Colonial Visions: Britain’s African Empire on Film, a special event
which will screen and debate colonial-era films from British archive collections, and Bonfires and Revolutions – an evening of politics and protest in African cinema. This special programme includes Something Necessary, Judy Kibinge’s powerful and sensitively observed film about the post-election violence in Kenya in 2007 and Babylon, a documentary by a trio of first-time directors from Tunisia, which follows the refugee crisis in Libya. Probably most topical of all is La Pirogue by Senegalese director Moussa Toure, which charts the precarious journey of 29 African men across the Atlantic to Spain aboard a small ‘pirogue’, candidly exploring the issue of illegal migration by sea into Europe.
- Read Festival Director Suzy Gillet’s welcome message here.
- Watch the Film Africa 2013 trailer here.
- Buy tickets here.
Across the next two weeks Africa in Words will be sharing reviews of some of the festival highlights, as well as an interview with filmmaker Judy Kibinge.