FYI to our readers across the pond… highlights include several films previously covered on the blog, like “Timbuktu,” “Soleils,” “National Diploma,” “The Supreme Price,” and more, as well as films new to us, like Sergio Graciano’s “Njinga, Queen of Angola,” Rachel Samuel’s “Asni: Courage, Passion & Glamour in Ethiopia,” and others.
Also of note is a celebration of Algeria’s 60th anniversary of independence, in a showcase titled “Algerian Cinema: Towards a New Wave,” which will feature over 15 films by a new generation of Algerian filmmakers representing a shift in the country’s cinematic landscape.
Look for individual highlights.
The deets follow via press release below:
Film Africa – the Royal African Society’s annual film festival and London’s biggest celebration of African cinema – returns for the fourth year with a bumper programme of films, premieres and visiting filmmakers. 85 titles, of which 56 are premieres from across 23 different African countries, will be shown.
Running from Friday 31 October to Sunday 9 November, Film Africa 2014 will take place across 11 London venues, including the Hackney Picturehouse, Ritzy Brixton, BFI Southbank, Ciné Lumière, Rich Mix and the South London Gallery.
With 2014 marking 100 years since the unification of Nigeria, the 60th anniversary of the Algerian Revolution, and the 20th anniversary of both South Africa’s democracy the genocide in Rwanda, the festival will present stunning cinematic reflections on African history and current politics in different genres, including crime thrillers, period dramas, comedy and documentaries.
Major titles include Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu and Tala Hadid’s The Narrow Frame Of Midnight (the festival opening and closing films), Olivier Delahaye and Dani Kouyaté’s Soleils, Sana Na N’Hada’s Kadjike, Noaz Deshe’sWhite Shadow (executive produced by Ryan Gosling), Hicham Lasri’s They Are The Dogs, and Dieudo Hamadi’s National Diploma.
Over 20 filmmakers and guests will be in attendance this year, including rising director Tala Hadid (The Narrow Frame Of Midnight); filmmaker and journalist Yaba Badoe (The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo); popular Nollywood director Kunle Afolayan (October 1); and Algerian filmmaker Belkacem Hadjadj (Fadhma n’Soumer); and Cape Town-based director Ian Gabriel (Four Corners).
In partnership with the rest of the UK African film festivals, Film Africa 2014 will host South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour – a nation-wide season of South African cinema, which includes the classic Come Back, Africa, the gritty, award-winning Four Corners and the controversial documentary Miners Shot Down about the 2012 Marikana massacre.
Marking the 60th anniversary of Algeria’s independence, the festival also showcases Algerian Cinema: Towards a New Wave – a programme of over 15 Algerian films highlighting the imaginative work of a new generation of daring filmmakers who are unmistakeably shifting the country’s cinematic landscape.
Female filmmakers and women-centred stories feature prominently across the programme with titles such as Sergio Graciano’s Njinga, Queen of Angola, whose central character is the 17th century Angolan leader who fought tirelessly against Portuguese slave traders, and Fadhma n’Soumer, a historical biopic of the 19th century Algerian mystic and resistance leader. Contemporary African women acting as powerful agents of change today are featured in Joanna Lipper’s The Supreme Price, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari’s Difret and Dani Kouyaté’s Women, Entirely Women, among others.
A selection of documentaries bring to life the creative work of a range of individuals who have made their mark on the African literary and music scenes, including Silvia Voser’s Ken Bugul – Nobody Wants Her, Rachel Samuel’s Asni: Courage, Passion & Glamour in Ethiopia, Lebogang Rasethaba’s Future Sound of Mzansi, and Mário Patrocinio’s I Love Kuduro.
Film Africa 2014 will also shine a spotlight on Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) African cinema bringing the newest titles from Guinea-Bissau, Angola and Mozambique, and a discussion with respected producer Pedro Pimenta.
Other programme highlights include: The Industry Forum at the BFI, a free event which sheds light on the business of African cinema; The Baobab Award for Best Short Film; Film Africa LIVE! music nights featuring the hottest African music in London; a schools screening programme, in partnership with Picturehouse Education; and Westminster University’s 6th Annual African Film Conference – Documenting Africa: Creating Fact or Fiction through the lens.
Sheila Ruiz, Manager of Film Africa, says: “We at The Royal African Society are delighted to present the fourth edition of our annual Film Africa festival, which aims to promote the best of this growing new wave of African cinema. The films in this year’s festival continue to reveal new images and nuanced narratives of Africa, which we know London audiences are eager to see and engage with. There is really something for everyone and we look forward to yet another successful festival!”
Zeinab Badawi, Chair of the Royal African Society, says: “Film Africa 2014 is presenting a variety of powerful and compelling narratives from the continent on film. I think Film Africa is doing a marvelous job in bringing untold stories to the fore.”
Film Africa is funded by Miles Morland, the BFI and the SA-UK Seasons, a partnership between the South African Department of Arts and Culture and the British Council. Supporters include MOFILM and the Centre of African Studies, University of London. Sponsors include Divine Chocolate, SAB Miller, Aduna and Crumbs & Doilies. Media partners include The Africa Channel and IC Publications (New African & New African Woman). Publicity and website design by Design 237.
To view the full Film Africa 2014 festival programme, visit www.filmafrica.org.uk.