Africa in Motion 2012 to focus on modern Africa
The leading African film festival to feature sci-fi, drama and documentary features and short films
Now entering its seventh year, the Africa in Motion festival has established itself as one of the leading African Cinema events and for the first time it’ll also be screening a number of premieres along with its opening night in Glasgow at the GFT. With 23 feature length and 32 short films, this year’s event takes Modern Africa as its primary focus, and with the diversity of the films on offer, it looks to be one of their most progressive lineups thus far. The programme is composed of strands including African science fiction, Arab Spring documentaries and the cult popularity of Nollywood – which is now one of the fastest growing and most productive film industries in the world, churning out over 500 films a year.
There’s a barrage of related film events throughout the fortnight, including an extensive director’s masterclass with award-winning South African playwright and filmmaker Ndaba Ka Ngwane (Fri 26 Oct, Edinburgh College of Art), who will also be premiering his debut feature Uhlanga (The Mark) (Thu 25 Oct, Filmhouse; Sun 28 Oct, GFT). Ngwane’s film has received critical acclaim for its intense portrayal of rural poverty and violence in modern South Africa, told through the eyes of three teenagers.
From the short films category, easily one of the standout films is Hasaki Ya Suda (Swords) (Fri 26 Oct, Filmhouse), one of the first afro-samurai movies of its kind. It’s a dystopian look at Africa in the year 2100 in which a migration from south to north due to global warming has created a nomadic wasteland of survivors who have revived the ancient traditions of their ancestors – including swordplay.
On the documentary front there are some hard-hitting features that delve into the recent revolutions of the northern Arab states. Rouge Parole (Sun 28 Oct, Filmhouse) covers the Tunisian uprising and downfall of President Ben Ali as told from the frontlines of the resistance movement, while Tripoli Stories and Rabat Stories (Sun 28 Oct, Filmhouse) collects a number of real-life tales surrounding the Libyan and Moroccan cities amidst the revolutions and their transition towards democracy.
With the forward thinking and topical nature of this year’s programming – along with its expansion across the central belt of Scotland – Africa in Motion has certainly upped the ante in terms of its scheduling and film selection, offering a plethora of insights into a modern and creative Africa which sadly gets overlooked by most Western audiences and festival programmers.
Filmhouse, Edinburgh and GFT, Glasgow, Thu 25 Oct–Fri 2 Nov.