Top picks from Africa in Motion festival 2014
Including screenings of films Difret and Electro Chaabi, plus live performances from The Soil and Omar Afif
The ninth Africa in Motion festival kicks off in Edinburgh today, with the UK premiere of Soleils. This year’s festival, a medley of film, music and exhibitions taking place across Edinburgh, Glasgow and Stirling, marks the 20th anniversary of the end of Apartheid in South Africa. Alongside classics of South African cinema – like Mapantsula (Tue 8 Nov), which was banned at the time of its release – there’s a range of highlights to look out for. Here’s some of our top picks for this year’s festival.
Set in the early days of the Egyptian revolution and dealing with the fallout of the Arab Spring, the film focuses on a man who escapes prison due to the turmoil engulfing Cairo, and struggles to find his identity as he seeks shelter.
Edinburgh Filmhouse, Sun 26 Oct 6pm.
A Sundance Film Festival award winner that highlights the problem of female abduction into forced marriage in Ethiopia.
Edinburgh Filmhouse, Thu 30 Oct 8.30pm.
A documentary about the new underground music craze taking over Egypt – the combination of dance-y beats and punk-y lyrics, inspired by revolutionary ideals offers insight into the mindset of the country’s youth.
Edinburgh College of Art, Tue 28 Oct 1.30pm.
March Of The Gods: Botswana Metalheads
A rockumentary exploring the life of the Heavy Metal Brotherhood in Botswana, focusing on the struggle for recognition by leading band Wrust and their triumphant performance at SoloMacello Festival in Italy.
Edinburgh College of Art, Tue 28 Oct 3pm.
This harrowing documentary takes audiences on a journey into the Rwandan genocide, through film footage and accounts from survivors. Director Eric Kabera will be available after the screening to answer questions from the audience.
Edinburgh Filmhouse, Fri 31 Oct 8.30pm.
South African electronic music is the subject of performance artist Spoek Mathambo and filmmaker Lebogang Rasethab’s documentary exploring the cultural influence of genres such as sghubu sapitori, durban qhum, dubstep and shangaan electro on young South Africans.
Summerhall, Tue 4 Nov 9pm; CCA, Sat 8 Nov 8pm followed by a screening of Nelson Mandela Shorts.
This mini festival celebrates the end of Apartheid in South Africa with a series of contemporary South African productions and performances. Award-winning acapella group, The Soil combine a mix of musical styles, including jazz, hip-hop and afro-soul and will play at CCA in Glasgow (Wed 5 Nov) and at Summerhall in Edinburgh (Thu 6 Nov). Skierlik is a play exploring the aftermath of a racially motivated shooting on a remote settlement (CCA, Glasgow,Thu 6 Nov). The performance will be followed by a discussion with the playwright and performer Philip Dikotla.
Omar Afif, a Gnawa musician and dancer from Morocco, will lead the Interactive Music Workshop, running as part of Glasgow Children’s Day, taking attendees on a journey into North Africa through music, dance and storytelling, using a range of Moroccan instruments.
Glasgow Film Theatre, Sat 8 Nov.
As part of the Township Cafe Series, Omar Afif will also be performing an acoustic set with Glasgow-based music collective Seeds of Thought (CCA, Sun 9 Nov). Plus fresh from performing with Kevin Bridges, African-Glaswegian Wasasa Comedy Night is taking place in Glasgow (CCA, Mon 3 Nov) and Edinburgh (Summerhall, Tue 4 Nov).
Nelson Mandela Shorts
Commissioned in July to celebrate Mandela Day, each short film brings together one British and one South African musician, visual artist or animator. These unique partnerships have set moving images to a score of music, lasting between 90 seconds and 3 minutes.
CCA Glasgow, runs throughout Nov.