As the best in African cinema comes to Scotland for the 10th edition of AiM, we pick our five programme highlights
Africa in Motion returns to Glasgow and Edinburgh for its 10th edition this October, with an exciting programme of films, talks, workshops and exhibitions representing the best in African cinematic culture.
‘Connections’ is the major theme of this year’s festival, with selected films engaging with a diverse range of interpretation, from political connections to artistic collaborations, generational ties to lost and restored cultural links. Of course, the very notion of pan-Africanism is one premised on an ideology of one Africa, and this too finds a natural place within the lineup.
‘The growth of Africa in Motion mirrors the growth of filmmaking on the African continent,’ says festival founder Lizelle Bisschoff. ‘While we celebrate ten years of Africa in Motion, we also reflect on ten years of expanding and diversifying our views of the continent and strengthening our connections with Africa.’
We’ve had a look at the 2015 programme and picked out five of our highlights from the fest for you to watch out for:
It’s Me, Anna and Ayanda (Sara Blecher, South Africa)
Sara Blecher is considered South Africa’s leading female filmmaker and these two films exemplify her interest in family ties, kinship and lost relations. Africa in Motion presents the UK premiere of It’s Me, Anna, an internationally universal drama tackling abuse from victim to abuser to those complicit through silence. The film is expected to make a huge splash in South Africa when it is released later this year. Blecher will be in Edinburgh holding Q&As after both It’s Me, Anna and Ayanda.
Wed 28 Oct at 8:15pm (It’s Me, Anna), Fri 30 Oct at 8:25pm (Ayanda), Filmhouse, Edinburgh.
RUN (Philippe Lacôte, Ivory Coast)
An exciting feature film debut from Lacôte, who has already made a name for himself when a number of excellent short films both in documentary and fictional form. RUN was presented at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in Un Certain Regard section, the first Ivorian film selected to premiere at the festival. Action, assassination, magic realism, African folklore and flashbacks from the main protagonist’s life and recent Ivory Coast political conflict mark this as once to watch. Lacôte will be on hand for Q&As in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Sun 25 Oct at 7:35pm, Glasgow Film Theatre (UK premiere), and Tue 27 Oct at 8:20pm, Filmhouse.
The Dream of Shahrazad and Bound: African vs African American
There are many excellent documentaries to consider, but these two standout from the crowd. The Dream of Shahrazad takes a unique, music-led look at the Arab Spring and recent political events in Egypt, Turkey and Lebanon through the lens of a famous story collection, known as One Thousand and One Nights. In Bound, Kenyan-born African American Peres Owino reveals the complex struggle between Africans and African Americans and attempts to bridge the gap between the two cultures.
Sun 25 Oct at 4.30pm, CCA, Glasgow; Thu 29 Oct at 5.45pm, Filmhouse, Edinburgh (The Dream of Shahrazad). Mon 26 Oct at 7.30pm, St John’s Church Hall, Edinburgh (Bound: African vs African American).
Love the One You Love (Jenna Cato-Bass, South Africa)
Love the One You Love is a rare South African film that opts to sidestep crime, corruption and race, with writer-director Cato-Bass instead presenting a fresh and romantic Cape Town tale. With echoes of Miranda July, Cato-Bass recognises that not all African cinema need reinforce stereotypes or Issues with a capital I, instead powerful storytelling also lies in the everyday. And if that’s not enough, ticket price includes a two course meal and invitation to BYOB.
Wed 28 Oct at 7pm, Canongate Kirk Church Hall, Edinburgh, £12.
Old Hairdressers, Glasgow
The newly inaugurated Africa in Motion TV Lounge will open in the Old Hairdressers in Glasgow, with a daily selection of popular African television shows including soaps, sports shows, mockumentaries and cooking programmes. It also plays host to a special exhibition of photographs on the theme Ways We Watch Films in Africa, which captures the diverse and innovative film-viewing habits across the African continent. Ways We Watch will also be exhibited at the Filmhouse in Edinburgh
Fri 23 Oct–Sun 1 Nov.