From the 23rd of October to the 1st of November, Edinburgh and Glasgow will once again be hosts of the Africa in Motion Film Festival. Founded in 2006, the annual festival aims to introduce Scottish audiences to African cinema and culture through an eclectic mix of films, director Q&A’s, and music events showcasing some of the best talent from all over Africa.
The festival will open with a screening of Djibril Diop Mambety’s 1992 masterpiece, Hyènes (Hyenas) at the Edinburgh Filmhouse on the 23rd of October. A powerful critique on neo-colonialism in Senegal; Hyènes tells a story of love and revenge that is both darkly comic and deeply harrowing. The screening will be followed by an opening party at Summerhall filled with elements of African culture-from the food served to the entertainment provided. While something of a juxtaposition of the film’s atmosphere; this simply highlights the richness of variety that is to be found in the burgeoning realm of African cinema.
Africa in Motion will also feature the UK premieres of several new films, including: Things of the Aimless Wanderer; the second feature film by Rwandan filmmaker, Kivu Ruhorahoza, whose distinctive style brutally examines exploitation and violence within both the colonial and post-colonial settings; “the division between past and present [melting] into a menacing, timelessness of abuse along axes of race and gender, seeing the two as intertwined in the most intimate of ways”. The screening will take place at 5:45pm on Sunday 25th October at the Edinburgh Filmhouse.
Many of the films showcased, including Things of the Aimless Wanderer, will be followed by Q&A sessions with their respective directors, and will be a fantastic opportunity to discuss a wide range of subject regarding their films and African cinema.
These Q&A sessions won’t just be focusing on the directors themselves, but also on wider global events; such as Hope, screening on 30th October in Summerhall, which will be succeeded by a discussion on the current European Refugee crisis.
AiM will also include the From African, with Love strand, which will consist of several events offering alternative takes on African cinema. Love Brewed in an African Pot, for example, will bring a “truly authentic African communal dining experience” to the festival, and will be accompanied by the screening of two films which complement the theme of love, as well as Romantic Views which “explores the cultural perceptions and interpretation of love across Africa”.
The message of AiM’s 10th anniversary was relayed by festival founder and advisor; speaking of the link between the African cinema, the festival and the continent itself, Lizelle Bisschoff comments; “The growth of Africa in Motion mirrors the growth of filmmaking on the African continent. 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.”
It is our hope as film editors of The Student that through AiM, African cinema reaches the new and ever- expanding audience it deserves. For more information on each film, and AiM more generally, please see the festival website at www.africa-in-motion.org.uk.
Africa in Motion runs from 23rd of October to 1st of November throughout Edinburgh and Glasgow. For more information regarding screenings, and the festival in general, visit: www.africa-in-motion.org.uk
Image: Africa in Motion Film Festival