Scotland’s biggest celebration of African cinema, Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival, now in its eighth year, kicks off its 2013 celebration today, October 24, 2013.
The festival returns to Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh, Glasgow Film Theatre (GFT) & Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow, plus ‘pop-up’ cinema venues in both cities..
Taking the theme "Twende: Africa on the Move" (“twende” is a Swahili word which translates as “let’s go!”), a diverse program of documentary and fictional films (over 40 titles including seven UK premieres) will capture Africa’s richness and beauty through movement, literal and metaphorical, from the movement of people across regions and borders with films about immigration and asylum, through political, cultural and social movements, to movement in its more literal form with films about sport, dance and street life in African cities.
The festival’s 9 thematic strands: Movement of film; Women’s movements; Political movements; Kenyan Independence; Religious movements; Post-apartheid South Africa; Movement of people; City movements in Africa; Sexualities
Opening night film Edinburgh, Thursday 24th October
Grigris - Based on real events, this is the inspiring story of a young man living in N'Djamena, capital of Chad, who dreams of becoming a dancer in spite of his physical disability and his dangerous involvement with a gang of petrol smugglers. The opening night screening will be followed by a reception with live music.
Opening night film Glasgow, Friday 25th October
Of Good Report - After engaging in an illicit affair with one of his pupils, English teacher Parker Sithole spirals into an abyss of obsession that eventually turns to murder. This semi-comic homage to classic film noir was controversially banned in South Africa and pulled from the Durban International Film Festival in July 2013.
Closing night film Edinburgh, Sunday 3rd November
The Forgotten Kingdom - The UK premiere of this poetic journey through the stunning rural hills of Lesotho, a tiny country landlocked by South Africa. The closing film will be preceded by the screenings of the winners of the AiM Short Film Competition.
Closing night party Glasgow, Sunday 3rd November
The closing night party in Glasgow will include an East African-themed VJ event inspired by a phenomenon that has emerged predominantly in Uganda and Tanzania and utilising AiM’s ever-growing short film collection.
A strong selection of international feature premieres, several of which are receiving their UK premieres.
The Children’s Republic - Danny Glover stars in this surrealist science fiction drama directed by Flora Gomes from Guinea-Bissau that imagines a small state in a futuristic Africa that’s been ruled by children since their parents abandoned them after ruining their country with war.
Difficult Love - An intimate, thought-provoking portrait of internationally celebrated South African lesbian photographer Zanele Muholi and her highly personal take on the challenges facing black lesbians in SA today.
Durban Poison - Twenty-seven years after his controversial film Shot Down was banned in his home country and went on to become South Africa's definitive cult film of the 1980s, director Andrew Worsdale returns with this noir romance based on the true story of South Africa’s Bonnie and Clyde.
El Sheita Elli Fat (Winter of Discontent) - Documentary maker/journalist Ibrahim el Batout’s political thriller delivers a searing account of the root causes of the Egyptian revolution and propells the audience headlong into the surreal atmosphere of terror and uncertainty that characterised the last days of Mubarak’s rule.
Horses of God - Using the devastating terrorist attacks of May 2003 in Casablanca as a backdrop, this political drama tells the story of ten-year-old Yachine who lives with his family in the Sidi Moumen slum and his elder brother, Hamid, who is released from prison a newly converted Islamic fundamentalist.
Material Warm - witty comedy in which a dutiful Muslim son who works with his traditionalist father who tolerates no funny business (Vincent Ebrahim – The Kumars at No.42) in a declining textile store in Johannesburg is secretly practicing to be a stand-up comic.
Touba - Revealing a different face of Islam, this film chronicles the annual Grand Magaal pilgrimage of one-million Sufi Muslims to the holy Senegalese city of Touba. Shot on celluloid, its vivid cinematography and striking soundtrack elevates the film to the level of a humanist poem.
Town of Runners - Inspiring documentary about young people from the Ethiopian rural town of Bekoji, whose runners have won eight Olympic Gold medals and 32 World Championships and broken ten world records in the last 20 years.
Guest filmmakers in attendance:
Jahmil Qubeka – Director of Of Good Report
Judy Kibinge – Director of Something Necessary
Newton Aduaka – Director of One Man’s Show
Zanele Muholi – Director of Difficult Love
Daniela Ricci – Director of Creation in Exile
Also in the program:
AiM Nomad Cinema Series
African films brought to new audiences with a series of screenings in ‘pop-up’ cinema venues including a children’s screening in Edinburgh Zoo, a South African surfing film in Glasgow’s Govanhill Baths, and a horror film evening in the Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh.
AiM Short Film Competition
Spearheading AiM’s commitment to nurturing young African filmmaking talent, the winning film will be selected by a jury of film practitioners and academics, while audiences will have the opportunity to vote for their favourites.
Drawing on the expertise of leading industry professionals, this event looks at the burgeoning African film industry and the new and exciting possibilities emerging for African films.
Hosted in partnership with the international human rights film festival Document, this event gives immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers and people from diaspora communities living in Scotland an opportunity to share their stories through film.
Working in conjunction with Stills Gallery’s three-year long research project, Image/Identity, AiM curates a programme of films which will screen in the Stills Film Lounge throughout October.
ProExposure – African Stories
ProExposure trains photographers in Africa, enabling them to tell their own stories in images and ensuring those stories travel far beyond Africa. This exhibition showcases the work of three Ethiopian photographers interpreting the festival’s 2013 theme Twende.
In Edinburgh, AiM has partnered with the National Youth Film Festival to screen two African animations, Aya of Yop City and Zambezia. These screenings are free and participating schools will receive teaching resources.
The full program can be found at: Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival - www.africa-in-motion.org.uk