By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act October 23, 2012 at 2:16PM
70 films are expected to be screened this year (with more than 30 of the filmmakers in attendance), over the 10 days of the festival (now in only its 2nd year), including several titles we've highl
This year's festival will see 27 London premieres, as well as the return of the Silver Baobab award which celebrates the Best Short African Film, by giving the winner £2,000 towards their next production. Last year's winner, Rungano Nyoni, a name we've mentioned a few times on this site, will be present to hand out the award to this year's winner.
A key programming strands for this year’s festival is called Spotlight On Sexualities; the festival has brought together a number of recent films, made in condemnation of violence against LGBT groups, as well as films that shine a more celebratory sexuality of all kinds in different African contexts.
Some of those new LGBT films at Film Africa 2012 Film Africa, London's largest annual African film festival, which runs November 1-11 include the aforementioned Call Me Kuchu (the powerful and moving film that documents the daily lives of David Kato – the first openly gay Ugandan man - and three fellow “kuchus” (LGBT Ugandans), culminating in a brutal and senseless murder that sent shock waves throughout the world); and Sex, Okra and Salted Butter, from award-winning Chadian director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun; a family comedy set in France, in which the endearing but patriarchal Malik has to cope with his wife Hortense leaving him for a much younger white man, and discovering that his son is gay.
Also included in the lineup are:
- Difficult Love, a South African film directed by Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid.
Muholi and Goldsmid’s lens provides intimate insight into the difficult lives and loves of lesbians in contemporary South Africa, one of the most homophobic nations on earth, despite gay rights being enshrined in its constitution. Two women live in a makeshift home under a bridge after being kicked out of a homeless shelter when it was discovered that they were lovers. Another woman is badly beaten for being lesbian. A black woman and a white woman speak of their passion for one another. Muholi, one of Africa’s leading photographers, guides us through this film that takes the pulse of contemporary gay identities in South Africa.
- Waited For, also a South African film directed by Nerina Penzhorn.
Waited For is a documentary about three lesbian couples in South Africa adopting children across racial lines. The film follows the complicated quest of Kelly (a white cultural anthropologist) and Leigh-Ann (who would like to escape her Coloured identity) to adopt a black child. Alongside their story runs that of the young step-sisters Lindiwe, who is Xhosa, and Mbali, who is Zulu, and who have been adopted by a white couple, Lee and Pip. Finally, there is Paula, a former drug addict turned builder, who cleaned herself up so that she and her partner could adopt.
There are also several short films in the mix.
For more information about these films, as well as the festival's full lineup, dates, times, tickets, visit www.filmafrica.org.uk.