Film Africa 2018: the innovators, musicians and rebels redefining African stories
Film Africa’s specialist strands include The Naija New Wave, Afrobubblegum: Kenya’s Movie Mavericks, Young Rebels and (Up)Rooted
Interactive foodie Dine and View screenings return in 2018
FREE family screening and activities at the Film Africa Family Day
Film Africa, the Royal African Society’s celebration of African and African diaspora cinema, returns for its eighth consecutive year on Friday 2 to Sunday 11 November 2018. Showcasing 39 titles from 15 African countries, including 18 UK, EU and world premieres, Film Africa will take place at five venues across London: BFI Southbank, Rich Mix, Ritzy Cinema, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and South London Gallery. The festival is an exhilarating mix of film screenings, Q&As, panel discussions and live performances.
The Naija New Wave
Directors pushing the boundaries of traditional Nigerian cinema with a fresh ‘new wave’ aesthetic. Major titles include the UK premiere of Ema Edosio’s debut feature Kasala! – a tale of four young Lagos street hustlers in race against the clock; the UK premiere of Nigeria’s first silent movie, Akin Omotoso’s A Hotel Called Memory featuring Nollywood star Nse Ikpe-Etim; plus the UK premiere of Sylvia, an intense psychological thriller from director Daniel Oriahi. The strand also showcases emerging Nigerian filmmakers via a collection of innovative and experimental shorts, Tales from Contemporary Nigeria.
Afrobubblegum: Kenya’s Movie Mavericks
“A fun, fierce and frivolous representation of Africa!” Wanuri Kahiu’s words exemplify the quirky sensibility of the Afrobubblegum movement – her feature Rafiki was initially banned by the Kenyan Film Board and is now the country’s second highest grossing movie ever.Screening alongside is a moving documentary about a young Kenyan trans and inter-sex group, Sidney and Friends, directed by Tristan Aitchison. Other key titles include Kenya’s 2019 Oscar entry Supa Modo from first-time director Likarion Wainaina; We Need Prayers, the latest collection of shorts by The Nest Collective; and New Moon, an experimental documentary by Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann about the impact of Lamu’s economic development on her own spirituality.
Representing those young Africans mobilising their talents, cameras and imaginations to challenge the status quo. This special strand includes: aKasha, from award-winning Sudanese director Hajooj Kuka, satirically explores village life and the ideology of rebel-held Sudan in a tragi-comic take on a serious subject matter; Nasib Farah and Søren Steen Jespersen’s Lost Warrior documents deported ex-Londoner Mohammed, now hiding from Al-Shabaab in Somalia with a young wife and child back home in Tower Hamlets; and director Mohamed Siam follows young Egyptian Amal, a 14-year-old female activist coming of age in the wake of the Arab Spring revolution.
Key titles in this strand include Cédric Ido and Modi Barry’s Chateau, a heady tale of rival hairdressing salons set in a vibrant Afro-Parisian neighbourhood; and A Season in France, from celebrated Chadian auteur Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, offering a dark yet compassionate portrait of the struggling immigrant under-class living in Paris.
Film Africa LIVE!
Celebrating the rich musical cultures of the continent on-screen, through live performances and party nights, Film Africa LIVE! includes the world premiere of Humanimals, a wry musical take on the challenges African artists face trying to get visas to visit the UK, directed by Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu (aka Ghanaian/Romanian musician Wanlov the Kubolor); the EU premiere of The Ancestors, co-directed by Amil Shivji and Rebecca Corey, documenting the rebirth of Tanzania’s Zilipendwa music; and the UK premiere of The Man Behind the Microphone, the remarkable story of the ‘Frank Sinatra of Tunisia’ directed by Claire Belhassine. Live performances include Afrika Jambo Band (Upstairs at the Ritzy, 7 Nov) and VILLY & The Xtreme Volumes (Palm Wine Club x Juju Party, Upstairs at the Ritzy, 10 Nov). Villy Odili is also the star and musical inspiration behind Humanimals (see above).
Dine & View
Back by popular demand, on 7 and 8 November, Film Africa’s popular foodie strand presents two screenings of the UK premiere of Deltas, Back to Shores, two powerful stories of displacement directed by Charlie Petersmann.
Film Africa Family Day
Children and their parents can embark on an interactive journey of discovery on Sunday, 11 November, with a FREE screening of Thomas and Friends: Big World, Big Adventures! In partnership with Mattel. The film will be followed by storytelling, arts and crafts, diverse children’s books and a multicultural gifts sale, courtesy of event partners Book Love and Pelican Post.
Film Africa will also present two British Sign Language interpreted screenings, Chateau ( 8 Nov) and aKasha (10 Nov), to enhance the cinema experience for audiences with a hearing loss or deafness. Film Africa 2018 has been made possible through the financial support and partnership of the BFI Audience Fund, the Miles Morland Foundation and the British Council.
2 – 11 November, venues across London