Film Africa 2018: Showcasing contemporary African film

Film Africa 2018 returns to London for an eighth year and will be showcasing titles from 15 African countries and African-themed films from 18 countries across the UK and EU between 2 November and 11 November. These films include UK and world premieres such as The Burial of Kojo by Ghanaian hip hop artist turned writer/director Blitz Bazawule (aka Blitz the Ambassador).

For audiences with hearing loss or deafness, Chateau (8 Nov) and aKasha (10 Nov) will be available in British Sign Language. Chateau is directed by Cédric Ido and is a fast-paced, comic tale about rival hairdressing salon hustlers on the streets of Paris. And award-winning director Hajooj Kuka presents aKasha which uses comedy in this highly original feature to portray the complexities of the Sudanese Civil War.

Screening for all Film Africa 2018 films will be across five venues in London: BFI Southbank, Rich Mix, Ritzy Cinema, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and South London Gallery. But as well as  screenings, there will be Q&As, panel discussions and live performances.

New wave film

I have been a regular to Film Africa and have celebrated the creativity and engaging content and cinematography that is coming out of the Motherland. This year is no different and there are some thought-provoking discussion topics feature in this year’s event including a showcase of contemporary Nigerian cinema beyond Nollywood with The Naija New Wave ; a celebration of Kenya’s bourgeoning film industry with Afrobubblegum: Kenya’s Movie Mavericks, and a look at how young Africans are mobilising their talents, cameras and imaginations to challenge the status quo in Young Rebels.

Other interesting topics include: [Up]Rooted exploring the African migrants’ experience in the context of global migration; Film Africa LIVE! highlighting some of the best African music on screen and on stage; Dine & View screenings that combine film and food for an immersive experience, and Film Africa: Young Audiences, the festival’s annual programme of schools and family screenings.

[Related – reviews from previous Film Africa screenings]

This year, some filmmakers and actors will be visiting the event to share their experiences of film-making and answer your questions. They include:

  • Blitz Bazawule, Writer/Director, The Burial of Kojo (UK premiere): Ghana’s biggest hip-hop star makes directorial debut with dream­­-like family drama set against the backdrop of the country’s illegal mining industry.
  • Ema Edosio, Director, Kasala! (UK premiere): Edosio’s debut movie is a tale of young Lagos street hustlers, referencing Naija-style her love of Jackie Chan and Chuck Norris.
  • Nse Ikpe-Etim, Actor, A Hotel Called Memory (UK premiere): Nollywood’s beloved Nse Ikpe-Etim takes the lead in Nigeria’s first ever silent movie as disaffected wife Lola.
  • Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu (Director) & Villy Odili (Actor/Composer), Humanimals (World premiere): Bonsu, aka Afro-pop star Wanlov the Kubalor, addresses the issue of Africans being denied visas and the lack of leadership in Africa… by making a musical about it!
  • Claire Belhassine, Director, The Man Behind the Microphone (UK premiere):granddaughter of Tunisia’s Frank Sinatra explores his huge cultural impact and asks why he kept his fame a secret.
  • Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann, Director, New Moon (London premiere): Visual artist Ndisi-Herrmann’s experimental doc about the development of Kenya’s Lamu port and its impact on her Islamic faith.
  • Wanjeri Garuku, Screenwriter, Supa Modo: the screenwriter of Kenya’s 2019 Oscar entry about a young terminally ill heroine who uses her super powers for the common good.

Short films

The annual Baobab Award for Best Short Film returns to celebrate the work of those creating film shorts. The Film Africa Audience Award for Best Feature Film gives festival audiences a vote. Both awards carry a cash prize of £1,000 and will be announced at the Closing Gala ceremony on Sunday 11 November.

Visit filmafrica.org to see the full programme and if you like films, why not check some of these out here.

 

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