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25 November 2011

Africa in Motion 2011 - It's a (very successful) Wrap!

Now that the curtains have closed on the 6th edition of the Africa in Motion Film Festival - which focussed on Children and Youth in Africa - we would like to thank our audience, partners, supporters, funders, and everyone who, one way or the other, collaborated with AiM for their participation, contribution, interaction and feedback, allof which created the wonderful environment in which we were able to implement this year's festival programme.


Throughout the 5 days of the festival, we welcomed almost one and a half thousand people to Africa in Motion, registered high attendance levels in our screenings, and had numerous sold-out events. This year, AiM received some of the best media coverage our festival has had; obtained a very positive response to the quality, diversity and contents of the films we programmed, and our film introductionand post-screening discussions were described as inspiring and poignant. In addition, guests/collaborators such as Nigerian filmmaker Obi Emelonye, French/Burkinabe journalist Claire Diao, Professor Jolyon Mitchell from the School of Divinity (Ed. Uni), or scholar Gerhard Anders from the Centre for African Studies (Ed. Uni) assured our festival continued to provide a platform for African films to not only be seen but also contextualized, questioned, discussed and reflected upon.  

Amongst the outstanding highlights of this year's festival were the (now legendary) AiM launch party, our guest filmmaker Nigerian director/producer Obi Emelonye, the AiM annual short film competition, a boisterous and eventful Children's Day, numerous compelling discussions, and a glorious closing party. 

We kicked off the festival with a stunning (and sold-out) screening of Tunisian film, Bab'Aziz: The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul (Nacer Khemir: 2005) and a roaring party to signal the beginning of another wonderful festival. This included a menu of tantalising Kenyan canapés, South African wine and an outstanding performance by Zimbabwean jazz singer, Cynthia Gentle and her band, The True Tones. Commenting on the opening event, dancer Jennifer Ba stated:  "The AiM festival is well known in Edinburgh and the opening nights are renowned for providing excellent entertainment - it was a great experience!"



The following day, we were delighted to be joined by Nigerian filmmaker Obi Emelonye. During his time with the festival he engaged in an insightful seminar that discussed the production and distribution of Nollywood films. This was one of many opportunities to discuss the film programme with leading practitioners and academics of African cinema. Throughout the duration of the festival, post-screening discussions highlighted and explored many of the poignant issues within the programmed films. These discussions covered topics of disability and domestic abuse and children's issues. 

This year we presented the 4th edition of the Africa in Motion Short Film Competition and once again, the quality of the films has raised to a truly outstanding level. On Friday evening we screened the 7 shortlisted films and later announced Umkhungo (dir. Matthew Jankes, South Africa) as the deserving winner of the competition.  IMG1640.JPG

Another highlight of the festival and an undoubtable success was our Children's Day Programme. The day started with a hugely successful Storytelling session led by Mara Menzies, from Toto Tales. To a cinema full of half-pint sized 2-legged animals, Mara told fantastical tales of 4-legged and winged animals, weaving the engaged audience into the stories themselves. This was followed by sold-out screening of children's films: a stellar selection of short, colourful films aimed at the youth. Demanding moreenergy still (as only children would be able to provide), the day ended with a fantastic set of drumming and dancing workshops where children were able to learn the basic rhythms on the Djembe drums and accompanied dance moves. A wonderfully vibrant finale to the day!


The festival was brought to a close in exquisite style with the screening of a FESPACO award winning film Un pas en avant, les dessous de la corruption (One Step Forward: The Inside of Corruption) followed by a mesmerising performance by Sengalese kora player, Soriba Kanout. Soriba provided us all with a much needed sense of calm and reassurance at the end of a wonderfully exciting and relentless festival. We were cordially transported to serenity via Senegal, where we will remain until the chaos recommences next year. We would like to thank all our partners and sponsors who contributed an incredible amount to the shape and execution of the festival. We look forward to working with you again in the future, and similarly, we hope to see all of our audience members again next year! 

"The sheer variety of films shown at AiM reminds us that there is no single 'African' cinema, but a whole world to explore within a continent of diverse cultures and histories... I cant wait to see what else AiM has in store in the future. I'll certainly be returning to find out" 

Kieran Hanson, MA Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology, University of Manchester

Until next year! 
Africa in Motion Management Team

NOTE: More photos of this year's festival at AiM 2011 Photo Galleries.


















For more photographs from AiM 2011 please visit the photo gallery where you will find an array of images highlighting this year's festival.

7 November 2011

Screening: Notre étrangère (The Place in Between)


This year the festival was fortunate to host the UK premier of French-Burkinabé director Sarah Bouyain's Notre étrangère. The film's English title,The Place in Between, communicates the difficult space occupied by three women living in Paris but tethered, each in her own profound way, to Africa. 


The film slips between two main narratives. The first is the story of Amy, a mixed race woman raised in France, who travels to Burkina Faso in search of her estranged mother. Amy's remove from her background is well-rendered by an early scene in a fabric shop, where the batik textiles she admires are set against her own tidy grids of gingham. Interaction with her relatives, with whom Amy shares blood but not language, is fraught with frustration, but is also tender and, at times, funny. One scene in particular stands out, where Amy's aunt, preparing the guest room, remarks: 'The walls are blank. White people always have things on the walls. I want her to feel at home.'  (She then starts hammering cigarette cards into the wall with the underside of a soup ladle.)


Back in Paris, old photographs line the walls at the home of Esther, a white office worker who, rather puzzlingly, is taking lessons in Dyula (a language spoken in Burkina Faso) from her workplace's cleaner, Miriam. When Miriam asks Esther about a young girl in several of the photos, Esther answers: 'I don't remember her name, I must have liked her though.' It is a telling moment, one that acknowledges the significance of the private histories we can't, or won't, remember. It is one such deeply buried memory that begins to draw the characters together, though ultimately proving that some relationships, once fractured, cannot be bridged. At the end of one of her lessons, Miriam tells Esther that in Burkina Faso people bid farewell by saying 'I'm taking to the road'. Parting words that bring to mind endless distance, but no promise of destination. 


Sarah Belfort

6 November 2011

Africa in Motion Children's Day

It was an absolutely kidtastic day at Africa in Motion’s 4th annual Children’s Day!






The day started with a hugely successful Storytelling session with AiM favourite Mara Menzies of Toto Tales. To a cinema full of half-pint sized 2-legged animals Mara told fantastical tales of 4-legged and winged animals, weaving the engaged audience into the stories themselves. The first story, “How Stories Came to Be”, lit the room on fire with peals of laughter from children and parents alike, as spectators became participants. A father turned bull was led walking on all fours to the stage by a scarf wrapped round his neck and a little girl in a furry jacket hopped back and forth across the stage accompanied to the sound effects of “boingy, boingy, boingy”, as the clever and resourceful hare who won the calabash of stories away from the great spirit and then by the accident of dropping it, brought stories to everyone in the world.

Stories of angry honey bees and a lion, an eagle and a sparrow, and an over-eating menace of an elephant followed, and kept the kids at the edges of their seats (those who weren’t already playing the animals themselves) awaiting the outcomes of each animal’s fate. Towards the end of the hour Mara invited half a dozen children and a mother down to the stage to learn a Kenyan children’s game – the mother lost! At the end of the session there was uproarious applause before the energised children and their grown-ups giggled their way out of the room.


The sold-out African Films for Children was a stellar selection of mostly short films, which took the audience on a colourful and magical journey across the continent, with films from Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, South Africa and Burkina Faso. As is to be expected in a children’s screening, the cinema was often buzzing with little voices, as the audience understood and explained the stories they were watching. But there were many moments of hushed silence too when the children were so engaged with the films that there was no time for critical discussion. The final film, The Tree of Spirits, was a beautiful Burkinabe animation which told the story of how a brother and sister, Kodou and Tano, helped to save the region from complete desertification as they saved the rain spirit, bringing life again to the countryside.


Exiting the cinema after the films, children were given an Africa in Motion 2011 goodie-bag designed as a backpack especially for them. Inside were and array of goodies, including Fairtrade chocolate, handmade leather friendship bracelets, wooden spinning tops and felt bangles. What a bonus surprise – I hope my daughter tires of her bag so I can wear it!


After two sessions of seat-sitting activities, my daughter and walked down to St Cuthbert’s Church where we partook in one of the two Drumming and Dancing Workshops that were put on in partnership with the Glasgow-based Imagination Festival. Children and their grown-ups were invited to learn some basic rhythms on the Djembe drum with Andrew Cruikshank, and after Rosina Bonsu taught us some basic moves to dance to them. With 17 drums, we still needed to share, so popular were the workshops! The culmination of the workshop was a Scottish/African hoedown, with groups taking turns at drumming for dancers and dancing for drummers; the definitive finale to a fantastic day!


Kari Ann Shiff

6 November 2011

Screening: Ali Zaoua, Prince de La Rue







This Saturday night, the Filmhouse theatre was packed for the screening of Nabil Ayouch’s Ali Zaoua, prince de la rue (Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets), a gritty tale of street children in Casablanca. The film follows three young boys, Kwita, Omar and Boubker, in their struggle to carry out a task that, off the streets, is otherwise taken for granted: the proper burial of their friend and leader Ali. With a humanist style that harks back to the classics of Italian neorealism, Ali Zaoua depicts moments of tenderness in the boys’ friendship while maintaining a dedication to social realism. 

The film’s attempt to harmonize authenticity and compassion is what accounted for its widespread popularity amongst audience members at last night’s screening, as well as audiences worldwide.

Since its release in 2000, Ali Zaoua has collected more than 40 awards at film festivals around the world, bringing international attention to the emergence of a new Moroccan cinema that began to show its colours in the 1990’s. In his enthusiastic introduction to last night’s screening, Jamal Bahmad from the University of Stirling stressed Ali Zaoua’s importance as a film that has helped propel the recognition of this cinematic revolution, resulting in a burgeoning national film production that is even beginning to rival that of some European countries.  

Much of Ali Zaoua’s distinctiveness lies in its play with surrealism. Ayouch makes use of the boys’ glue sniffing habits as an opportunity to integrate animated fantasies into a realist genre, creating an experimental style that Jamal Bahmad likened to a sort of magical realism. The dream-like world of children’s drawings brought to life offers Kwita, Omar and Boubker a fleeting escape from the abandoned lots of Casablanca. As in many other films featured at AiM this year, these dreams celebrate the power of creative imagination and the life-affirming value of storytelling.

Above all, Ali Zaoua owes its strength to the exceptional performances of all of its young non-professional actors. The children seem to effortlessly express powerful emotions with the grace that many professionals struggle in vain to achieve. Hicham Moussoune as Boubker, in particular, stole the show, injecting comic energy into grim subject matter – even his short scene in the hardware store had the audience chuckling out loud. These pitch-perfect performances, matched by stunning camerawork, immersed the audience in the world of Casablanca, one far from the mythologies of Hollywood and deeply relevant to the urban conflicts of today.

Cosima Amelang

5 November 2011

Notice: Incorrect telephone details

It has just been brought to our attention that one of the phone numbers in our brochure is incorrect, so to book tickets please be sure to call the Filmhouse box office on 0131 228 2688 rather than the number stated in the centre-fold of the brochure! We're sorry for the inconvenience.

5 November 2011

AiM Short Film Competition 2011: The Winner

We are now in our 6th year of presenting the Africa in Motion Short Film Competition and this year the selection was incredible. On Friday evening we screened the 7 shortlisted films and have announced Umkhungo (Matthew Jankes) as the winner of the this year's competition. For more information on this incredible film, visit the website: Umkhungo

Congratulations to Umkhungo (Gift) director, Matthew Jankes (South Africa) and thank you for entering your wonderful film into the competition. 

5 November 2011

Screening: AiM Short Film Competition








Although shorts often struggle to compete with feature films for audience attention, a lack of public enthusiasm was certainly not felt at this year’s AiM Short Film Competition screening. The theatre was full, and audience members were keen to cast their vote for the Audience Choice Award, to be announced on Sunday at the festival’s closing screening.

And the films delivered. Hailing from Algeria to Mozambique, from Mali to Ethiopia, the seven short film selections led us on a visually breathtaking journey across the continent, addressing urgent social issues along the way.  

Each of the shorts was concerned with telling alternative stories in inventive ways, be it through the ghostly voices of ancestors in Tinye So, the marginalized perspective of a subservient mother and housewife in Dina, or the ‘rewriting’ of a traditional fable through imagery in Lezare (For Today). Perhaps Matilda in The Tailored Suit put it best when, asserting herself in the face of her tyrannical husband and judgmental community, she proclaims, “They can keep their story. I don’t like that version so much.” This desire to write and share new versions of old stories as a means of empowerment, for both the individual and the community, was the driving force of the short film program.

In particular, domestic abuse, retold through the eyes of oft-silenced female victims and children, was at the forefront of many of the shorts. Violence figured very strongly throughout the selections, at times to an uncomfortable degree – watching the gory murder scene at the beginning of Umkhungo (Gift), one of the ladies sitting beside me exclaimed “More violence!” with exasperation. Amidst all this brutality, the more subdued Garagouz emerged as one of the audience favorites, bringing with it a welcome message of hope. The film patiently follows a puppeteer and his son as they travel through the Algerian countryside to perform shows for children, facing obstacles in the form of aggressive soldiers and religious fundamentalists, nods to greater political and social issues that plague the country. With the character of the puppeteer, Garagouz provided a refreshing instance of a father as a role model, interrupting the seemingly unending line of abusive male authorities running through the rest of the program. The humble, multilayered film ends with a touching reminder of the power of imagination in a world that, sadly, leaves increasingly less room for childhood. 

My favorite short, and another audience hit, was Tinye So, an experimental cinematic song from the spirits of ancestors to the modern world. The film successfully combined stunning imagery with infectious rhythms (I honestly did catch myself dancing in my seat) to create a multimedia ode to fire, water and wind. I believe Tinye So was so popular because it gracefully interwove allusions to contemporary social issues, such as political corruption and the intersection between globalization, media and identity, in with its message of life-affirming spirituality, all the while maintaining a playful sense of humor. The film’s final scene of the child curiously approaching a marionette is a powerful image of the what lies at the heart of all of the short film selections, as well as the entirety of AiM: the importance of imparting the value of storytelling, especially to children.

Cosima Amelang

4 November 2011

Obi Emelonye: A Filmmaker's Seminar





Every year, AiM invites acclaimed African filmmakers to Edinburgh to discuss their work and encourage momentum for the increasing popularity of African cinema. This year we have been blessed to be joined by Nigerian director Obi Emelonye. On Thursday morning we screened Obi's recent feature film, "The Mirror Boy". The screening was followed by a Q & A session with Emelonye and later, a seminar with the filmmaker (chaired by myself) at Edinburgh College of Art.

"The Mirror Boy" is the first African film to premier in London's Leicester Square and has accumulated umpteen awards since its release in February. It also stars Nigeria's 'sweethearts', Genevieve Nnaji and Osita Iheme. None of the film's credentials or achievements suggest that the film's director had small plans for the film nor would one expect him to be shy or retiring. And indeed he is not! His confidence and ambition is infectious and an honest reflection on the success he has enjoyed thus far.  So it came as quite a surprise when Emelonye showed signs of apprehension as we approached the front of the seminar room where he would address the Edinburgh students. He said to me "I'm shaking... I'm not a lecturer.. I'm usually at the back of the room!" 

His pre-seminar anxiety quickly subsided as he began talking about the film that he has spent the last five years cultivating. Obi proved to be a commandeering and inspiring speaker and I, for one, feel privileged to have had the chance to discuss with him the phenomenon of Nollywood (the industry in which he is associated with) and his career. Emelonye discussed the complexities surrounding the unique production values applied to films under the umbrella of 'Nollywood' and acknowledged (on our prompt) that "The Mirror Boy" has signified a breakthrough for Nollywood cinema by combining the minimalist approach to filmmaking association with Nollywood, with a level of conception and finish usually applied to 'blockbusters'. As confirmed by Iheme at the London premier of the film, "this here is the revolution of African cinema." And with Emelonye as one of its proprietors, we are very proud and privileged to have had the pleasure of his company. Consider me charmed! 

Natalia Palombo

4 November 2011

Screening: The Mirror Boy (Obi Emelonye: 2011)

The Mirror Boy

The Mirror Boy tells the story of 12-year-old boy Tijani who was born and raised in the UK and sent to The Gambia in order to find his roots and become a man. The first African film ever to premier at Leicester Square became the highest grossing and most watched film in Nigeria and won no less than 17 awards! After the screening we were joined by director of the film, Obi Emelonye, who gave the audience fascinating insights into the film’s development process. 

As the first Nollywood production I've seen, I was fascinated by the narrative’s variety and richness. The plot started off in the comfortable and all familiar environment of London and took the audience to the largely unknown surroundings of The Gambia, through the eyes of Tijani. Director Emelonye tells this coming-of-age story about finding and accepting one’s roots very sincerely, describing it himself as the story of the identity crisis. From the beginning of the film, Tijani states his reluctance to his African heritage, favouring instead his adopted British citizenship. Reflecting on the first, Emelonye explains that he set out to make a film about Africa to contradict the stereotypes of crimality and violence usually attached to African characters. Instead, he suceeded in portraying the difficulties so many young people face in the diaspora of a nation. The director pointed out that this story resonates not only with the African diaspora, but with youngsters in the diaspora of any nation, therein creating the universal appeal of the film.

Some themes explored in this film may seem unfamiliar for the majority of us in the UK, such as themes of spirituality. Nonetheless, these elements are essential for Tijani’s journey and gave the film its distinctiveness. The film concludes with a triumph of good over evil as Tijani embraces the richness of his roots, leaving the audience contented and with a new impression of Africa and a desire to explore the continent further.


Susanne Scherer 

4 November 2011

Screening: African Social Documentaries

African Social Documentaries Screening and Discussions

The African Social Documentaries Screening was shown in collaboration with the Scottish Documentary Institute and Edinburgh College of Art and dealt with prominent social issues in contemporary African societies. 

The well attended screenings began with the Mozambican award-winning production Body and Soul (De corpo e alma) which followed the life of three disabled young adults in Mozambique’s capital city Maputo. Director Matthieu Born sensitively portrayed the everyday struggles of his characters as faced in African society by concentrating on their impressive strengths and willingness to cope with the problems they face in order to lead ordinary lives. Moving scenes conveyed about their confident stance in society despite the prejudices they face – be it using public transport or being mistaken for beggars on entering shops. The documentary was focussed on and inspired by the contemporary dance company CultureArte, a company which brings together people with and without disabilities.

The dance scenes exemplified such beauty and grace that they left me with nothing but deep admiration for these extraordinary personalities, young people who should be an inspiration for everyone of us. In the end, the documentary not only pointed out problems within Africa but also gave space for reflection on issues surrounding disability within European societies.

For further information about the film visit the website: Body and Soul.


The second documentary Hidden Truth, short at only 21minutes long, told the stories of women in Zambia who are experiencing domestic violence. This interesting production was created by a group of women filmmakers in rural Zambia who learnt the basic background of filmmaking in order to draw attention to this taboo topic in Zambian society. The film discussed the mistreatment of women and their children and their ways of coping with that, in a country where there are no governmental regulations to protect the women against the domestic violence. The documentary gave a very touching insight into their struggles but also left me with a sense of helplessness.

MAny of the affortmented reflections were discussed by the audience after the screening with a panel of film academics. This discussion also revealed diverse opinions on the issues dealt with in these documentaries. I found it very productive to watch these documentaries in this environment, which helped find context and make sense out of what I had seen. In the end, the documentaries not only differed from the European point of view documentaries about social issues in Africa, but the context of these two films within the Africa in Motion festival gave them a far deeper meaning and greater impact than if I had viewed them in a domestic environment.


Susanne Scherer



3 November 2011

AiM Opening Night 2011

Last night the sixth season of the Africa in Motion Film Festival kicked off at the Filmhouse. Tickets sold out for the evening's screening of Bab'Aziz, about which a few thoughts have been written here. I would add that a film centred around Sufism was an interesting choice for the opening night, and a good starting point for a festival that aims to recognise the myriad faces of African identity. 

The event started with dancing and drumming outside the Filmhouse (though the tremors could be felt from St. Cuthbert's). Spectators crowded the pavement along Lothian Road and some, like the sharply besuited gentleman pictured above, were even coerced into dancing themselves. Also busting a few moves was Nigerian director Obi Emelonye, whose film The Mirror Boy, about a British schoolboy confronting his roots in The Gambia, was shown at the Filmhouse this morning. 

Inside, festival attendees were dressed for the occasion in hypnotic patterns and bright silks. A kalimba player scored the queue into the cinema, where wee pouches of walnuts and apricot kernels were handed out to the audience along with their ticket stubs. Rather than the usual adverts for lager and mobile phone plans the screening was preceded by another dancing and drumming performance-- all of which brought about a feeling of palpable excitement one does not often experience at the cinema these days. I could get used it.

Following the screening was a reception in the Filmhouse Café, where I spent half an hour trailing behind platters of canapes, at last getting my hands on a miniature cake from Zanzibar dribbled with passionfruit. (It was delightful.) Glasses of South African wine, on the other hand, were easily procured. The room was packed when Zimbabwean singer Cynthia Gentle took to the microphone, but people still found space to get out on the the floor and dance to her repertoire of traditional African songs and bluesy classics from the likes of Etta James and Marvin Gaye. Towards the end of the night I actually saw a grown man fall to his knees after Gentle's belting rendition of 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine'. 

My favourite was her take on the Xhosa song 'Qongqothwane', known in English as 'The Click Song' and originally sung by the wonderful Miriam Makeba. For those unfamiliar with Miriam Makeba, I would direct you to this footage of her singing 'Into Yam' from the 1959 film Come Back, Africa. And from there I would direct you to catch as many films as you can at the festival, because if last night was any indication, it's going to be great.

Sarah Belfort

3 November 2011

Bab'Aziz: The Prince That Contemplated His Soul

The first screening of this year's Africa in Motion Festival is Bab'Aziz, from Tunisian-born director Nacer Khemir. The title's Bab'Aziz is a blind dervish who, in the film's opening moments, is pulled out of the earth by his granddaughter, Ishtar. The two have been caught in a sandstorm and Ishtar has lost her bag. She wants to look for it but Bab'Aziz tells her not to bother, that 'even the dunes have moved.' Drawing attention to the film's illimitable landscape, encompassing stunning stretches of Iranian and Tunisian desert, it becomes clear these dunes are not mere backdrop. Khemir has said that his characters move 'like the desert, never really different and never quite the same.' As such, Bab'Aziz and Ishtar set off on a meandering journey towards a gathering of which very little, such as the time or place, is known. 'It suffices to walk. Just walk,' Bab'Aziz assures us. The film is a celebration of a certain kind of purposelessness, in which we are introduced to a 'sand carrier', whose inexplicable job it is to transport armfuls of sand from one location to another, and a red-haired dervish who ecstatically sweeps the desert with a broom. It is hard not to identify with these characters, pursuing their hopeless, solitary tasks in a realm so resistant to their efforts.



But amidst the resolute expanses of sand Bab'Aziz and Ishtar also encounter splendid floating existences, mostly through visions of the stories told by Bab'Aziz and others seeking the same mysterious gathering. There is the powder blue yurt where a dancer in fantastically florid costume performs before a prince (who, as the story unfolds, we begin to suspect may be the youthful Bab'Aziz). This prince, dipping his finger into a dish of liquid set before him, declares, 'It's still bitter,' and walks out into the desert to contemplate his soul instead.




The film is concerned with reconciling the inner and outer worlds, with making sense of an existence mediated by consciousness but not sympathetic to it. After envisioning a magnificent palace at the bottom of a well, the sand carrier plunges into a real well, nearly drowning himself. 'I want my palace,' he tells his rescuers after being fished out, drenched and defeated. It is by a similarly jarring confrontation with the real world that the viewer is reminded the film takes place in the modern day, as when Ishtar misses the coach she was meant to take back into the city. It is rather unsettlingto find this seemingly immutable dreamscape set against the reality of a bus timetable.



But these interruptions never overshadow the transcendental elements of the film. 'Have we arrived?' Ishtar asks repeatedly throughout the journey, to which the answer is always: 'Not yet.' It is tempting to anticipate some grand conclusion. But at its best the film is a meditation, removed from time, and as Bab'Aziz points out, how can there be an end to something that has no beginning?


Sarah Belfort

30 October 2011

AiM Ticket Giveaway: Fourth and final!

AiM 2011 Closing Screening is "un pas en avant, les dessous de la corruption (One Step Forward: The Inside of Corruption) by actor/director Sylvestre Amoussou. This film won Amoussou an award at this year's prestigious FESPACO awards. What award did he win?

The first correct answer emailed to [email protected] will receive two complimentary tickets to the screening of "Un pas en avant, les dessous de la corruption" on Sunday 6 November at 8pm (Filmhouse). Good luck!

Remember all answers are in the AiM festival brochure which you are able to view at!

27 October 2011

AiM Ticket Giveaway: "La Colere des Dieux"

"La Colere des Dieux" (Indrissa Ouedraogo: 2003) is screening on Fri 4 November. This epic tale about royal bloodlines in Burkina Faso reverberates with timelessness and universality. Ouedraogo has dedicated his career to the exploration and portrayal of African sensibilities as seen by Africans. Which other films have AiM screened by this seminal African filmmaker?

The first correct answer emailed to [email protected] will receive two complimentary tickets to the screening of “La Colere des Dieux” on Friday 4 November at 9pm. Good luck!

23 October 2011

AiM Ticket Giveaway: "Pegasus"

Today’s question: "Pegasus" (Mohamed Mouftakir: 2011) is a surreal coming-of-age drama about a young girl who is found on the streets, wounded and with no memories of her past but a mental reference to an unknown Lord of the Horse. The film won the Golden Stallion award this year, but at which African film festival?
The first correct answer emailed to [email protected] will receive two complimentary tickets to the screening of “Pegasus” on Sunday 6 Nov at 5.30pm. Good luck!

Today’s question: "Pegasus" (Mohamed Mouftakir: 2011) is a surreal coming-of-age drama about a young girl who is found on the streets, wounded and with no memories of her past but a mental reference to an unknown Lord of the Horse. The film won the Golden Stallion award this year, but at which African film festival?

The first correct answer emailed to [email protected] will receive two complimentary tickets to the screening of “Pegasus” on Sunday 6 Nov at 5.30pm. Good luck!

For more information on the film join the Facebook group here: Pegasus on Facebook

21 October 2011

AiM 2011 Documentary Screenings: Reveal social issues and point to the future

The Africa in Motion (AiM) film festival, now in its 6th year, is playing host to a range of African documentary films at the festival this year, taking place from 2-6 November at Filmhouse cinema and other venues. Documentary filmmaking in Africa has a long tradition of being utilised as a way to raise awareness about pertinent social issues and this is reflected in the documentary programme through films addressing issues such as disability; domestic abuse; violence, trauma and reconciliation; girls’ education and female emancipation. The documentary form has also long been a medium to represent African from the outside, through National Geographic style films, but the documentary films in the Africa in Motion programme show how the genre is being applied by African filmmakers to tell their own stories and present their cultures, histories and hopes for the future from an insider’s perspective. 

Children and Youth

In line with the overarching festival theme “Children and Youth in Africa”, many of the documentaries in the programme focus specifically on children’s issues, drawing attention to the fact that children in Africa live through difficult as well as life-affirming circumstances. Offering a balanced and ultimately hopeful view on the future of children in Africa, these documentaries engage with issues concerning the children, the parent-child relationship, and all of us globally.

Thursday 3 and Friday 4 November:
Free Screenings at Edinburgh College of Art

Two afternoons of free documentary screenings at the Edinburgh College of Art (in collaboration with the Scottish Documentary Institute), will introduce Edinburgh-based film students and cinephiles to some of the crucial social issues that African documentary filmmakers address in their films. Hidden Truth (Zambia) is a candid and intimate portrayal depicting the lives of women and children who survive domestic violence. Filmed by the first group of women filmmakers in rural Zambia, the film won the prize for Best Documentary at the 2011 Zanzibar International Film Festival. De corpo e alma (Body and Soul, Mozambique) follows the lives of three young Mozambicans with physical disabilities, and chronicles their physical, psychological and emotional challenges and victories. Waited For (South Africa) is a touching documentary that interweaves three stories of South African lesbian women who adopt across racial lines. Waliden (from Mali, the term refers to an adopted child in the Bambara language) is a plea for better treatment of adopted children. Le collier et la perle (The Necklace and the Bead, Senegal) is a beautiful and poetic filmed letter from a father to his daughter, exploring the mysteries of womanhood and giving birth.

Hidden Truth (Penelope Machipi: 2011)

In collaboration with the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Theology and Public Issues’s (CTPI) project on 'Peace-building through Media Arts', the festival includes a series of documentaries offering examples of peace-building through film. Slaves (Sudan) is an animated documentary based on the testimonies of two Sudanese children who were taken by government-sponsored militia in Sudan and exploited as slaves. Fambul Tok (from Sierra Leone, meaning “family talk”), shows how this ancient communal practice is used to encourage victims and perpetrators of Sierra Leone’s brutal civial war to come together in a programme of tradition-based truth-telling and forgiveness ceremonies. Where Do I Stand? (South Africa) is a window into the lives of seven young South Africans grappling with their actions during the xenophobic attacks that broke out across South Africa in May 2008. State of Mind (Democratic Republic of the Congo, from the director of the highly acclaimed Viva Riva!) is a layered, engrossing and intriguing look at a national collective trauma and the ambitious initiative to try and heal its wounds. 

Fambul Tok (Sara Terry: 2010)

For full programme details please visit the Africa in Motion website

Tickets are available from Filmhouse box office on 0131 228 2688 or the Filmhouse website.  Concessionary discounts and ticket deals are available.


Do Corpo e aima (Body & Soul) (Matthieu Bron: 2011)

African Social Documentaries

Thu 3 Nov, 3.00pm to 5.00pm
Room 017, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF
Free non-ticketed event, consisting of:

Hidden Truth - UK Premiere 
Penelope Machipi · Zambia 2011 · 21m · English and Bemba with English subtitles · 15


De corpo e alma (Body and Soul) - UK Premiere
Matthieu Bron · Mozambique 2011 · 56m · Portuguese with English subtitles · 15 


African Documentaries about Children

Fri 4 Nov, 2.00pm to 5.00pm
Room 017, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF
Free non-ticketed event, consisting of:

Waited For - UK Premiere
Nerina Penzhorn · South Africa 2011 · 1h · 15


Waliden, enfant d'autrui (Waliden: Children of Others) - UK Premiere
Awa Traoré · Mali 2009 · 52m · Bambara with English subtitles · 15 


Le collier et la perle (The Necklace and the Bead) - UK Premiere
Mamadou Sellou Diallo · Senegal/France 2009 · 52m · French and Wolof with English subtitles · 15 


Sat 5 Nov at 3.00pm
Filmhouse Cinema 2 

David Aronowitsch · Sweden/Sudan 2010 · 15m · Swedish, English and Dinka with English subtitles · 15 

Followed by

Fambul Tok
Sara Terry · Sierra Leone/USA 2010 · 1h22m · 15 


Where do I Stand? - UK Premiere
Sat 5 Nov at 6.00pm
Filmhouse Cinema 2

Molly Blank · South Africa 2010 · 38m · English and Xhosa with English Subtitles · 15  

Followed by

State of Mind - UK Premiere
Djo Tunda Wa Munga · Democratic Republic of the Congo/South Africa  2010 · 52m · French, Swahili and Lingala with English Subtitles · 15

21 October 2011

AiM Ticket Giveaway: The Mirror Boy

Over the next fortnight we will run a series of four ticket-giveaway competitions. In order to be in with a chance to win two tickets to see Obi Emelonye's "The Mirror Boy", answer the following question.

“The Mirror Boy" features some of Africa’s biggest film stars and is an example of a recent African feature film incorporating Nollywood stylistics while remaining accessible to both African and international audiences. 

Following the screening of this film on Thurs 3 Nov, the filmmaker Obi Emelonye will be Edinburgh to conduct a seminar discussing the phenomenon of the Nollywood film market. Where is this seminar being held?

The first correct answer emailed to [email protected] will receive two complimentary tickets to the screening of “The Mirror Boy” on Thurs 3 Nov at 10am. Good luck!

13 October 2011

Filmmaker's Seminar @ ECA: Obi Emelonye talks Nollywood



Film Screening: The Mirror Boy
Nigeria - Obi Emelonye - Nigeria 2010 - 1h27 - HDV - U - Fiction
Thu 3 Nov, 10am
Filmhouse Cinema 2
£2.60 ( / 0131 228 268)

Filmmaker's Seminar
Thu 3 Nov, 2.00pm to 3.00pm
Room 017, Edinburgh College of Art, Lauriston Place, Edinburgh EH3 9DF
Free non-ticketed event

On Thursday 3 November, Africa in Motion (AiM) film festival welcomes acclaimed Nigerian filmmaker  Obi Omelonye  to Edinburgh. This day of events begins with the screening of his new feature film,  The Mirror Boy . The screening will conclude with a discussion with the director before we walk up to Edinburgh College of Art  for Emelonye's  Filmmaker Seminar.  For details on the rest of the program visit our website:

On Obi Emelonye

Nigerian director Obi Emelonye will be presenting this seminar talking about his filmmaking experiences, and in particular his recent award-winning fiction film, The Mirror Boy , which he wrote, directed and co-produced. Produced by The Nollywood Factory and OH Films, The Mirror Boy features some of Africa’s biggest film stars and is an example of a recent African feature film incorporating Nollywood stylistics while remaining accessible to both African and international audiences.

Obi is one of the brightest creative minds to come out of Nollywood. Born in Nigeria and based in the UK, Obi’s films have been shown in European cinemas since 2004. Obi has a multi-disciplinary approach to filmmaking with directorial credits including: Echoes of War (2004), The London Successor (2006), Lucky Joe (2006), The Asylum (2008), Quiet Storm (2009), and The Mirror Boy (2010). We are very excited to welcome Obi to Africa in Motion and look forward to learning about his filmmaking experiences.

On Nollywood

The emergence of Nollywood is a tale of African cinema and specifically depicts positive movements for an African film market. However, the study of this industry is intriguing and applicable to all filmmakers. Nollywood filmmaking actively captures 'the story'. The fast pace and low maintenance nature of this type of filmmaking enables the filmmaker to capture the essence of a narrative instantaneously. This workshop will introduce you to new possibilities in filmmaking and offer an affordable and effective mode of storytelling for independent and documentary filmmakers, whilst also highlighting alternative modes of distribution enabled by this kind of filmmaking. 

Established in the 1990s as a commercial alternative to the traditional Francophile cinema based in Ouagadougou, Nollywood is based in English-speaking Africa, specifically Nigeria. It was initiated by Nigerian natives who discovered the ability to quickly produce films on hand-held video recorders. In contrast to traditional African cinema, Nollywood films are widely considered to better depict African traditions, partly in relation to their dominant themes (religion, fidelity, witchcraft), and partly due to being produced entirely by African actors, filmmakers and editors. 

The phenomenon of Nollywood is based on alternative production values: one film is created in a matter of weeks, costing approximately $20,000. As a result, Nigerian directors produce between 500 and 1,000 movies a year. As this mode of film is very popular, it has developed a $250 million industry in one of the world's poorest countries. Emelonye will discuss in detail the stigma attached to Nollywood as a consequence of these peculiar production values and the effects that this is having on developing African film markets. 

After the Seminar...

Following Emelonye's seminar, AiM is screening two social documentaries. These screenings are free and non-ticketed. Zambian filmmaker, Penelope Machipi, and Matthieu Bron from Mozambique address differing social obstables in their respective countries. 

Hidden Truth - UK Premiere 
Penelope Machipi · Zambia 2011 · 21m · English and Bemba with English subtitles · 15
3pm - Room 017, Edinburgh College of At

De corpo e alma (Body and Soul) - UK Premiere
Matthieu Bron · Mozambique 2011 · 56m · Portuguese with English subtitles · 15 
3.30pm - Room 017, Edinburgh College of Art

27 September 2011

Nigerian Independence Party


Saturday 1st October from 22.30 to 3.00. Not to be missed! 

For more information, see:

19 September 2011

AiM Newscast Sept/Oct 2011

AiM 2011 Programme Launch!

The countdown for the sixth edition of the biggest African Film Festival Festival in the UK - to happen from 2 to 6 November at Filmhouse Cinema, Edinburgh – has begun! This year, AiM is focusing its attention on films and events that open doors to Children and Youth in AfricaHave a look at our programme now available at and discover what events we have in store for you. As always our programme is filled with UK Premieres, Documentaries, Photo Exhibition, Music, Dance and Drumming Workshops, Storytelling and much more!

See you at the Filmhouse in November!

The Africa in Motion Festival Management Team


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The Africa Channel to sponsor the Best Short Film category at the Africa in Motion Festival 2011

The Africa Channel is proud to announce our involvement with Africa in Motion 2011 - the biggest African film festival in the UK.  The Africa Channel on Sky channel 268 will be sponsoring the Best Short Film category with Africa in Motion, where this year’s entries will focus on all aspects of African youth culture using heartfelt, emotional cinematic storytelling.

The Africa Channel, home to the best in entertainment, current affairs and sports programmes inspired by Africa, is also excited to announce that a selection of the shortlisted films from the festival will be broadcast on the channel.  Details of broadcast dates will be announced soon via the Africa Channel website. Africa in Motion’s aim is to offer audiences in Scotland a chance to watch the very best in African cinema. 

Considered a subject that is not given enough exposure, this yearAfrica in Motion has set film makers the challenge of unveiling everyday life and challenges from the perspective of the African child to inform and educate a new audience.

For more information on the Africa Channel, visit us at

Join our Facebook fan page at and Twitter page - @AfricaChannelUK – for the latest channel updates.

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Botswana 45 years Independence Celebrations

On the 1st of October, Kateza, an Edinburgh events management group lead by a team of African women, is staging a party, with the cooperation of the Botswana community, to celebrate 45 years of Botswana independence. There will be entertainment by Samba Sene, a Senegalese artist, music by DJ Kimz, Botswana traditional dance and a treat of Botswana style food!!

Date: 1st of October 
Venue: David Lloyd Newhaven Harbour, Newhaven Place, Newhaven, Edinburgh, EH6 4LX 
Time: from 6pm
Tickets are available from the Kateza team (E-mail: [email protected])
Tel: 07867843063 or 07968841469  
Follow KATEZA on Facebook on updates on this event.!/event.php?eid=262078550469196

 * * *

AfricAvenir October Monthly Series programme (Namibia)

Within the monthly filmseries “African Perspectives” AfricAvenir Windhoek and Studio 77 present a movie evening with selected works by Director of Photography/DOP, Simon Wilkie as part of the Month of Photography in Namibia.
Date: 24. September 2011 I Time: 19h00
Venue: Studio 77, Old Breweries Complex, entrance Garten Str. Namibia
Entrance: 20N$
Special guest: Director of Photography Simon Wilkie
DOP Simon Wilkie will present and discuss the following films, its intentions and impact with the audience:

“THAT FIRE WITHIN” 63mins 16mm, 1993
“THOSE GLOWING EYES” 48mins BetacamSP, 1995
“LISTEN TO US” 48mins, Betacam SP, 1999
“MANAGING AIDS” 57 mins DVCAM, 2002
“FUFILA” 5mins miniDV
“IMITI IKULA” 26mins DVCAM, 2001

More information at:

 * * *

CLAP NOIR Screens selection of African films from FESPACO 2011

From September 23rd to the 25th, Clap Noir in collaboration with Nouveau Latina are bringing to Paris nine of the films screened and awarded in the latest edition of the most important African Film Festival in Africa, FESPACO.  Screenings will happen in cinéma Le Nouveau Latina Tarifs 20, rue du Temple Paris 4e M° Hôtel de Ville Au choix. More information at: /

 * * *

Tae One Action Film Festival 2011

The film festival that 'takes audiences beyond the screen' is back and taking place from 19 September to 2 October in Edinburgh and Glasgow. For details on the programme go to

 * * *

BFI London Film Festival Screens new African Cinema

The BFI London Film Festival, which takes place from 12 to 27 October, will screen a trio of contrasting short films made through the Africa First mentoring scheme: an important initiative that seeks to identify emerging talent from Africa. Tinye So (Mali), Umkhungo (South Africa) - both of these films will also part of Africa in Motion’s programme this year - and Mwansa the Great, will be screened at these dates and times:

Thu 13| 18:30| NFT2 / Fri 14| 16:00| NFT2 / Sat 15| 19:00| STUDIO

For more info go to:

* * *

 International Images Film Festival (IIFF) 2011, Harare, Call for Entries

The International Images Film Festival for Women (IIFF), the only annual women’s festival South of the Sahara, this year celebrates its 10th anniversary. Women Filmmakers of Zimbabwe (WFOZ) is inviting you and your organization to make IIFF 2011 a special celebration for the festival, its beneficiaries and the women activists who run it. The festival is scheduled for November 18 to 25, 2011 in Harare and December 1 to 3 Bulawayo.

The theme for this year’s festival, Women With Goals, reflects the United Nations’ Millenium Development Goals. As women cannot be removed from the development equation and are not only limited to goal number 3, the theme explores the goals women set for themselves and for society, challenges they come across and gaps that need bridging as far as those goals are concerned.

Please send enquiries to: The Festival Director, IIFF, Box BW 1550, Borrowdale, Harare. Tel: 04 - 862355, cell: 0712 401 104/ 0712512552, email: [email protected]

 * * *

 Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2012 Call for Entries

The Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, which will take place in June 2012 in Tokyo, Japan, and has been running since 1999, is looking for excellent short film submissions under 25min., and completed after June, 2010. Follow the link below to access submission guidelines and forms.

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