01 Oct 6 hit African films at @AiMfilmfest Scotland
The annual film festival in Edinburgh has grown to become a key event in the calendar for African film and animation enthusiasts. Africa in Motion (AiM)
Africa in Motion (AiM) and the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights (CRER) has worked in partnership to host the third edition of the Reviving Scotland’s Black History series. The programme includes aspiring film programmers from different backgrounds taking part in lectures, walking tours, site visits and seminars exploring Black heritage in Scotland. Through this project they learn about Scotland’s links to slavery, through for example Glasgow’s architecture, as well as Scottish activism against racism.
From the knowledge they acquired, the programmers were then tasked with programming events taking place during Africa in Motion Film Festival and Black History Month. These screenings and events are inspired by what they learnt, combined with their own life experiences and passions.
Now in its 13th year AiM has established itself as one of the largest and most successful African film festivals in Europe, screening African films that would not typically be shown in Scotland, and expanding audience choice and exposing cinema-goers to specialised film, new styles and new regions of world cinema.
Now in its 13th year AiM has established itself as one of the largest and most successful African film festivals in Europe, screening African films that would not typically be shown in Scotland, … exposing cinemagoers to specialised film, new styles and new regions of world cinema.
Here are six ground-breaking films being screened during the festival
Supa Modo, Dir. Likarion Wainaina (Kenya)
Supa Modo, Likarion Wainaina’s debut feature, follows a young girl Jo (Stycie Waweru) battling a terminal illness, who finds comfort and strength through a super hero alter ego she creates inspired by the action films that she has watched. Though her family is wary of her condition, her strength inspires her community to help her become the super hero (Supa Modo) she has always dreamt of being.
Farewell, Ella Bella, Dir. Lwazi Mvusi(South Africa)
Farewell, Ella Bella is one of the first feature fiction films directed by a black South African woman. It tells the story of the young Ella, who, after the death of her alcoholic father, embarks on an emotional and physical road trip searching for a better future, with the support and guidance of her jazz musician godfather.
The Tokoloshe, Jerome Pikwane (South Africa)
Jerome Pikwane’s debut feature takes on the psychological horror genre with this supernatural film exploring the presence of a tokoloshe, a mischievous and evil water spirit from Zulu mythology. The film deals with the significance of the tokoloshe in the South African collective consciousness.
High Fantasy, Dir. Jenna Bass (South Africa)
Shot entirely on iPhones wielded by its young cast members (who also wrote the script), director Jenna Bass unfolds the story of a group of friends from different ethnic backgrounds on a camping trip in the South African countryside who are horrified when they wake up having swapped bodies. Bass uses the familiar body swap trope to probe prejudice, anger, entitlement and belonging among the South African youth.
Five Fingers for Marseilles, Michael Matthews
Five Fingers for Marseilles, is a South African Neo Western by the white South African director Michael Matthews, which serves as a critique of modern South African politics. Set during post- Apartheid era, in the rural town of Marseilles, (one of several Eastern Cape railroad towns named after European cities) , the “Five Fingers” are childhood friends bound by their yearning to rebel against the white oppressors who routinely exploit and brutalize their people. Its striking cinematography, characters and soundtrack has attracted high praise at the 2018 African Movie Academy Awards held in Kigali, Rwanda.
Djon Africa, João Miller Guerra and Filipa Reis (Portugual)
Portuguese directors João Miller Guerra and Filipa Reis Djon, tell the story of a young man caught between the transitional period of teen-hood into adulthood. After a chance encounter with a stranger in his home town Lisbon, Djon is compelled visit his family’s country of Cape Verde. Here he struggles to reconnect with his family history and identity.