Film Africa 2018 celebrates key industries and groundbreaking storytelling across the continent

Wednesday, 3 October 2018
Author: 
Film Africa

Film Africa 2018 celebrates key industries and groundbreaking storytelling across the continent

2 - 11 November, venues across London

London, Wednesday 3 October 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Film Africa, London’s biggest celebration of African and African diaspora cinema presented by the Royal African Society, returns for its eighth consecutive year on Friday 2 to Sunday 11 November 2018. Showcasing 39 titles from 15 African countries, including 18 premiere screenings, Film Africa will take place at five venues across London: BFI Southbank, Rich Mix, Ritzy Cinema, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and South London Gallery.

Click here to watch the Film Africa 2018 trailer

The festival launches on Friday 2 November at BFI Southbank with the UK premiere of Blitz Bazawule’s (aka Blitz the Ambassador) The Burial of Kojo, an assured debut feature by Ghana’s foremost hip-hop artist turned filmmaker. The UK premiere of Kasala! by emerging director Ema Edosio points to the future direction of Nigerian cinema and will close the festival on Sunday 11 November at Rich Mix.

This year Film Africa will showcase burgeoning cinema from two major creative hotspots on the continent, Kenya and Nigeria, through Afrobubblegum: Kenya's Movie Mavericks and The Naija New Wave. From coming-of-age and first-love stories, to documentary accounts of intersex and transgender communities, through experimental, immersive and psychological thrillers - these special strands showcase the expansive imaginations and storytelling prowess of young filmmakers living and working across Africa and the diaspora today. Key titles include Wanuri Kahiu’s daring feature Rafiki; Tristan Aitchison’s observational documentary Sidney and Friends; and the UK premiere of Akin Omotoso’s latest film, A Hotel Called Memory - Nigeria’s first silent movie!

Other strands, Young Rebels and [Up]Rooted, are underpinned by the universal themes of youth, rebellion and the precariousness of migration, including: aKasha, from award-winning Sudanese director Hajooj Kuka, which satirically explores village life and the ideology of rebel-held Sudan; Lost Warrior, co-directed by Nasib Farah and Søren Steen Jespersen, which documents the life of a deported ex-London immigrant now hiding from Al-Shabaab in Somalia; Cédric Ido and Modi Barry’s Chateau, set in the vibrant Afro-Parisian neighbourhood of the same name; and A Season in France, the latest work by celebrated Chadian auteur Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, offering a dark yet compassionate portrait of the struggling immigrant under-class living in Paris.

Back by popular demand is the festival’s foodie strand, Dine & View, with two screenings of the powerful documentary Deltas, Back to Shores (UK premiere), which explores tales of global migration; and Film Africa LIVE!, which celebrates the rich musical cultures of the continent both on-screen and through live performances and party nights. The latter strand includes the world premiere of Humanimals, Emmanuel Owusu Bonsu’s (aka Romanian-Ghanaian musician Wanlov the Kubolor) tragi-comic musical on the trials and tribulations of African artists trying to get visas to visit the UK; and The Ancestors (EU premiere) co-directed by Amil Shivji and Rebecca Corey, documenting the rebirth of Tanzania’s Zilipendwa music.

Film Africa will also present two British Sign Language interpreted screenings to enhance the cinema experience for audiences with hearing loss or deafness.  

Sheila Ruiz, Deputy Director at the Royal African Society and Film Africa Director, says:

“The Royal African Society is very proud to present the eighth edition of Film Africa, our annual festival of cinematic discovery for diverse and inquisitive audiences. We invite those eager to experience, discuss and celebrate the wealth of stories African filmmakers have to offer to join us in this 10-day feast of cinema - there's something for everyone!”

Film Africa 2018 once again presents an exciting programme of innovative shorts in competition for the annual Baobab Award for Best Short Film, judged by a panel of industry experts. The Film Africa Audience Award for Best Feature Film also returns to give 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.

Film Africa: Young Audiences, the festival’s annual programme of schools and family screenings, will run during Black History Month and this year’s Film Africa Family Day (Sunday 11 November) will take children and parents on an interactive journey of discovery following a special free screening of Thomas and Friends: Big World, Big Adventures! in partnership with Mattel. The Royal African Society worked closely with Mattel earlier in 2018 to bring to life the new character of Nia, a steam engine from Kenya! Nia is Thomas’s co-protagonist in this new film and will move on to form part of the steam team living on the imaginary island of Sodor.

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. 

For full programme information and ticket sales, please visit: filmafrica.org  

For Film Africa 2018 publicity materials, please visit: bit.ly/FA18Press

For further information, please contact Hayley Willis at Contact PR: williscontact@gmail.com

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Notes to Editors

  1. The Royal African Society is a membership organisation that provides opportunities for people to connect, celebrate and engage critically with a wide range of topics and ideas about Africa today. Through our events, publications and digital channels we share insight, instigate debate and facilitate mutual understanding between the UK and Africa. We amplify African voices and interests in academia, business, politics, the arts and education, reaching a network of more than one million people globally.
  1. Film Africa is the Royal African Society’s annual festival celebrating the best contemporary cinema from Africa and its diaspora. Established in 2011, the festival offers a respected platform for African film and increased film choice for London audiences.
  1. The BFI Audience Fund is an open access flexible fund, which is designed to support a range of audience facing activities (such as film festivals, distribution releases, multiplatform distribution proposals, touring film programmes, large scale and ambitious film programmes) with £5.6m available annually. The fund prioritises proposals which demonstrate long-term impact on audience development for independent British and international film.  By making investments through the Audience Fund, the BFI expects to see a larger, more diverse film audience with a greater number of young people enjoying independent British and international film; an increased profile for independent British and international film; new partnerships and initiatives that diversify outputs and practices to reach new audiences; and an inclusive workforce that is representative of our population.
  1. The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. Through our strategic partnership with the British Council, Film Africa is creating opportunities for African filmmakers to present their work to diverse UK audiences.
  1. The Miles Morland Foundation is a London-based registered charity, which makes grants in areas reflecting its founder’s interests. The Foundation’s main aim is to support entities in Africa, which allow Africans to get their voices better heard with a particular focus on contemporary African writing. The Foundation awards a small number of annual writing scholarships for works of fiction and non-fiction. The scholars receive £18,000.00 paid over the course of a year.
  1. Film Africa 2018 sponsors are WorldRemit, Aduna, Divine Chocolate, Karma Cola, and Yojos!
  1. Film Africa 2018 media partners are Colourful Radio, Nataal and gal-dem.