It’s that time of year again. The nights are drawing in, and the London Film Festival is coming up, which can only mean one thing: following hot on its heels in early November is Film Africa, London’s annual festival celebrating African cinema.
There’s a smattering of films from Africa at the LFF (take a peek at the country listings here) but for varied and ambitious programming, Film Africa is the place to look. Crammed into the 10 days of the festival are over 70 films, 35 Q&A sessions with filmmakers, 8 music nights, free workshops and more…
Check the website for dates, venues, ticket information etc, but here are some highlights:
Difficult Love (dir. Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid, South Africa, 2010)
I was lucky enough to see this film a while back at the South London Gallery, and it’s great to see it getting two airings during the festival (here and here), especially in the light of the appalling recent theft of the bulk of Muholi’s archive. Good on Film Africa for sending a clear message that Muholi’s work, which explores the experiences of black lesbians in South Africa, is essential viewing.
Lust (El Shooq) (dir. Khaled El Hagar, Egypt/France, 2011)
This is the London premiere of this film by provocative multi-award-winning Egyptian filmmaker Khaled El Hagar. It won the Golden Pyramid Award for Best Film at Cairo’s International Film Festival in 2010. Followed by a Q&A with El Hagar (TBC).
Material (dir. Craig Freimond, South Africa, 2012)
This South African comedy stars Riaad Moosa as a wannabe comedian struggling with the expectations of his family. It’s also showing at the London Film Festival. There’s a review here and more info and a trailer here.
Basia Lewandowska Cummings (from Africa Is A Country) discussed the fascinating projects of alternative filmmaking collectives across the Arab world at Africa Utopia earlier this year; here’s a rare opportunity to see more of their work on the big screen.