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WALES FIRST AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL
30TH NOVEMBER – 7TH DECEMBER
After months and months of debating, negotiating, contemplating, hoping and wishing that this day will come, we are proud to present the first ever screenings of Watch-Africa, the first African Film Festival in Wales.
The mouth-watering festive of African films and activities will consist of:
- 12 Feature Long Films; Including the widely-acclaimed and Oscar Nominated, ‘Nairobi Half Life’.
- ·4 Short Films (Animations; Documentaries and Fiction)
- Panel Discussions on the topics presented by some of the films with contributions from academics at the University of Cardiff.
- Master-classes in Scriptwriting facilitated and delivered by Rungano Nyoni, a BAFTA winning Welsh-Zambian film-maker.
- A lecture on the Explorative Journey through the Awra Amba Experience.
Themed ‘Nostalgia and Africa Unity’, the festival will celebrate 50 years of Africa Unity as well as providing those bitter, sweet memories of Africa for the Diaspora and those who have been to the continent. The festival will celebrate African culture and arts through films, discussions and workshops….And all within 8 days.
Kicking off on the 30th November with a film made for Africa, ‘United States of Africa’, we will travel to 40 different African countries with hip hop pioneer Didier Awadi, as he crafts a new album that shines a light on black revolutionary leaders – from Kwame Nkrumah to Thomas Sankara, from Malcolm X to Cheikh Antah Diop – who founght for the dignity of the African people, and for an independent united Africa. The film will be followed by panel discussions on Africa developments, challenges and obstacle. This will then be followed by a highly commendable, Oscar nominated Kenyan film ‘Nairobi Half Life’, and ‘La Pirogue’, a film close to the current issues related to African migrants (Senegal) as they take a treacherous journey through the Atlantic to seek green pasture in Europe (Spain).
The month of December will start with the screening of ‘God Loves Uganda’, a hard-hitting documentary and powerful exploration of the evangelical campaign to change African culture with values imported from America’s Christian Right. This will be screened at Cardiff University whilst the Culture and Media Centre will screen ‘Something Necessary’,an uplifting film exploring the aftermath of the 2007 election and conveying the challenges faced by Kenyan communities to forgive and forget the perpetrators.
On the 3rd of December, Cardiff University will screen one of the best films to come out of Africa, Tey (Today). Tey is an award winning and visually engrossing film directed by Alain Gomis that will leave you feeling happy despite the thorny subject it covers. Earlier during the day, Cardiff University will host a lecture on one the most innovative platforms to engage audiences across the globe as we trvel through ‘the Awra Amba Experience’. The lecture/workshop will be delivered by the director and film-maker Paulina Tervo and her colleague Serdar Ferit.
Wednesday 4th December will see the screening of one of the most controversial leaders in Africa, Robert Mugabe. The documentary made by the only filmmaker from Western World to have full access in filming and interviewing Robert Mugabe, ‘Mugabe:Villain or Hero’ will take us to Zimbabwe and explore the public perception of Mugabe as well as interviewing the main man before the general election earlier this year. There will also be a scriptwriting masterclass delivered by the darling of Welsh film-making, Rungano Nyoni. Hosted by Media Academy Walesat the Atrium, Rungano will cover all you need to know in terms of ‘best practice’ an how to be a successful scriptwriter. ‘An African Election’, a film-documentary will take us to Ghana and using it as a case study to explore the complexities of elections in Africa. 6th of December will be the day to be lost in the picturesque, Algeria with YEMA. Whether viewed as political allegory or pure human drama, this is a beautifully spare, intimate and unforgettable film. At Culture and Media Centre will be the screening of ‘One Man’s Show’, telling the story of a successful African artist in Europe who feels he cannot go on. Focusing on his struggle and the price he pays for choosing to be an artist, this beautiful and emotionally gripping film carries us on his journey.
The festival will close on the 7th by a film making workshop for children, facilitated by Mandy Carpenter followed by the screening of ‘Adventurers in Zambezia’. In the evening, we will bring the screening of one of the funniest films to come out of Africa. ‘Fanie Foure Lobola’will not only be a Welsh but Europe’s first PREMIER. A rom-com dealing with multicultural, post-apartheid South Africa, the film will take us to the world of mix-race relationships in modern South Africa and the cultural complexity they possess. The festival will end up with a massive after party at the GWDIHW with some Afro Beats and Azonto shape ups. This is definitely not one to miss!!