Only in its second year, Film Africa is the UK’s largest annual festival of African cinema and culture. The festival sees the Royal Africa Society and the School of Oriental and African Studies join forces to explore the many facets of the continent.
Over the next 10 days, 70 films celebrating the range of African cinema will be shown across various picture houses and galleries throughout the city. You really are spoilt for choice and are likely to want to see them all, but if you should need a little help deciding, here are a few to look out for over the coming fortnight:
Soul Boy directed by Hawa Essuman is a film for all ages and looks at the story of 14-year-old Abila who must recover his father’s soul in order to save his life. With the help of his friends, he faces his father’s demons and shows the strength needed to overcome them and save his father.
Tahrir 2011: The Good, the Bad and the Politician is a joint directorial project by Ayten Amin, Tamer Ezzat, and Amr Salama who take different angles on the Egyptian revolution. While laden with humour, making direct jabs at former president Mubarak, this documentary attempts to provide a well-rounded view of the recent uprising in Egypt.
The United States of Africa follows African Hip Hop pioneer Didier Awadi on his quest to create an album that pays homage to revolutionary African leaders. Following Awadi's travels throughout the continent and beyond, this film looks at the use of hip hop as a tool for social change and the engagement of African youth, who wish to be counted in their pursuit for their better Africa.
Restless City by Andrew Dimonsu follows the journey of Djibril from Senegal to America as he pursues his dream of becoming a musician. He has chosen New York City as his playground, but this concrete jungle has darker things on offer than its bright lights.
Film Africa runs from 1-11 November with screenings at various locations. Find out more and book tickets at www.filmafrica.org.uk. Twitter: @FilmAfrica (hashtag, #FilmAfrica2012); Facebook: Film Africa.
By Femi Fagunwa