Film Africa, London’s biggest festival of African cinema, returns on 28 October for its 10th edition

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Film Africa, London’s biggest celebration of African and African diaspora cinema presented by the Royal African Society, returns for its 10th edition on Friday 28 October to Sunday 6 November 2022.

The first edition since the end of Covid restrictions, the festival will once again return to cinemas across London, showcasing 48 titles from 16 African countries, including 22 UK, European and World premieres, in 7 venues. Building off the success of last year’s partnership with BFI Player,Film Africa will also feature a selection of 7 narrative and documentary films on BFI Player, which will be available for people to watch during the festival, individually or in interactive watch parties. BFI Player is available with a free 14-day trial.

With a vision of showcasing the depth and variety of African stories, this year’s curators (Aseye Tamakloe, Accra, Ghana, Nyambura M. Waruingi, Nairobi, Kenya, and Wilfred Okiche, Cleveland, USA via Lagos, Nigeria) have selected films which demonstrate that although a lot of history and experiences are shared by Africans, there isn’t any one way to be or express being African. The films – feature-length and shorts, fiction and documentary – lay bare discourse around diversity, inclusiveness, power structures, seeking healing, and building communities. Themes covered include a mother’s love, belonging, sisterly bonds, migration, sexuality, gender, religion, abortion rights, repressed trauma, and freedom struggles. The selected films go to the very heart of issues, connecting historical events with contemporary concerns, and although heavy, these issues have been handled with sensitivity and captured with beauty on screen, reflecting the technical and artistic capacities of this era of African filmmakers.

Desta Haile, Deputy Director at the Royal African Society, said: “The Royal African Society is delighted to present the 10th edition of Film Africa. The films for this 10th edition are so beautiful and eclectic, spanning so many countries and feelings. As a volunteer for Film Africa back in 2018, it is now a real joy to be part of the organising team. Our partners – curators, judges, directors, artists, food, media, food, drink, music – have helped us pull together a stunning 10 days for the people, and I can’t wait to welcome people in person to our screenings, Q&As, workshops and events, and to our online events!”

Sarah Wechse lberger, Festival Producer at Film Africa said: “Film Africa’s mission remains the same: to offer a platform to showcase and celebrate the best contemporary African cinema in London and the UK, reaffirming our emphasis on discovering new talent. I am personally excited about each and every single selected film in this year’s programme as we encounter bold storytelling, unforgettable characters and refreshing new perspectives. From daring fiction titles, thought-provoking shorts to impactful documentaries, one theme that recurs is RETURN.”

The festival launches on Friday 28 October at Picturehouse Central with a Gala screening of the UK premiere of Our Father, The Devil. The debut feature-length film from Cameroonian director Ellie Foumbi, Our Father, the Devil is a powerful, deeply suspenseful, and provocative film that takes audiences on a morally ambiguous journey. Filled with brilliant performances and masterful storytelling it is a fantastic opening film. The premiere will be followed by a director’s Q&A.

In line with The Royal African Society’s mission to connect, celebrate and engage audiences with topics and ideas about Africa today, the Film Africa 2022 programme features director Q&As, plus panel discussions, online events, themed dine & view evenings, live music events, and a programme of educational workshops and masterclasses focused on increasing diversity in film.

This year, they are continuing their partnerships with BEYOND NOLLYWOOD and Deaffest, and are pleased to announce new partnerships with Cinewax, EbonyLife Media, and Mobile Film Festival Africa, who will be hosting viewings, workshops, and masterclasses as part of the festival.

BEYOND NOLLYWOOD: Curated by and presented by Nadia Denton, a selection of films which celebrate the new wave audio-visual content from Nigeria and its diaspora, alongside a Q&A with Clarence A Peters, the Director of Inside Life.

Cinewax will host an animation workshop with award-winning animator, illustrator and visual artist Comfort Arthur.

Deaffest will present a programme of films by Deaf filmmakers along with a live panel discussion led by popular BSL TV presenter and in-vision translator Ahmed Mudawi, and a workshop from black deaf filmmaker David Ellington.

Ebony Life Media: Mo Abudu will host a masterclass for young Film Africa Creatives alongside Actress, Writer, and Director Nana Mensah and Costume Designer Colleen Morris-Glennon.

Mobile Film Festival Africa: Participants will learn how to make a film – from ideation through to editing – using just a smartphone.

Film Africa’s mission remains the same-to offer a platform to showcase and celebrate the best contemporary African cinema in London and the UK. As in previous years, the festival will once again present a 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 awarded during the festival.

Film Africa 2022 has been made possible thanks to the support of the BFI, Amazon Literary Partnership, Garfield Weston Foundation, Miles Morland Foundation, and Ebony Life Media. For full programme information and online booking, please visit Film Africa.

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