Africa In Motion Film Festival Preview: 2007

Africa is no longer the poor cousin.

Feature by Sarah Hunter | 07 Nov 2007

Expect to hear the sound of drums coming from Edinburgh's Filmhouse at the end of the month. For the second year running the cinema will be hosting the Africa in Motion (AiM) film festival from 25 October - 4 November. More than thirty African films will be shown- features, shorts and documentaries, as well as talks by the film-makers themselves, music performances and art exhibitions.

The festival will celebrate the late Senegalese director Ousmane Sembene, whose films Xala (1975) and Black Girl (1966) will open the festival. Black Girl is regarded as the first feature film from a sub-Saharan African: Diouana is a young girl working as a childminder for a French couple who take her to the Cate d'Azur. Unfortunately her fantasy image of life there does not turn out as she had hoped.

The event will also celebrate the bicentenary of the abolition of slavery, take a look at empowering female directors and show the best of contemporary African cinema. Africa Paradise (2006) is a satirical look at a future where Africa is no longer the poor cousin but the rich and successful uncle. Inspired by Africans living in Europe, in this world it is now the Europeans who are taking any measures to get into Africa and meet both racism and xenophobia when they arrive.

One film, The Mystery Mountain, is the first film from Malawi ever to be screened outside that country. Creator Villant Ndasowa will travel to Edinburgh with the film and audiences will be able to hear for themselves the difficulties of working in a country where there is little knowledge of the process. Malawi has only a fledging television industry and no cinemas. As Ms Ndasowa wants Malawians to see The Mystery Mountain she will have to take the film to them, and bring something to screen it on.

Looking for something a little less visual and a little more aural? Bringing some strong African and Afro-Scot beats to the festival will be a number of musicians: Scottish/Ghanaian Benny Tetteh-Lartey will play his own invention, the combuitar, one of only three in the world; there will be drumming and dancing with Sam Achampon and his group Sakatumbe, and music from singer-songwriter David Ferrard. And, as they always say, much, much more!

Filmhouse, Edinburgh, 25 Oct- 4 Nov