PHEW! Film Africa 2014 is nearly to a close. But we’re not sad! We have much to celebrate! We’re so proud to have hosted an astounding 86 films across 11 venues. With so many highlights and so many great films to remember for 2014, we’re getting ourselves in a party mood which will explode at our CLOSING NIGHT PARTY at the Hackney Picturehouse Attic. We’d be lying if we didn’t say that the partying begun last night with the sold screening of HEAR ME MOVE at Hackney Picturehouse. A dance movie with soul, Hear Me Move really is the first of it’s kind. The film will no doubt get a release and when it does the Film Africa team implores you to go see it!

After the screening we were joined by the film’s choreographer Paul Modjadji, a very talented dancer, presenter and general genius when it comes to all things dance. We learnt so much about the importance of dance in African history, culture and everyday lives. Did you know that Beyonce flew psantsula dancers from Mozambique to her Run The World set so she could learn the psantsula dance that features in the video because psantsula is a dance, with its precision and focus on the feet while the rest of the body is still, associated with repression and became a symbol of the apartheid struggle? Did you know that once the apartheid regime ended in 1994, a new dance took over in the streets of South Africa called sbhujwa, which is more expressive and involved the whole body, an expression of freedom? We learnt all that from Paul!
(You should check out the short video of him explaining a new dance he discovered in West Africa on the Film Africa Facebook page).
So informative and excited to have been part of a project like Hear Me Move, Paul’s warm spirit was intoxicating and we can only wish him and the movie all the best. He and the film will be massive!

Film Africa's Sheila Ruiz with Hear Me Move's choreographer Paul Modjadji
Film Africa’s Sheila Ruiz with Hear Me Move’s choreographer Paul Modjadji

Across the whole there was more South African goodness to be found at the sold out screening of FOUR CORNERS. The film was so popular that people had to be turned away! The urban gang culture drama made by South African filmmaker Ian Gabriel who was in attendance for a post-screening Q&A is another shining example of the high calibre of film coming from South Africa and is another proud feature of the South Africa @20 Freedom Tour as is Hear Me Move.

Over at the Ritzy, we showcased some quieter nevertheless excellent drama with Lusophone films KADJIKE and VIRGIN MARGARIDA, the latter with guest Pedro Pimenta the producer of Virgin Margarida in to talk about the film and the history of Mozambique. Over in the beautifully apt setting of the South London Gallery, audiences were treated to special screening of the classic Dakan, considered to be the first gay love story from West Africa. Screened in collaboration with South by South and supported by the Africa Rize NAZ Project, audiences observed an intimate panel discussion and were treated to some authentic Nigerian food! One of Film Africa’s lucky bloggers, Kirsty Ayakwah was there for proceedings and will be reporting back on her thoughts very soon, so be sure to check back in!

Today is officially the last full day of the festival and we at Film Africa are going hard. We have sold-out screenings of ASNI: COURAGE, PASSION & GLAMOUR IN ETHIOPIA and South African music doc FUTURE SOUNDS OF MZANSI, but there’s still space for the beautifully written, award-winning South African drama THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM; we have the second set of short screenings in contention for the prestigious BAOBAB awards; and the rather funny, rather excellent Nollywood London-based comedy ONYE OZI all happening at the Ritzy.

Over at Cine Lumiere we have the emotional coming-of-age drama FEVERS with the equally involving experimental short THE GREAT SAFAE (which was reviewed yesterday) and we’d be failing in our jobs to not big up a Film Africa fave I LOVE KUDURO which will finish just in time for you to pop upstairs and get down with Film Africa’s CLOSING NIGHT PARTY with guest DJs South African Remi Kabaka and El Moreno.

We at Film Africa are off to get ready so see you at the PARTY! Oh and we hope you’ve bagged your tickets for tomorrow’s sold-out Closing Night Film TIMBUKTU!

See you tomorrow!