FILM AFRICA 2014 has come to a close. Before our final goodbyes for the year, here’s a recap of yesterday’s events:
Over at the Ritzy we were moved to a bigger screen to accommodate the crowds for THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM and ONYE OZI. The former was a truly beautiful coming-of-age drama set in South Africa and Lesotho. Spectucularly looking, it’s understandable why the film got the accolades it did. Truly deserving. Nuanced and impeccibly acted here’s hoping the film gets a cinema and DVD release. Once it does, GO SEE IT. Onye Ozi was Nollywood at it’s best, innovative in filmmaking – the first all Igbo spoken, London based film of its kind – Onye Ozi had the audience rolling in the aisles. We were joined after the screening by the film’s producers Charles Thompson and Emmanuella Ngozi Ideh alongside The Annual Igbo Conference’s Louisa Egbunike where they discussed the film, Igbo language film and the state of the film industry as a whole. While many left (presumably to head to the Hackney Picturehouse Attic for the closing party) those that stayed were engaged and entertained.
Throughout yesterday Film Africa went full force with the annual African Film Conference over at Westminster University. At the BFI’s Blue Room, those aged between 13 – 19 years were being taught the tricks of the trade in documentary filmmaking with filmmaker Adeyemi Michael. Our final nominees for the BAOBAB award were being showcased at the Ritzy, while we had sold-out screenings of docs ASNI: COURAGE, PASSION & GLAMOUR IN ETHIOPIA and FUTURE SOUNDS OF MZANSI. Over at the Cine Lumiere, there was gripping drama with FEVERS accompanied by the equally gripping short THE GREAT SAFAE, afterwards joined by Fevers’ actor Lounes Tazairt. To top it all, the evening went crazy for I LOVE KUDURO before the party moved upstairs for Film Africa’s Closing Night Party with DJ guests, Remi Kabaka and DJ El Moreno.
Tonight we finish the festival in style with our sold-out Closing Night Gala film TIMBUKTU. A favorite at Cannes and the London Film Festival, we leave this year showcasing a maestro’s work and proper example of African filmmaking at it’s best. We will also be awarding fledging talent coming from the continent in the BAOBAB award for best short film.
It has a been a real blast working for the festival this year. The array of films showcased this year is a drop in the ocean of what is coming out of Africa gives great hope to us all in the growing future and success of African cinema to come. Thanks to all the filmmakers, cast and crew and Industry people and volunteers who came out not only in support of their films but for Film Africa and African film too. It was truly humbling by the response from London audiences who weathered bad weather and rush hour to come join Film Africa in celebrating the vibrant culture coming out of our beautiful continent of Africa. On a personal note, I as Copy Editor and Social Media Manager of the festival would like to give great thanks and gratitude to the bloggers who worked with me in their reviews of Film Africa programme. It’s exciting to see not only their love of cinema but also the sheer brilliance of their writing. You all are excellent people and I thank you:
Melissa Loftman (http://herethere-everywhere.com/)
Kirsty Ayakwah (missbeeeblogspot.co.uk)
Tega Okiti (@TegaOkiti)
Thank you also to the London for supporting Film Africa with your presence and spirit. Bringing Africa to an engaging audience is what Film Africa is all about. Viva la Film! Viva la Film Africa.
Until next year!
Copy Editor & Social Media Manager, Film Africa 2014
Author of The Station Agent Speaks blog.