If you’re in London this weekend, partake in the rare gems showing at Film Africa.
Film Africa is an annual London film festival celebrating the best African cinema from across the continent and diaspora brought to you by The Royal African Society. Established in 2011, every year Film Africa brings diverse London audiences a high quality and wide-ranging film programme accompanied by a vibrant series of events, including director Q&As, talks and discussions; professional workshops and master classes; school screenings and family activities; The Industry Forum; and Film Africa LIVE! music nights. Film Africa also recognises and supports new film making talent through the Baobab Award for Best Short Film and the Audience Award for Best Feature Film.
I attended the European premiere and post-screening Q&A of the Ghanaian film ‘Keteke’ which was written, produced and directed by Peter Sedufia. The film, a thoroughly enjoyable “colourful screwball comedy, with a wry but affection nod to Ghanaian traditions and gender dynamics,” took me back to my native Malawi where, against all the odds, life must – and does – go on. And life includes love, laughter and music. Sedufia’s disarmingly honest account of the hurdles he had to creatively overcome in the making of his debut film is a reflection of the journey the film’s protagonists take to catch the train to Ateke to deliver their baby.
When I asked Sedufia about distribution of his film, he admitted how tough it is to get African films screened internationally and that he’s eager to talk to partners to get his film shown around the world – an echo of the challenge faced by creatives of all ilks around the continent. In spite of the challenges, ‘Keteke’ has broken box office records in Ghana and is already showing in almost ten airlines.
Tonight I’ll be watching the Congolese film, ‘Felicite’ at the South London Gallery, which saw Vero Tshanda, the film’s star win the Best Actress award at the African Movie Academy Awards 2017. You can watch this and other films and events till 5th November like ‘Winnie’ at the BFI, ‘I Still Hide to Smoke’ at Rich Mix and ‘I Will Not Bear Tomorrow’ at the Bernie Grant Arts Centre plus plenty more including the Afrobeat to Afrobeats party tomorrow at the Ritzy, Brixton. For details, visit the Film Africa calendar here.
Words: Daphne Kasambala