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    A Season of African Cinema – Film Africa

    If like us you’re interested in African cinema, you’ll be looking forward to the eighth Film Africa, the annual London-based film festival hosted by the Royal African Society. The film extravaganza showcases the best films from across the continent and the diaspora from both established and brand new directors from 2 to 11 November 2018. Since its launch in 2011, more than 22,000 people have watched 388 diverse films from directors across Africa.

    Yes Film Africa is about bringing a mouthwatering buffet of African films to audiences in UK, but it’s also so much more than that: Director Q&As, talks, debates, school outreach programmes, family events, live music shows, professional workshops and a selection of master classes are all on offer during the festival.

    What’s on at Film Africa 2018?

    Not that we’re biased, but this year’s festival line-up is looking awesome. Shorts, documentaries and feature films – take your pick or better still mix and match! The opening gala which takes place at BFI Southbank is the UK premiere of The Burial of Kojo by Ghanaian musician and film director Blitz Bazawule.

    The closing gala on November 11th, at Rich Mix, will feature Kasala by Nigerian director Ema Edosio. In between, a trawl through the eclectic selection reveals films by directors from countries as diverse as South Africa, Tunisia, Kenya, Egypt, Sudan, Gabon, Burundi and Somalia.

    For more information on this year’s programme, go to http://www.filmafrica.org/full-programme/

    Whether you’re in London or not, you can still get involved in upgarding your African cinema repertoire. Thanks to global streaming sites and online DVD sellers, we’ve found more (not enough!) African cinema available for global viewing.

    We’re making this our season of African cinema, and this is our top 10 to watch – from across the continent and covering different genres. Join us!

    1. I Am Not A Witch (Zambia, 2017) – “Approaches real-life injustices with a beguiling blend of sorrow, anger, and humour, marking debuting writer-director Rungano Nyoni as an exciting new talent.” (Rotten Tomatoes, 97%)

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    2. Moolaade (Senegal, 2004) – From legendary author and film director Ousmane Sembene, “A vibrant, powerful, and poignant glimpse into the struggles of women in modern Africa.” (Rotten Tomatoes, 99%)

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    3. Tsotsi (South Africa, 2006) – Directed by Gavin Hood. With Presley Chweneyagae, Mothusi Magano, Israel Makoe, Terry Pheto. Six days in the violent life of a young Johannesburg gang member who is beyond redemption…or is he?

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    4. Yeelen (Mali, 1987) – (Bambara for “brightness”/”light”) It is filmed in the Bambara and Fula languages, and is based on a legend told by the Bambara people. Cissé presents a thirteenth-century legend seemingly from the perspective of its characters, for whom the supernatural realm, the domain of divine powers realized concretely on earth, is demonstrable, evident, and visible.

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    5. Waiting for Happiness (Mauritania, 2002) – The film pictures Mauritania as a kind of limbo, where everyone is waiting, watching, dreaming of going to France or elsewhere. A boy tries to install an electric light. A rootless man’s shirt is the exact same material as his curtains and sofa. As these people drift and dream we see, through their eyes, street scenes of utter beauty, and we hear, through their ears, Malian Oumou Sangaré’s gorgeous score.

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    6. Touki Bouki (Senegal, 1973) – Directed by Djibril Diop Mambéty, the film tells the story of Mory a cowherd who rides a motorcycle mounted with a cow’s skull, and Anta, a university student as they try to make money in order to go to Paris and leave their boring past behind.

    7. The Gods Must Be Crazy (South Africa, 1980) – Written and directed by Jamie Uys. Financed only from local sources, it is the most commercially successful release in the history of South Africa’s film industry. Set in Botswana, the poignantly insightful comedy follows the story of Xi, a San of the Kalahari Desert whose tribe has no knowledge of the world beyond, Andrew, a biologist who analyzes manure samples for his PhD dissertation, and Kate, a newly hired village school teacher.

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    8. Hyenas (Senegal, 1993) – A quirky but visually decadent film from director Djibril Diop Mambéty. After being banished from her village three decades earlier for getting pregnant out of wedlock, and finding great fortune on her travels, Linguere has returned home intent on punishing Dramaan the man who made her pregnant.

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    9. Teza (Ethiopia, 2008) – Intellectual Anberber returns to his native country after several years spent studying medicine abroad, he finds the country of his youth replaced by turmoil. Seeking the comfort of his countryside home, Anberber finds no refuge from violence.  Anberber needs to decide whether he wants to bear the strain or piece together a life from the fragments that lie around him.

    10. Half of a Yellow Sun (Nigeria, 2013) – Based on the novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and directed by Biyi Bandele. Sisters Olanna and Kainene return home to 1960s Nigeria, where they soon diverge on different paths. As civil war breaks out, political events loom larger than their differences as they join the fight to establish an independent republic.

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    Why is Film Africa and contemporary African cinema such a big deal?

    To fully appreciate the significance of Film Africa, one needs to look at the history of film-making. At best, most films about Africa in colonial times (and beyond) showed Africans as exotic, living in outlandish places. At worst, they were depicted as savage, primitive, or as submissive and childlike, with little to no agency, dependent on the mercy of western masters for their survival.

    Post independence, African filmmakers started to emerge, vigorously challenging the narrow portrayals of the continent and its inhabitants. The themes were overtly political and social in nature, representing characters as dignified, intelligent, articulate people who felt love, hatred, greed, ambition, fear and joy as deeply as all humanity. These films show Africa unapologetically, threading cultural context and music, costume, ritual into the telling of the stories.

    Sembène Ousmane, the Senegalese director is widely regarded as the founding father of African cinema – an ever-growing list of directors, both men and women have been inspired by him and followed in his pioneering footsteps.

    Hence the massive importance of Film Africa to set the records straight and help give African cinema a platform – African culture, African history, African stories related by African directors.

    Words: Yvonne Lloyd & Daphne Kasambala

     

     

    Countdown: CALLEFI Premium Lifestyle Event 20-22 July

    CALLEFI SAVE THE DATECounting down to London’s CALLEFI Lux Weekend & Investment Forum on 20-22 July, 2018, supporting Premium and Luxury Lifestyle Brands of African & Caribbean heritage for tangible social impact.

    Come and enjoy art, fashion, dining, music & culture.

    Sapelle will be showcasing our new ‘Sapelle x Adire’ fashion collection.

    Venue: One Horseguards, London SW1

    Click here for details and tickets: https://www.callefi.com/

     

     

     

     

     

    22 Reasons To Come to the B.Creatives Christmas Popup on 9th December

    We’ve partnered with a team of quality independent brands to create a day of feel-good shopping in the heart of London’s East End. It’s an all-day event that’s warm, cosy and fun, with curated gift options they’ll actually love. So come and indulge in complementary treats on us, festive music, workshops and craftmaking, hot drinks and cakes…oh and a bit of Christmas shopping!

    Whether it’s stocking fillers or more substantial presents you’re after, come find gifts for young and old, ladies and gents, and treat yourself too to lovely stationery, books, modern art and prints, natural skincare, haircare and cosmetics, handcrafted jewellery, fashion and accessories – all made with love from the B. Creatives.

    All the brands’ founders will be there to help you make the right choices, especially if you need advice on skincare, haircare and cosmetics – and all the brands are ethically made and tested. There’ll be demonstrations and workshops for Christmas cooking, kids’ crafting and headwrap styles. Here are the 22 reasons why you should not miss it:

    1. Jim + Henry’s Paraben-free vegan lab-tested hair products for babies, kids and adults, made from only EIGHT natural ingredients

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    2. Love Rems luscious natural, vegan, chemical-free luxury skincare for sensitive skin and all skin types, with demonstrations by the founderLove Rems IMG_20171023_102533_484

    3. Real B Cosmetics offer makeup tips and indulgence with PETA-approved glamourous cosmetics that look and feel goodReal B IMG_0175

    4. The Study Room London’s range of super-sleek stationery and productivity products make great gifts for him

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    5. Vitae London’s timeless high quality timepieces won’t break your bank, and for every watch sold, a child’s education is sponsored in disadvantaged communities in Africavitae 5

    6. Sapelle’s range of gift items, including men’ accessories gives you stocking filler options that look great and are uniqueNomi Cufflinks 2

    7. House of Loulee’s large range of funky kids’ clothes and toys that will definitely put a smile on their faces on Christmas morning

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    8. Wildsuga is inspired by indigenous life, the sacred ancient, geometrical patterns,  foliage and spirit life and this comes through in everything they make

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    9. Bonita Ivie Prints gives much-loved classic African prints and popular sayings a new life with their stationery and gift line

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    10. Dorcas Creates graphic art celebrates sisterhood, and the many shades of women, making their products the perfect gift for her

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    11. Mochi is the creation of visual artist and animator Nyanzi D, and is a series based on contemporary women and vintage pop art

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    12. Streetwear brand Meen keeps its finger on the pulse of young fashion, fusing it with touches of African influences

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    13. For the vintage lovers, Hand Me Down Glam has been saving gorgeous seasonal jummpers and more glam pieces

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    14. From the identical twin chefs who are currently crowdfunding to open their own vegan cafe, Twinz Cupcakes will be serving up delicious treats for the day and to take homecupcakes d2678e27bc461429945a8564ab80a8f2--dwarf-rosette

    15. Line & Honey was launched as a stress-reliever while the founder was completing her post-graduate thesis, and now the brand continues to illustrate versatile zip pouches with images of strong, beautiful women

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    16. Biloko is an ethical and sustainable brand that collaborates with Congolese artisans to create beautiful, timeless jewellery pieces

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    17. Own Brown was born in Switzerland, and offers women of colour luxurious tone-matched tights, with a lingerie line coming soon

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    18. Jacaranda Books is an independent publisher of ethnically, socially & culturally diverse fiction and non-fiction – time to stock up!

    Jacaranda New release Tuesday 3

    19. Boite Luxury makes gift-giving and home storage extraordinary. Whatever goes into one of their boxes becomes even more special.

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    20. Creative maker Akua Ofosuhene will be running a head scarf and head wrapping workshop, plus selling some of her lovely hand-made crafts

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    21. Betty Vandy, otherwise known as Bettylicious Cooks, an African, Creole and Soul Food chef and blogger will be giving us a Christmas cooking demonstration

    betty workshop

    22. Kids get to make fun and fantastic crafts with the multitalented artist and educator Sarina Mantle

    sarina workshop

    Don’t miss it, we open from 11am to 8 pm at Hanbury Hall, 22 Hanbury Street, London, round the corner from Truman Brewery, Spitalfields market and Brick Lane. Follow us on social: Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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    Sapelle Collaborates in Christmas PopUp

    B.Creative Xmas Pop Up Flyer AWe love to get out there and present our Christmas gift options, so when we were invited to join a cooperative of like-minded unique independent brands with a Christmas Shopping Pop Up in the lovely, cosy, luscious Hanbury Hall in the heart of London’s Spitalfields/Brick Lane area…we said yes! And so B. Creatives promises to be one of the best unique gift-shopping events in London.

    From 11am until 8pm on Saturday 9th December, 12 specially curated upcoming brands selling natural cosmetics and skincare, vintage and contemporary African-inspired fashion, ethical jewellery, colour-toned hosiery and unique stationery and stocking fillers will host you with drinks, nibbles, music and crafts at Hanbury Hall.

    Mark your diaries: 11am to 8pm, SAturday 9th December, 2017. Spread the word and bring the whole family for a day of rewarding gift-shopping.

    Follow the event on Instagram, Facebook and Eventbrite.

    Q&A Interview with Eloli

    Our Summer of pop ups continues with a one-week event by Eloli, an exciting fashion brand that embodies sisterhood across the oceans. Kelly from Team Sapelle sat down and asked Dibo, one of the founders of Eloli for a quick-fire interview. Read on…

     

    -Tell us about you and your brand, to start… who is Dibo?

    I am a creative director of Eloli, a fashion brand which I run with my two sisters. I am based in London while Fese is based in Yaoundé, Cameroon and Sume is based in Toronto, Canada. We are all self-taught in fashion design however we are from a family of creatives and grew up in a household where we learned how to sew early on and developed an interest in fashion and retail. As children, we restyled and designed our clothes and having our mum’s machines and amazing fabrics at home made experimenting, an everyday part of our lives.

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    -What is Eloli ?

    Eloli is an award-winning contemporary fashion brand which showcases African design.

    Eloli means “it is beautiful” in Bafaw, a language spoken in Cameroon.  We wanted a name that was rooted in our heritage evocative of the feeling you get when you wear one of our pieces. Through countless conversations with our mum and aunts, we landed on Eloli. It has proved to be the right choice – beautiful is the most common descriptor we hear. It makes us smile each time.

    We currently have a handbag  line, and a collection of men’s and women’s clothing available in our boutique in Yaoundé, our website and through other  select retailers and e-commerce.

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    -How would you describe the style of your brand ?

    The Eloli woman and man stands out from the crowd with their adventurous and confident nature. A man and woman of the world, they are glamorous with a chic and unique style allowing them to revel in being the centre of attention. They are free and confident, living life on their own terms while caring for the world around them. They are curious, adventurous and comfortable in their own skin.

    The brand incorporates our love for vibrant colour and pattern. Through Eloli we channel our shared passion of introducing an African aesthetic to contemporary design.

    Our brand promise is to help our girls and guys live life boldly – in colour, texture and print.Designers_l_to_r_Dibo Sume&Fese

    -Are your inspirations coming from all over Africa or from a particular country?

    Our inspiration is global with our aesthetic firmly grounded in our Cameroonian heritage. We live in 3 different cities on three different continents, we love to travel and discover different cultures. We are very influenced by our heritage and remain forward looking in our designs.

    We are inspired by the people we design for: adventurous and fearless women and men.

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    -What motives you as a fashion designer ?

    As a fashion designer I am motivated by a sense of beauty and style which is heavily influenced by the glamorous men and women who I grew up around. My sisters and I have a huge appreciation for African fashion and aesthetics and try to incorporate that in our designs.

    We are keen to contribute our culture into the fabric of contemporary design and tell our own story so to speak.

    Seeing our designs on people in everyday life is a great reminder of why we decided to start the brand in the first place and keeps us going.

    Working with talented people and seeing how we are contributing to their families and the local communities in our own small way keeps us driven.

    We have also been very blessed with some recognition for our work which is amazing for such a young brand. We were featured in British Vogue last year and also named one of the ‘4 Canadian Start-up Companies You Should Know’ by The Kit Magazine, Canada. We have also won a few awards and all of this helps us focus knowing that that voice in our heads telling us we can achieve just about anything if we keep going, is not so crazy after all.

    Plus, having sisters to rely on keeps us pretty motivated!

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    -What are your greatest strengths, and how will they help you as a fashion designer ?

    Well, I did a strength finder test a few years ago and according to that, being creative and strategic are amongst my top 5 strengths. Being creative is obviously essential for a designer and being strategic helps in defining how we turn our creativity into a sustainable and relevant business. The business of fashion is very competitive and it is easy to fall in love with the glamour and not put in the hard work however it is a business and you need to be able to see the bigger picture and plan accordingly.

     

    Thank you Dibo.

     

    Kelly B.

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