30 October 2012
It’s late October in Edinburgh and despite the perishing conditions out on the streets the Filmhouse Cinema exudes the warm vibrancy of African culture - bringing the city to life. The opening night combines the rich aroma of fried plantain, talented young street dancers, and knitted hats – showing that this is certainly a festival like no other.
It is a privilege to have been a part of such an event, and I feel inspired after a thought provoking few days. The concept of ‘’Modern Africa’’ is one that is widely discussed, thinking about what lies ahead for the continent, its complexities, key challenges and new innovations. This festival provides a unique insight into these notions and the chance to explore icons of modernity, challenge stereotypes, and show struggles of social transformation currently taking place within Africa. It takes us on a journey, offering a glimpse into how African’s see themselves in the world we all share.
With an eclectic array of themes AiM shows how African films are diverse in both their genre and their audiences. Screening newly emerging African Sci-Fi titles, films exploring African popular culture, Arab Spring documentaries, and showcasing the sophisticated cinema of South Africa.
The close link between film, politics and culture is brought to the fore, as symposiums, workshops and lively discussions following screenings demonstrate that film is much more than merely entertainment. It provides space for filmmakers to transmit pictures of the future imagined world, challenging our everyday realities and perceptions.
Packed screenings and the rapturous applauds from the audience is an indication of the huge market out there for African films. It is about time that more of these fantastic titles are given recognition across mainstream markets in the UK, and I’m so glad to see that the Africa in Motion Film Festival is marking the forefront for this endeavour.
A massive congratulations to all those involved, and I look forward to coming back next year!
(Words by Justine Atkinson, Project Director - Aya Distribution)