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Africa in Motion Film Festival 2012

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by Lindsay Law (subscribe)
I'm a working mum writing about life in Edinburgh (and anywhere else we go) with two curious, adventurous, and imaginative children. Visit my blog at Follow me on Twitter: @LinzerLaw
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A journey to the beating heart of modern Africa
The Africa in Motion Film Festival is now in its 7th year, during which time it has built a reputation for presenting some of the most new and exciting creative film making from the heart of modern Africa.

The Festival spans Edinburgh and Glasgow, but I'm going to focus on the events running in Scotland's capital city.

This year there are different themes running through the programme, with films being categorised to make it easier for viewers to plan the films they'd like to see.

The opening ceremony of the 2011 Festival

Modern African Identities

This set of films are comprised of documentaries, being shown in the afternoon of 30th October at the Edinburgh College of Art. They'll cover themes like migration and language as they explore modern African identities. Afterwards you can join the discussion about them.

Documentary Screenings: African Popular Arts

This theme is a full day of documentary screenings on 4th November at Evolution House (Edinburgh College of Art) from 10:00 - 17:00. These are accompanied by discussions about the films throughout day. The films themselves explore the opposing forces of modernity and tradition, as they show the culture of modern Africa through the eyes of poets, musicans and artists on a cinematic journey across Morocco, Egypt, Senegal, South Africa and Kenya.

African Science Fiction

This is a smaller section of the programme, but it sounds quite exciting. District 19 was an example of fresh, new science fiction ideas coming out of the African continent. This theme shows four films and film-makers that are exploring this genre and interpreting it in new ways. The selection of sci-fi shorts and features are being shown at the Filmhouse on 26th October at 17:45.

Arab Spring Documentaries

A university professor of Oman, Al-Najma Zidjaly, referred to the Arab Spring as a youthquake, and this section of the programme explores the wave of protests that swept through the Arab world from December 2012. Some of the shorts and features will focus on the use of social media and new technology, and the role it has played in the revolutions. The films are being shown on 28 October 2012 in the Filmhouse Cinema 2, at 3:15pm. They will be followed by a discussion with one of the producers, Noe Mendelle, and other Arab Spring experts.

African Films for Children
The Filmhouse Cinema 2 plays host to this family day filled with films and and animations from all over the continent. It is followed by a session of African storytelling, which will have plenty of interactivity for children to get involved with. The day's programme starts at 11:00am on 28 October.

Attendees at the 2011 Festival discussing the films.

There are also two other sections of the Festival - the Africa in Motion Short Film Competition, and an African Popular Culture Symposium.

The short film finalists are being shown on 29 October 2012 at 5.30pm in Filmhouse Cinema 2. 8 films have been short-listed from dozens of submissions in lots of different styles. The final list represent the dynamic and progressive nature of filmmaking in contemporary Africa.

The Symposium is a full-day event on Saturday 27 October from 09:30 - 17:30 in Seminar Rooms 1 & 2 (Ground Floor),
Chrystal Macmillan Building, 15a George Square, University of Edinburgh and will be attended by scholars in modern African culture.

The AiM Festival is mostly run by volunteers, who are passionate about the Festivals aims: to introduce Scottish audiences to the wide variety of film-making that the African continent has to offer, and to counteract the often stereotyped views of Africa created by the mainstream media in the West.

This packed programme of films, discussions and events sounds extremely interesting, and will offer a very different perspective on Africa than you might have seen before.
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Why? A fresh look at Africa through the eyes of its film-makers
When: Varies
Phone: 0131 228 2688
Where: Edinburgh
Cost: Varies
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