Bradford African Film Festival
Jamie Cross previews the Bradford African Film Festival, a month long event with FREE weekly screeenings every Friday at 6.30pm.
Last week saw the launch of the Bradford African Film Festival (BAFF) hosted by The University of Bradford (though it is open to the public). The festival will have a weekly Friday screening in the Student Central Lecture Theatre, beginning last Friday (27th January), but continuing until 17th February.
This is the region’s only festival dedicated to African cinema, with Edinburgh (Africa in Motion), Cambridge (Cambridge African Film Festival), Bristol (Afrika Eye Festival) and London (African Film Festival, Film Africa) being the major outlets devoted to this diverse source.
African Cinema, which encompasses Nigerian cinema (Nollywood) the second largest movie industry in the world (in terms of number of annual film productions), has a rich history dating back to the 1930s. The general themes include social and political upheaval and the conflict between modern and traditional times.
Screenings still to come are:
3rd February 18:30 – Bamako (2006)
This political drama set in Bamako, the capital of Mali, director Abderrahmane Sissako imagines how The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund would fare in a trial. Using real lawyers and civil leaders to try the case; ‘Africa’ prosecutes and condemns these organisations’ actions especially in the name of ‘world aid’.
Professor Paul Rogers (University of Bradford, Peace Studies) will be in attendance to discuss the issues raised by the screening.
10th February 18:30 – Molaade (2004)
Director Ousmane Semben has been called ”the most important cinematic voice ever to come out of Africa”. His feature follows Collé, who after a botched circumcision which resulted in losing two children in childbirth, refuses for her surviving daughter Amasatou to go through the procedure. Collé is resented by the men folk for interference in the way of Islam. The situation is further strained when Amasatou’s marriage is halted when it is discovered she hasn’t been ‘cut’.
17th February 18:30 – Crisis in the Congo: Uncovering the Truth (2011)
This short documentary investigates the United States’ involvement, along with Rwanda and Uganda, in one of the worst conflicts of recent history. In 1996, and again in 1998, Rwanda and Uganda invaded the Congo resulting in millions of Congolese deaths. Taking a look at the U.S. corporate and government policies that created the unstable environment that could allow such atrocities; this film is a call to “conscience and action”.
For more details on the screenings, please visit the festival’s facebook event.
I hope to see you there!
You can find Jamie on Twitter @JamieCrossTags: African Cinema, Bamako, Bradford African Film Festival, Crisis in the Congo, independent film, molaada, University of Bradford