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Africa In Motion: Introducing Scottish audiences to the Brilliance of African Cinema

Africa In Motion

This Friday, Edinburgh will be hosting the opening screening of Africa In Motion, an African-inspired film festival that celebrates the diversity and brilliance of African film. The opening will be followed by a party in Edinburgh's number one arts venue, Summerhall, to celebrate Africa In Motion's 10th birthday. We are very proud to be one of this year's sponsors of the festival and can't wait to find out who will win the Aduna Award for Best Short Film. If you're attending the event, look out for some baobab love in your goody bags!

We caught up with the Festival Founder and Adviser, Lizelle Bisschoff, to find out a bit more about how the festival has made a positive impact on African film:

What is the aim of Africa In Motion?

Africa in Motion was founded in 2006 with the aim of introducing Scottish audiences to the brilliance of African cinema and to overcome the under-representation and marginalisation of African film in British film-going culture.

How do you think the festival makes a positive impact in the film industry?

When we took the first small steps towards organising an African film festival in Scotland ten years ago, we could not have imagined how much the festival would grow in scope, audiences and diversity over the course of a decade. The growth of Africa in Motion mirrors the growth of filmmaking on the African continent. While we celebrate ten years of Africa in Motion, we also reflect on ten years of expanding and diversifying our views of the continent and strengthening our connections with Africa.  

This is Africa In Motion’s 10 year anniversary. Have you seen a rise in the popularity of African films since starting out?

Since its inception in 2006, Africa in Motion has introduced nearly 30,000 audience members to the brilliance and diversity of African cinema. We have screened 488 films from 40 African countries in 64 venues, and we have brought 96 special guests and filmmakers from Africa to the UK to engage with audiences. Before AiM, there were almost no platforms for African Cinema, so a significant audience for African film has really developed from nothing ten years ago.

Tell us about the Aduna Award and which films are considered for this.

Africa in Motion’s annual Short Film Competition has been successfully running for eight consecutive years as a part of AiM’s commitment to nurturing young African filmmaking talent. This year, the award is sponsored by Aduna. A record number of 120 entries were received, and the shortlist of finalists comprised of a diverse selection of work from across the continent. The winner was selected by a jury of industry professionals, including Nigerian filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa, South African filmmaker Vincent Moloi, and the director of the Glasgow Short Film Festival, Matt Lloyd.

The seven shortlisted films are:

Mémoires anachroniques ou le couscous du vendredi midi (Thank God It’s Friday) - Asmae El Moudir, Morocco/France, 2014
Maman(s) (Mother(s)) - Maïmouna Doucouré, Senegal/France, 2015)
Moul Lkelb (The Man With a Dog) - Kamal Lazraq, Morocco/France, 2014)
Trash Cash - Muzahura Wilberforce Musasizi, Uganda, 2014
Rabie Chetwy (Wintry Spring) - Mohamed Kamel, Egypt, 2014
Women in the Dark - Shameelah Khan, South Africa, 2014
Helm el Mash-had (The Dream of a Scene) - Yasser Shafiey, Egypt, 2014

What’s your favourite way of feeling the baobab love? 

The Aduna Baobab Superfruit Energy Bar with Pineapple and Almonds is a delicious snack when you are on the run during a busy festival! It's a quick, healthy release of energy before a busy day of film screenings!

To find out more about Africa In Motion, head over to their website.

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