Mahamat-Saleh Haroun | Chad 2010 | 1h32m | French and Arabic with English subtitles
Present-day Chad. Adam, sixty something, a former swimming champion, is a pool attendant at a smart N’Djamena hotel. When the hotel gets taken over by new Chinese owners, he is forced to give up his job to his son Abdel. Terribly resentful, he feels socially humiliated. The country is in the throes of a civil war. Rebel forces are attacking the government. The authorities demand that the population contributes to the "war effort", giving money or volunteers old enough to fight off the assailants. The District Chief constantly harasses Adam for his contribution. But Adam is penniless; he only has his son...
Judy Kibinge | Kenya/Germany 2012 | 1h25m | Swahili, Kikuyu, English, Kalenjin with English Subtitles
Kenya, 2007. The post-election violence is raging. Anne (Susan Wanjiru) is one of the victims: hospitalised, with a dead husband, and her son in a coma. A young, troubled gang member is drawn to Anne and her farm seemingly in search of redemption. Both need something that only the other can give to allow them to shed the painful memories of their past and move on. Kibinge’s courageous and sensitively-observed film tackles a tough subject with grace and insight.
Rahmatou Keïta | Sonrhay Empire Productions, Niger 2016 | 1h36m | Songhoy-Zarma, Hausa, Fulani with English subtitles
Tiyaa, a student and member of a prestigious aristocratic family, is back home to the Sultanate of Damagaram, in Niger, for the winter holidays. She is expecting the young man she met while studying in France, also from an important family not far from Damagaram, to make a formal proposal of marriage, but the handsome suitor is slow to come… This vibrant and beautiful female-led story touches upon themes of love, longing, sensuality, marriage and community. The Wedding Ring, Rahmatou Keïta's second feature, pays homage to the fading customs of Sahelian people in Niger, documenting their ways of life and cultural traditions in order to preserve their memory for generations to come.
Mpumelo Mcata, Perivi Katjavivi | South Africa/Namibia 2019 | 46m
Fanon is an ambitious young African filmmaker attending an international film festival. She is desperately looking for a producer to fund her debut feature film but the more that Fanon explores and observes the festival space the more she begins to question whether she will ever find her place in this world. A self-reflexive project documenting the film industry from the point of view of a black African female filmmaker called Fanon.
Akin Omotoso | South Africa 2011 | 1h20m | English, Yoruba, Zulu with English subtitles
Ade (Hakeem kae-kazim) and Femi (Fabian Adeoye Lojede) are expatriate Nigerian brothers. Ade is a successful banker in London, while Femi, once a political dissident in his home country, has had to escape to South Africa, live in refugee tenements and work menial jobs. The brothers have not only been physically estranged, their relationship is ridden with unspoken betrayal, guilt and scorn, which they have carried since the early days of their youth. During a short visit to Johannesburg, Ade discovers that his brother has been missing for a week. He sets out to investigate Femi’s mysterious disappearance, reconstructing the pieces of his everyday life and the cruel hardships he endured just to survive. A riot erupts while Ade is visiting Femi’s former boss (Fana Mokoena) in one of the townships. Ade is forced to take shelter with the employer. The mounting violence outside seeps into their exchanges and eventually prompts an explosion of revelation. Structured like a thriller, “Man On Ground” is a rare descent into the immigrant underworld of Africa’s urban centres, as well as a timely and unflinching indictment of the rise of xenophobia, not just in South Africa but worldwide.
Hajooj Kuka | Sudan/South Africa 2014 | 1h5m | Arabic with English subtitles | Documentary
A music movement is at the core of this engaging and unsettling documentary from war reporter Hajooj Kuka. Telling the story of the Sudanese populations of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountain regions this concentrated documentary feature reveals, and revels in, the cultural production and societal organisation of these people. The film is structured around the daily bombing runs carried out by the Sudanese government in Khartoum. The bombing runs utilise Russian Antonov cargo-carriers to try to blast these ‘rebels’ out of existence. However, such tactics have only further reinforced a determination to preserve a specifically African culture that is viewed as under threat. Sarah Mohamed, an ethnomusicologist, features prominently as a guide to the various music forms that have sprung up around the impromptu celebrations staged after each bombing run. These are celebrations of life as much as culture.
Daryne Joshua | South Africa 2016 | 2h5m | Afrikaans with English subtitles
Daryne Joshua’s impressive debut is a portrait of life on the mean streets of 1960s Cape Town and is as much a paean to the human need for stories – and storytellers – as it is a realistic portrait of youth gang culture. Barely in their teens, Abraham and his three friends form a gang, more out of self-preservation than malice. As they grow up, their harmless antics inevitably evolve into petty crimes, and soon Abraham is in prison. It is there that his gift for telling stories protects him from the worst that prison life has to offer. Now that he’s out he wants to become a writer, but will his gang friends and society give him a chance?
Alain Gomis | Senegal/France 2012 | 1h26m | Wolof, French with English subtitles
A stunning performance by rapper and poet Saul Williams (SLAM), here in an almost silent role. Today is the last day of Satché’s life, even though he’s strong and healthy. Walking through Dakar, he bids farewell to his parents, his first love, the friends of his youth, his wife and children. His final moments conjure a sublime joy. A multi-award winning meditation on the meaning of life …. And death. Gomis’ next feature, Félicité, was selected for the Best Foreign Language film competition at the Academy Awards.
Leyla Bouzid | Tunisia/France/Belgium 2015 | 1h2min | Arabic with English subtitles
Tunis, summer 2010, a few months before the Revolution: Farah, 18 years-old, has just graduated and her family already sees her as a future doctor. But she doesn’t think the same way. She sings in a political rock band. She has a passion for life, gets drunk, discovers love and her city by night against the will of her mother Hayet, who knows Tunisia and its dangers too well.
Likarion Wainaina | Kenya/Germany 2018 | 1h14m | English, Kikuyu, Swahili with English Subtitles
First-time Feature director Wainaina’s deeply emotional family tale follows young heroine Jo, a witty 9-year old terminally ill girl is taken back to her rural village to live out the rest of her short life. Her only comfort during these dull times are her dreams of being a Superhero, which prove to be something her rebellious teenage sister Mwix, overprotective mother Kathryn and the entire village of Maweni think they can fulfill.