Designed by the Lalibela Cinema Design Collective and Ranti Bamgbala
Inspired by the many spaces that exist in Africa beyond traditional cinemas, Film Africa 2012 is inviting you to experience film in an alternative way, as the lower gallery of the Rich Mix is transformed into an experiential cinematic installation, exploring themes of domesticity and the interaction of human form, cinema and fabric.
At the Picha House, you will be entertained by the first ever pidgin musical, experience striking, thought-provoking and experimental short films, be challenged to take a stand in reclaiming public art spaces, discuss the importance of film for democracy, and open yourself to different ways of thinking about love in Africa.
This is your space for the week. Come watch a film for free, or simply drop in and be transported through sound and image…
Fri 9 Nov
19:30 Picha House presents…Amour, Sexe et Mobylette (12)
This is a film about love in a small village in Burkina Faso. Entertaining and disarmingly charming, we are enveloped into the villagers’ lives on the day before Valentine’s Day. With sensitivity, warmth and humour, the documentary
delves into the passions and sentiments surrounding the hearts of those both young and old, and provokes heated - and often very funny - arguments around what men and women search for in relationships, holding up a mirror to what we ourselves might be looking for in the depths of our hearts.
Dir. Maria Silvia Bazzoli and Christian Lelong. France/Germany. 2008.
Sat 10 Nov
15:00 / 16:30 / 18:00 Picha House presents…Baobab and Beyond (15) The Godfather + Kengere + The Last Passenger
+ Protect the Nation + Siggil
This tale of a father’s journey to find the best godfather for his baby son is told through magnificent, riveting animation. Made by puppeteer, filmmaker, and musician Lazare Sié Pale, The Godfather comes to us via an illustrious route, after delighting audiences at Fespaco (Ouagadougou), Africa in the
Picture (Amsterdam), and Durban International Film Festival (South Africa).
Dir. Lazare Sié Pale. Burkina Faso. 2011. 20 min.
In 1989, in a small village in Mukura in Eastern Uganda, government soldiers accused the residents of being rebels, making an exception only when they could prove otherwise by means of an identification card. Sixty-nine of the
residents failed to show ID cards, and were locked in train wagons that were set on fire. All but one died. Stunningly told through puppets, this film unravels a story the government would rather deny.
Dir. Peter Tukei Muhumuza. Uganda. 2011. 22 min.
THE LAST PASSENGER
Winner of the Best Short Arab film at the 2010 Abu Dhabi Film Festival, this is short storytelling at its best. Dream-like, the film is full of brightly lit nostalgia as the soul of a young man about to commit suicide decides to pay a visit to his two impossible loves: a woman, and a mysterious theatre …
PROTECT THE NATION
When faced with the unexpected kindness of a stranger, a young boy begins to question whether he has the courage to do what’s right. A short film about the 2008 wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Dir. C.R. Reisser. South Africa. 2010. 17 min.
A tender story set in Dakar about an old man, Lamine, whose job it is to walk the dog of a rich woman. But when Lamine loses the pet poodle, he is confronted by an esoteric question: “Shouldn´t each walk our own dog?”
Dir. Rémi Mazet. France. 2010. 20 min.
Sun 11 Nov
14:00 / 15:30 Picha House presents…Stories from Lakka Beach (PG)
All men will end up in a grave, and all men were born, but what happens in between is the story that is difficult to tell”. In Lakka, a picturesque beach in Sierra Leone, five villagers contemplate the most profound moments of their lives, and tell stories about the ocean and the land, about war, love and hope. With beautiful cinematography and a gentle pace, this is as intimate
documentary about life after war.
Dir. Daan Vedhuizen. Netherlands. 2011. 77 min.
Fri 2 Nov
16:30 / 18:00 / 19:30 Picha House
presents…Coz Ov Moni (12)
Starring hip-life pioneer Mensa and Wanlov the Kubolor, this first ever pidgin musical will make you laugh and your head bop. On a normal morning in Accra, two friends wake up and plan to go clubbing with some lady friends after chasing an evasive debtor. But their free-spirited attitude makes them a
few enemies as the day progresses…
Dir. King Luu. Ghana/UK. 52 min.
Sat 3 Nov
15:30 / 17:00 / 18:30 Picha House presents…
Gems from the Diaspora (15)
Yellow Fever + Native Sun + 6 + Thula + The
Three Furies + Whitey’s on the Moon.
How do we conceptualise skin and race? How do the ideas and theories sown into our flesh change with the arc of time? What impact has the globalization of the ideals of beauty had on distorting peoples’ self-image? Through dance, animation, and a collage of historical materials this striking short experimental film explores ideas of blackness, race and femininity.
Dir. Ng’endo Mukti. Kenya/UK. 2012. 7 min.
A short film full of cool wit, surreal beauty and a moving lead performance from its young star Edward Dankwa. From musician and producer Blitz The Amabassador, featuring music from his recent album ‘Native Sun’, the story follows the journey of young Mumin through the streets of Accra. After his mother dies, he seeks out his father.
Dir. Blitz the Ambassador & Terence Nance. Ghana/USA. 21 min.
Inspired by a painting hanging in London’s National Gallery – An Experimenton a Bird with an Air Pump - this disturbing and claustrophobic film viscerally raises questions about detention, female trafficking and confinement.
Dir. Amanda J. Sibanda. UK. 2012. 4 min.
This dark and atmospheric psychological film thrills in 10 short minutes. An ambiguous and surreal portrayal of motherhood, it is both moving and disturbing, and challenges our expectations of mother-child relationships and the bonds that are forged.
Dir. Amanda J Sibanda. UK. 2012. 10 min.
THE THREE FURIES
A dynamic poetry-in-performance film written, devised and performed by Zena Edwards (UK), Mbali Vilakazi (South Africa ) and Clara Opoku (Netherlands). First and foremost the protectors of women and children, The Three Furies of the Greek legends were known as the most terrifying spectres of vengeance in the ancient world, but were also known as The Eumenides - “The Kindly Ones” - bringing balance to injustices done to the family. Three female poets transform the power of this myth into contemporary representations of women.
Dir. Zena Edwards. UK/Netherlands. 2010. 10 min.
WHITEY'S ON THE MOON
A quietly elegiac documentary poem exploring immigrant experiences, based on Gil Scott-Heron’s “Whitey’s on the Moon”.
Dir. Caroline Deeds. UK. 2002. 3 min.
Sun 4 Nov
18:00 – 20:00 Picha House presents…
The cinematic version of the open mic…book your slot, show your short film. An event for African diaspora filmmakers run by filmmaker, writer and actor Joseph Adesunloye of DreamCoat Productions.
Please check www.filmafrica.org.uk for full details.
Tue 6 Nov
18:00 – 20:30 Picha House presents…
Filming tomorrow (15)
As the conditions in which film is made change rapidly and radically, so too does the practice of filmmaking. In this open seminar, we will look at alternative filmmaking collectives, citizen journalists and community TV. Here, we will open up the discussion into the future of radical filmmaking in Africa, with Omar Robert Hamilton discussing Mosireen and Collective Filmmaking, and Joshua McNamara speaking on Urban Film and Space.
Wed 7 Nov
19:30 Picha House presents…
Twende Berlin (Doc) (12)
Public space superhero Upendo Hero and the Ukoo Flani hip-hop clan set forth from Nairobi to wintry Berlin, on a social and cultural quest to understand the impact of gentrification and the privatisation of public spaces on public art. During their journey, they uncover the importance of public spaces for community, and for cultural and collective memory. A highly entertaining and music-filled challenge – even call to arms – from these
hip-hop artists and their super hero, for artists and concerned urban citizens alike to take a stand in claiming and reclaiming public spaces for art.
Followed by a discussion on gentrification and public art spaces
Dir. Farasi Flani. Kenya. 2011. 80 min.
Wed 8 Nov
17:00 / 18:30 / 20:00 Picha House
presents… Spotlight on Sexualities (18)
Difficult Love + Cane/Cain +
An intimate insight into the difficult lives and loves of lesbians in
contemporary South Africa, one of the most homophobic nations on earthdespite gay rights being enshrined in its constitution. Muholi, one of Africa’s leading photographers, guides us through this film that takes the pulse of contemporary gay identities in South Africa.
Dir. Zanele Muholi and Peter Goldsmid. South Africa. 2010. 48 min.
During the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa, an Indian storeowner rescues a Pakistani vendor and nurses him back to health. This sexually explicit film about intimacy between men aims to ‘challenge what it means to be Indian in South Africa’. Beautifully filmed, with a distinctive, original style.
Dir. Jordache Ellapen. South Africa. 2011. 15 min.
At Nairobi’s iconic central station, a lithe, majestic drag queen sits on a bench, smoking a cigarette and descending into a breakdown through a poetic soliloquy. In 8 minutes, filmmakers Amirah and Wafa Tajdin challenges our ideas of beauty, sexuality, and Kenyan attitudes to ‘otherness’ in a film that suggests being caught between two places might in fact be no bad thing.
Dir. Amirah and Wafa Tajdin. Kenya. 2011. 8 min.
Picha House will remain open outside of screening times as a sound and image installation showcasing film and photographs.
The Lalibela Cinema Design Collective was founded in 2009 by Andrew Tam, Helen Evans, Sanaa Shaikh and Jean-Francois C.Lemay, during their studies at the Architectural Association. The LCDC brought a custom-designed mobile cinema to the town of Lalibela in Northern Ethiopia in December 2008. The LCDC are fundraising to continue the festival there and build a permanent community centre for the people of Lalibela: http://lalibela.aaschool.ac.uk/)
Ranti Bamgbala (MA Art, Design and Visual Culture) is a London-based ceramicist whose work explores a dialogue between the known and the experienced
Film Africa is the UK’s largest festival of African cinema and culture, brought to you by the Royal African Society and SOAS, University of London. Film Africa 2012 runs from 1-11 November in venues across London. Please see www.filmafrica.org.uk for full details.