Screenings include Nigerian film Phone Swap, Zambian short film Mwansa the Great, a collaborative documentary from Uganda and the US, Call me Kuchu, and many more.
From the 24th to the 26th of May, the Galway One World Centre welcomes one and all to enjoy the 6th Galway African Film Festival (GAFF). Screenings will take place at the Huston School of Film & Digital Media on Earl’s Island near Galway Cathedral. It will present a series of contemporary African feature films, shorts, and documentaries, all of which will be free of charge. The full line-up can be found at www.galwayafricanfilmfestival.
This year’s festival will highlight films about finding and creating identity in a variety of familial, social, and political situations. Some will focus on individual adventures, others on the social struggles of ‘otherness’ and the search for recognition. With everything from animated cartoons to poignant documentaries and mixed media shorts, the festival is sure to spark the imagination and highlight a new perspective on the African continent and its peoples.
Every year, May 25th marks the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and International Africa Day. This year’s GAFF coincides with the 50th anniversary of African unity which is a unique opportunity to reflect on the progress and transformation that has taken place across the African continent, and to clarify issues that continue to impede development.
The festival aims to showcase a variety of lived experiences throughout the African continent as explored by African directors, producers, and actors themselves. It shares the voices of African filmmakers who have a great deal more to say about the experiences, goals, and obstacles of their lives than mainstream cinema is able to depict.
Senegalese film The Lion’s Point of View, which makes its Irish premier at the festival, quotes a proverb saying, “as long as lions do not have their own historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter.” While this documentary speaks to ongoing issues surrounding the consequences of colonization, the same is true of art and filmmaking. As long as internationally recognized cinema about Africa comes from Hollywood, the true stories of Africa will remain unheard. Events like the GAFF are an opportunity to listen to the voices from Africa and gain a sense of how the world is lived and seen in other parts of the globe.
The festival, which is one of only three African film festivals in Ireland, is organized by the Galway One World Centre in conjunction with the Galway Film Society and the Huston School of Film & Digital Media. It is supported by Irish Aid Africa Day, the Galway City Council, and access>CINEMA.
“They kept on saying we are not here. But as of late, we are here.” — David Kato, Call me Kuchu
Friday May 24th
5:15 Mwansa the Great (Zambia, short), directed by Rungano Nyoni, 2011.
6:00 Fluorescent Sin (Kenya, short), directed by Amirah Tajdin , 2012.
Call me Kuchu (Uganda/USA, documentary), directed by Katherine Fairfax Wright and Malika Zouhali-Worrall, 2012.
8:00 Dirty Laundry (South Africa, short), directed by Stephen Abbot, 2011.
Material (South Africa, feature), directed by Craig Freimond, 2012.
Saturday May 25th: Nigerian “Nollywood” cinema
3:00 Nollywood Doing it Right (UK, documentaries), directed by Jane Thorburn, 2009.
4:30 Last Flight To Abuja (Nigeria, feature), directed by Obi Emelonye, 2012.
6:30 Phone Swap (Nigeria, feature), directed by Kunle Afolayan, 2012
9pm Alaskaland (Nigeria, feature), directed by Chinonye Chukwu, 2012.
Sunday May 26th:
4:00 Zambezia (South Africa, feature animation), directed by Wayne Thronley, 2012.
(To be confirmed)
6:00 Yellow Fever (Kenya/UK, short), directed by Ng’endo Mukii, 2012.
Lion’s point of view (Senegal, documentary), directed by Didier Awadi, 2012.
8:00 La Pirogue (Senegal, feature), directed by Moussa Touré, 2012.
10:00 Hasaki Ya Suda (Burkina Faso/France, short), directed by Cedric Ido, 2011.
Two feature films will be screened Friday night: a documentary film, Call me Kuchu, following the violence and persecution that many face in Uganda where a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death, and Material, which follows a young Muslim man trying to break into the stand-up comedy against his father’s wishes.
Saturday features Nigerian cinema including documentaries on Nollywood: a comical day-in-the-life mix-up because of switched phones, Phone Swap; the story of coming home and reconnecting in Alaskaland; and the action/suspense film Last Flight to Abuja which is based on the true events of a fatal Flamingo Airlines flight in 2006.
Sunday’s main feature will be the Irish Premier of the Senegalese film The Lion’s Point of View in which director Didier Awadi, a prominent figure in French-speaking African rap, interviews ex-presidents and ministers, important UN officials, writers, artists, historians, activists, lay migrants, and refugees discussing the lasting effects of colonialism in Africa. Also featured will be the Senegalese/French film La Pirogue which competed in the “un certain regard” section at Cannes and follows a young man who reluctantly accepts the job of Captain of a pirogue ship headed for Spain and better horizons.
About the Galway One World Center:
The Galway One World Centre is a Development Education Centre based in the West of Ireland. It offers training to educators, youth and community workers as well as working directly with students, youth and community groups, and the general public. It provides in depth and up to date information on global development issues through workshops and centre resources.