A weekend of African film

FROM EGYPT to Morocco, from Nigeria to Burkina Faso, the best new African movies will be on screen at he seventh Galway African Film Festival.

The GAFF, which runs from Friday May 23 to Sunday 25, features films which have won acclaim at the Berlin, Dubai, and Sundance festivals. The screenings take place at NUI Galway’s Huston Film School, across from the cathedral, and admission is free.

The festival opens on Friday 23 at 5.30pm with Tanzanian short Jonah, about the unforeseen consequences for Mbwana when he photographs a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea. This will be followed by the feature film The New World, where Mirte works as a cleaner in the detention facility at Amsterdam airport, where new asylum seekers are held for 10 days. IThere she meets the charismatic West African, Luc, and everything in both their lives change.

At 8pm the Nigerian film Half of a Yellow Sun will be screened. Set in the 1960s, it sees sisters Olanna (Thandie Newton ) and Kainene (Anika Noni Rose ) return to Nigeria after their education in England, only to find a country torn apart by the Biafran conflict and the Nigerian Civil War.

Saturday 24 will see a variety of films, starting with African Metropolis at 4pm. This compilation of six short films, set in Abidjan, Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Lagos, and Nairobi, explores urban African life.

After this three feature films will be shown, starting at 5.15pm with Morocco’s Andalousie Mon Amour, about Saïd and Amine, two students, who leave for the European coast on a small boat but are shipwrecked. The sea washes Amine back to Morocco, while Saïd ends up in Spain.

Senegalese film Tey will be shown at 7pm. In a village outside Dakar, local man Satché has been condemned to death and on his last day he makes his goodbyes to those around him.

The final film for the day is Egypt’s Rags & Tatters at 8.30pm. Directed by Ahmad Abdalla, the film explores post-revolutionary Egypt through the eyes of a fictional prisoner who escapes from jail only to find himself on the run in a country he no longer recognises.

The festival concludes on Sunday 25 with a short and two feature films, starting at 5pm with Twaaga. Set in Burkina Faso in 1987, during a time of political upheaval, it concentrates on Manu, an eight-year-old who loves comics, and Albert who decides to undergo a magic ritual to become invincible. This is followed by Ghanan short Kwaku Ananse, about a young woman’s difficult relationship with her father.

This is followed at 6.15pm by Nigerian film Mother of George, and tells the story of Ayodele and Adenike, immigrants doing well in New York, but when Adenike becomes pregnant, she feels the pull of her native land. Will she stay or will she go?

The festival concludes with the Irish premiere at 8.15pm of Forgotten Kingdom from Lesotho. Atang leaves the slums of the big city to bury his estranged father in the remote village where he was born. On the way, he falls in love Dineo, and through her he is drawn to the mystical beauty and hardships of the people, and faces his own bittersweet reckoning.

For trailers to the main feature films listed above see www.advertiser.ie/galway/article/69411/galway-african-film-festival .


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