FIFTEEN FILMS, from comedies to political documentaries, a multicultural choir performance, and exhibitions by African artists, make up the ninth Galway African Film Festival.
The festival runs from Friday May 27 to Sunday 29 in NUI Galway's Huston School of Film and Digital Media, across from the Cathedral. It has also been extended to include a number of fringe events.
It starts on May 27 at 5pm with a performance by Galway’s multicultural choir, followed by opening film, the Tanzanian short comedy Soko Sonko, about a man who gets more than he bargained for after offering to take on a woman’s usual duties.
Also being screened is Shield & Spear, a hard-hitting documentary from South Africa examining art, politics, race, and history. The day concludes with Arlette, about the struggles of a young woman.
Saturday’s programme starts at 4.30pm with 100% Dakar, a look at the creative scene in Senegal, where musicians and graphic artists use their work to protest against political mismanagement.
This will be followed by the European premiere of Welcome to the Smiling Coast, focusing on the impact that tourism has on The Gambia. The film's producer Emiel Martens, a media studies lecturer, and founding director of Caribbean Creativity, will take part in a Q&A afterwards. The day's final film will be Rooftops by Algerian director Merzak Allouache.
Sunday's events begin at 4pm with the Brazilian short The Summer of Gods, an exploration of a child’s reconciliation with her heritage. This will be followed by a documentary featuring world-music’s oldest female singer - Bi Kidude - and what happened when she was kidnapped at the age of 102.
The tird screening of the day, Afripedia showcases contemporary African culture, featuring artists, fashion designers, and bloggers, while the closing film is Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako, offering an African viewpoint on the rise of fundamentalism and efforts to resist it.
Other events include an exhibition of works by Rwandan artist Jean Ryan Hakizimana and South African artist Erik O’Eir, and an online short film competition accessible through www.galwayafricanfilmfestival.org Admission to all films is free.