THE FATHER of African film, Cape Verde's best loved LGBT woman, and the coming of age of an Afro hipster, these are just some of the stories and people to feature at the 10th annual Galway African Film Festival.
The festival, organised by Heike Vornhagen and Joanna Kasinska, will screen several award winning films from the continent this Saturday and Sunday, at the NUI Galway’s Bank of Ireland Theatre.
It opens on Saturday at 4pm with Shashamane (2016 ), a documentary charting the experience of Caribbean, American, and British rastafarians who made the journey to Ethiopia, settling in Shashamane. It also explores the legacies of colonialism and slavery.
This is followed by Tchindas (2015 ) at 5.30pm, profiling Tchinda, one of Cape Verde's most popular individuals, especially after she came out as a transgender in 1998. Since then, her name has become the term used by locals to name LGBT+ Cape Verdeans.
To speak of African cinema is to speak of Ousmane Sembene - “the father of African film" - but this was not an easy title to bear, as will be seen in the documentary Sembene! (2015 ) at 7.15pm. In a career spanning 40 years, Sembene combined documentary, French new wave, and realism, creating films like Xala, Black Girl, and Moolaade, that shocked the sociopolitical power structures of the day.
Tell Me Sweet Something (2015 ) tells the story of Moratiwa, an aspiring writer who owns and runs a bookstore in Johannesburg. Then she meets Nat, a male model, who has never read a book in his life and is desperate to be loved for his mind not his body. Against the odds, they become romantically involved but then Nat’s now pregnant ex-girlfriend turns up. See what happens at 9pm.
Sunday's films start at 4pm with Atlantic (2014 ). After an upsetting romantic affair, a Moroccan fisherman sets off on an epic journey towards Europe on his wind surfboard, training his mind and body to withstand what will be an arduous journey.
Ayanda (2015 ) at 6pm is a coming of age story of an Afro hipster, who embarks on a journey of self discovery trying to keep the memory of her father alive, when she’s thrown into a world of greasy overalls, gender stereotypes, and abandoned vintage cars.
Kati Kati (2016 ) is writer-director Mbithi Masya’s poetic first feature film. Kaleche is a new arrival with no recollection of her life or death. A dozen other young Kenyans are all caught in the same eerie dormant state. They want for nothing; they simply write down whatever their heart desires and it appears at their bedside the next morning. See it at 8.15pm.
For more information see galwayafricanfilmfestival.org