Film Africa 2012 Arrives in London

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London — For 10 days at the start of November, London will be treated to 70 African films as well as music nights, workshops and Q&As with leading directors.

In these difficult economic times, when governments across Europe are withdrawing public funding from cultural events and institutions, Film Africa 2012 arrives in London as a privileged venture.

Supported by the Royal African Society and London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Film Africa 2012 runs from November 1-11, offering 10 days of 70 African films, leading film-maker Q&As, free professional workshops, and 9 African music nights. The UK's largest annual festival of African cinema and culture is hosted by the Hackney Picturehouse, with screenings also at the BFI Southbank, Rich Mix in Shoreditch, The Ritzy in Brixton, Screen on the Green in Islington, and The South London Gallery.

Since 2008 and the launch of the inaugural London African Film Festival - rebranded as Film Africa in 2011 - London has celebrated the influence of a continent on a city, and insisted on the relevance of Africa to the UK and to the world.

As the festival programme points out, the African-born residents of London include: 105,000 Nigerians, 80,000 South Africans, 53,000 Zimbabweans, 44,000 Somalis, 39,000 Ghanaians 25,000 Libyans, 18,000 Mauritians, 15,000 Kenyans, and 12,000 Eritreans. Research shows that the African diaspora and Black British communities in London identify closely with both their original 'homes' and with London. Film Africa presents this duality on the cinema screen.

Film in Africa

There has never been a greater interest in African film. The thriving Nigerian video film industry, Nollywood - now the second largest film industry in the world after Bollywood in terms of number of films produced annually - has revolutionised film production and distribution on the continent. The accessibility of relatively low-cost, high-quality digital equipment has meant that Nigerian filmmakers have been able to maintain financial control over their films without need for outside investment.

Despite criticisms of the video format, conventional storytelling, and the 'cash and carry' pattern of production, Nollywood films have nevertheless put African themes in African scenes on African screens by offering the possibility of self-reliance in African creativity. Film Africa 2012 confronts issues that are not entirely specific to Africa, but that are explored from a uniquely African perspective. Africa: Film Africa 2012 Arrives in London (Page 1 of 2)
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