Afrika Eye returns in 2014 to commemorate 20 years since the end of apartheid in South Africa. Taking place in November at multiple venues across the city of Bristol including the Watershed and Hamilton House, the festival will feature some of the most outstanding films from the past twenty years of South African Cinema. View and download the programme below:
Fri 7 Nov / 13.00-14.00 / Watershed / Bristol
In August 2014, UK film production company, Purple Field Productions, organised a six week film festival of its educational dramas and documentaries throughout Malawi, managing to reach large audiences in remote, rural areas by using a pedal-powered cinema kit. 40 screenings were held to over 9,000 men, women and children, who were keen to engage in discussion about the films’ health and social issues.
George Salt, the project’s UK representative, carried out the festival with two Malawian charity workers and here talks about how the six week journey went and also how Purple Field Productions manage to make their films with local communities, in local languages, to stimulate important debate.
ri 7 Nov / 20.00 – 22.30 / Watershed / Bristol
The endearing and highly entertaining Hear Me Move tells the story of Muzi, the son of an amazing pantsula dancer, who embarks on a journey of self-discovery in order to learn the truth about his father’s death and come to terms with his own identity. But will Muzi embrace his destiny and become the man he is meant to be? Hear Me Move is an exciting new South African feature film, creating a local challenge to a genre that includes such well-loved films as Fame and Step Up.
‘It may not look like it, but this is a political film. Because it’s the first film which lets us talk in a language that is our language. The language of our dance’
– Scotness Smith
Fri 7 Nov / 22.45 – 00.15 / Watershed / Bristol
Celebrate Afrika Eye’s 2014 opening with the extraordinary genius of Pinise Saul. Pinise sang with the late great South African musician Dudu Pakwana, and combines her rural Xhosa roots with the influence of the vibrant township dance music scene of the ’50s & ’60s. Together with her band she embodies the feel of both South African struggle and victory.
*Afterparty tickets to opening film give priority entry to party*
Sat 8 Nov / 10.00-11.30 / Watershed / Bristol
What is the relevance of Remembrance Day to people of African descent? We invite present day Bristol soldiers to share their experience in a facilitated discussion after two Bristol-made short films, plus a presentation on the African contribution to WW1.
The SS Mendi transported black South African troops to join WW1. She was accidentally hit and sunk near the Isle of Wight. Of the 646 lives lost, 607 of which were black South Africans, almost none are remembered.
Sat 8 Nov / 10.30-11.00 / Harbourside & Cascade Steps / Bristol
Bristol community choir singers, trained by Pinise Saul, sing their way through the docks and up to the Harbourside to celebrate twenty years of majority rule in South Africa.
Sat 8 Nov / 11.30 – 12.00
South African singer Pinise Saul conducts the choir at the top of the waterfall steps in the City Centre, or the ground floor of the Colston Hall if it’s raining. Come along and join in where you can.
Sat 8 Nov / 11.45-12.45 / Watershed / Bristol
Following last year’s pitching workshops, we’re offering a session where anyone can pitch and get feedback or ask questions about pitching to an expert panel: Producer Simon Bright and directors Ingrid Sinclair, Kahlo Matabane and Scotness Smith
Sat 8 Nov / 12.40 / Watershed / Bristol
After witnessing the terrors of fascism as a WW2 soldier, director Lionel Rogosin vowed to fight it wherever he saw its threats re-emerging. In an effort to expose “what people try to avoid seeing,” Rogosin travelled to apartheid South Africa and secretly filmed Come Back, Africa, revealing the cruelty and injustice with which black South Africans were treated.
A jarring view of a largely concealed environment of injustice, Come Back, Africa honestly and sincerely captures images of the long faces of a people oppressed. Casting occurred before the script for the movie was written; the script itself was a vague sketch of plot points which the actors added to with their own dialogue, to make the film a more authentic representation of the living conditions of the time.
Khumba (Cinekids Film & Workshops)
Sat 8 Nov / 13.00 – 14.30 / Watershed / Bristol
Khumba is a young zebra born with only half his stripes. When his superstitious herd blame him for the sudden drought affecting the land, Khumba seeks to find the legendary waterhole where the first zebras got their stripes. Featuring the voices of Liam Neeson, Steve Buscemi, Richard E. Grant and more!
14.40 – 15.40 / Watershed
Andy O’Rourke helps create stunning images and animations in a matter of minutes. Long exposure photographs capture trails of light as you paint and draw in the air with light sabres, torches and illuminated gadgetry. Flashing lights and flash photography WILL be used.
Pinhole Camera (12 – 18 years) – ‘Capture 6 months of sunshine’!
Come and work with Justin Quinnel to make a pinhole camera which can take a 6 month image of the sun crossing the sky. Then have some fun seeing the world as it should be seen, upside down, by wearing a giant camera obscura on your head!
All materials provided. (They make fantastic Christmas presents!)
An eclectic programme of African and Diaspora shorts with a prize for the best local entry. Up and coming African stars are here.
Narrated by Lauryn Hill (The Fugees, Sister Act 2), this brilliant archive-driven documentary covers the most daring moments in liberation struggles, exploring decolonization through Frantz Fanon’s landmark book ‘The Wretched of The Earth’. Fanon’s landmark book, written over 50 years ago, is still a major tool for understanding and illuminating the neocolonialism happening today, as well as the violence and reactions against it. A searing look at European involvement in backing oppressive regimes and a tool for understanding both oppressed and oppressors once ‘freedom’ is achieved.
Sat 8 Nov / 17.00 – 18.15 / Watershed / Bristol
Two talented South African directors share perspectives on democracy in South Africa. Matabane asks who Mandela’s legacy really serves, while Smith’s Hear Me Move gives youth culture a chance to express itself the way it knows best. Chaired by Simon Bright
(NB We suggest you pre-order supper before discussion if you want to see next film)
Sat 8 Nov / 19.00 – 21.00 / Watershed / Bristol
Nelson Mandela is the focus for tricky universal questions: What is freedom? Who is a hero? When does a revolution end? How does democracy work? Director Khalo Matabane asks the questions and answers come from a huge variety of thoughtful people: struggle comrades like Ronnie Kasrils through to Albie Sachs, Colin Powell and the Dalai Lama.
21.00 – 23.00 / Watershed / Bristol
Thriller probing life for young men in the Cape Flats townships. A young boy comes of age while a father searches for his long lost son in streets divided by gang war. The 100 year-old Number Gang allocates, usurps and controls notions of family and identity. Finally the boy is forced to make a choice between the family of the gangs and the real family he’s never known.
Sun 9 Nov / 10.45 – 12.45 / Watershed / Bristol
Anti-apartheid activist Albie Sachs was blown up by a car bomb set by South African apartheid forces. He survived, but lost an arm and an eye. He recuperated in England and at the installation of democracy in 1994, returned to help write South Africa’s new constitution. Held by many as the best in the world, this constitution is Albie’s ‘soft vengeance’. A positive and uplifting view of the values of forgiveness.
Sun 9 Nov / 13.00 – 14.40 / Watershed / Bristol
Following the success of Nairobi Half Life and Something Necessary (Afrika Eye 2013), Kenyan production house One Fine Day’s latest film follows the lives of multiple characters trying to find themselves in a world of political intrigue, revenge, love and longings for success complemented by the background of the thriving yet unregulated veve (khat) business.
Sun 9 Nov / 15.00 – 16.30 / Watershed / Bristol
In August 2012, workers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a strike for better wages. Six days later the police brutally suppressed the strikers, killing 34 and injuring many more. Miners Shot Down shows the courageous fight waged by low-paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.
Sun 9 Nov / 17.00 – 18.40 / Watershed
A passionate affair self-destructs as lovers end up as serial killers. An emotional S. African version of Bonnie and Clyde, we follow both culprits and police as they return to the scenes of the crime. A combustible tale of murder and romance, truth and lies, set amongst the marginalised white underclass.
Sun 9 Nov / 19.30 – 21.40 / Watershed /Bristol
As desert nomads, Kidane and his family are spared the chaos of Timbuktu when fundamentalists take over. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants. Widely tipped as Cannes winner.
‘One of the true humanists of recent cinema with this stunningly shot and deeply empathetic drama’.