The 14th Cambridge African Film Festival kicks off on Saturday 16 October with Love the One you Love
The Cambridge African Film Festival (CAFF) is proud to be celebrating its 14th edition from 16 to 24 October 2015. The longest running annual African film festival in the UK, CAFF is an important date in Cambridge’s cultural calendar. Since 2002, CAFF has been screening some of the best contemporary and classic African films; increasing knowledge and awareness of African and black culture in the East of England; and providing African filmmakers with large and engaged audiences. The festival has always been completely voluntarily run by a group of people who are passionate about African film.
CAFF 2015’s themes are love, music and resistance and the programme will showcase nine fiction films, two short films and two documentary films from Algeria, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa and Sudan. It will also feature Q&As with filmmakers and experts, workshops, a book launch, live music events, and a tribute to Senegalese filmmaker Ousmane Sembène.
This 14th edition is supported by prestigious institutions such as the Smuts Memorial Fund, Trinity College, the Centre of African Studies (University of Cambridge), the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse and the Cambridge Film Trust. CAFF 2015 is also part of a film series called ‘From Africa, With Love’, in collaboration with the four other African film festivals in the UK: Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival in Scotland, Film Africa in London, Afrika Eye in Bristol, and Watch-Africa in Wales, in association with the BFI UK Audience Network’s LOVE Blockbuster Season.
CAFF 2015 has also partnered up with many more Cambridge-based institutions and organisations, such as the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Menelik Education, the African Society of Cambridge University, the Eastern African Society of Cambridge University, the French Studies Society of Trinity College, the Festival of Ideas, as well as Passion for Motherland, a platform founded by Congolese model Lisette Mibo, empowering RD Congo based projects.
The festival will take place in different venues across Cambridge, including the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, the Winstanley Lecture Theatre at Trinity College, and the Riley Auditorium at Clare College.
Last year CAFF was part of the wonderful ‘South Africa at 20: The Freedom Tour’ in partnership with all UK-based African film festivals. This we have once again joined forces to put together a focus on love-themed films. With films to fall in love with, and films to break your heart, this eclectic programme of African Love films will be presented in three strands across five UK African film festivals: Firstly, as part of the Romantic views, showing different cultural interpretations of love across Africa, CAFF will open with South African fiction film Love the One you Love (2014, Jenna Cato Bass), and enjoy the classic Egyptian film Cairo Station (1958, Youssef Chahine) on Thursday. Secondly, Love Brewed in the African Pot rekindles date night with a taste of love by marrying a passion for food with a passion for film in a romantic dine-and-view setting. Enjoy a hearty serving of fine fare and love affairs while watching the award-winning Ethiopian film Price of Love (2014, Hermon Hailay). This event is organised in partnership with Menelik Education. Finally, as part of the Love in conflict strand, focusing on how love can overcome adversity in conflict situations, CAFF will host the screening of Kenyan film Stories of Our Lives (2014, Jim Chuchu) alongside a series of short films dealing with different aspects of love among the LGBT community. The film will be preceded by experimental animated short Yellow Fever (2012, Kenya, Ngendo Mukii), which explores the effects of Eurocentric beauty ideals disseminated by mainstream media. The other title in this strand is The Great Kilapy (2012, Angola-Portugal, Zézé Gamboa), a rarely shown Lusophone film which does not just revolve around love, but also music and resistance. 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of post-colonisation in the five African Portuguese-speaking countries. The evening will be followed by live music and a fashion show hosted by Congolese model Lisette Mibo’s charity Passion for Motherland.
CAFF 2015 coincides with Cambridge’s well-established Festival of Ideas which this year focuses on the theme of ‘Power and Resistance’. CAFF has therefore chosen to screen the award-winning Sudanese documentary Beats of the Antonov (2014, Hajooj Kuka), about how people of the Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains in Sudan resist the situation created by the civil war through music. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Hajooj Kuka, in conversation with Dr Sharath Srinivasan, director of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights and lecturer at King’s College, University of Cambridge.
CAFF will also host a screening of the historical fiction film The Man from Oran about the first euphoric years following Algerian independence, followed by a discussion with Dr Jean Khalfa, of Trinity College, University of Cambridge.
A highlight of CAFF 2015 will be the screening of Sembène! (2015, USA-Senegal, Samba Gadjigo & Jason Silverman), a biographical documentary by Samba Gadjigo. CAFF 2015 seeks to highlight the work of acclaimed African filmmakers who have been a source of inspiration in cinematic production in the continent. One such filmmaker is Ousmane Sembène (1923-2007) from Senegal.
His biographer and friend Samba Gadjigo has recently made this biographical documentary, which we are delighted to screen. We are also showing Sembène’s Black Girl (1966), which features prominently in the documentary and is considered by many to be the first feature length fiction film to be made by a sub-Saharan African.
This year we are excited to be offering a screening programme called ‘Experiments with love: young South African women filmmakers’ with films by Nobunye Levin, Nikki Comninos, and Jyoti Mistry, and with introductions by Lindiwe Dovey and reflections from Sara Blecher. These films complement others in the CAFF 2015 programme, such as Love the One You Love (Jenna Cato Bass) and Ayanda (Sara Blecher). What binds these films is their attachment to questions of intimacy, interiors, and love: familial love, fraternal love, romantic love.
CAFF 2015 is thus screening a total of seven films directed by African women filmmakers, with Sara Blecher as our guest.
Source: Press Release