10th anniversary Afrika Eye line-up revealed

20 October 2016

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In something of a coup, Bristol's Afrika Eye has bagged an exclusive local preview of Belle director Amma Asante's A United Kingdom to launch its 10th annual film festival on Friday, 11 November. Selected to open this year's London Film Festival, this is a true-life '40s-set historical interracial romance adapted from Susan Williams' book Colour Bar. It explores the love affair and subsequent marriage between Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), heir to the kingdom of Bechuanaland (later Botswana), and English office worker Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), which rather upset British officials who were keen to remain chummy with apartheid South Africa. The film opens nationwide on November 25.

This year, Afrika Eye occupies the weekend of November 11-13 at the Watershed. The A United Kingdom screening is followed by a launch party with Ghanaian master drummer Abass Dodoo, whose recent work has included collaborations with the irascible Ginger Baker. Over the next couple of days, you can catch features and documentaries from or about Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia. Many of these include director Q&As and panel discussions. There's also a full programme of music, arts and crafts events to complement the film screenings

Among the documentary highlights are God Loves Uganda (Sat, 3pm), exploring how the ugly US Christian right is fomenting homophobia in Uganda in contrast to local activists championing tolerance; Colours of the Alphabet (Sun, 11am), following three Zambian children during their first year at a rural school; Manenberg (Sun, 1pm), an observational portrait of two young mixed-race men struggling to make sense of life in a post-apartheid township; and They Will Have to Kill Us First (Sun, 3.15pm), which charts the resistance to Islamic extremists who sought to ban all music in northern Mali during 2012.

On the drama front, Leyla Bouzid's well-received As I Open My Eyes (Sun, 6.15pm) is set at the dawn of the Arab Spring and follows the experiences of a young female graduate who fronts a politically motivated Tunisian rock band. There's also a crossover with BFI Black Star, with which Afrika Eye collaborates for the screening of Nollywood (that's the Nigerian film industry, fact fans) tale of intrigue and murder, The CEO (Sat, 8.30pm).
Source: Bristol 24/7 10 October 2016