Film Africa 2012 is the UK's largest annual festival of African cinema and culture, stemming from all four corners of the huge continent. Covering all walks of life and interests such as Wrestling Grounds (Cheikh Ndiaye, Senegal) about a teenager seduced by the world of wrestlers and The Beautiful Game (Victor Buhler, UK) which is a documentary on the transcendent power of football in Africa.
The festival takes place from November 1st to 11th and features 27 premieres at 7 different venues (Hackney Picturehouse, The Ritzy, Rich Mix, BFI Southbank, South London Gallery, Screen on the Green, Picha House) from across the continent highlighting themes of elections, democracy as in An African Election which is Jarreth Merz's stirring documentary about the 2008 Ghanian electoral race, the first one in a democratic era. (Sun 4 Nov, 18.00, Hackney)
Many of the films have won awards at festivals around the world such as Grey Matter (Kivu Ruhorahoza, Rwanda) about the shadow of Rwandan genocide and others have already received cinema releases which happened to Town of Runners (Jerry Rothwell, UK/Ethiopia) which told the story of a small town of Bekoji which is renowned for nuturing many long-distance world champions (Wed 7 Nov,18.30, Ritzy Cinema)
The most acclaimed film to come out of Africa in some time; Life, Above All which won Un Certain Regard at Cannes 2010 told the tale of a twelve year old Chanda who has to fight the prejudice of HIV infection (Sun 4 Nov, 15.50, Hackney)
Personally, it is pleasing to see a screening of Material on the opening night to the public, 2nd Nov at Hackney Picturehouse, this film has garnered great acclaim at the London Film Festival last week and features a great cast, one of which Vincent Ebrahim (The Kumars at No.42) will be in attendance for a Q&A after the film which starts at 18.15. Material is one of the funniest cross-generational, cross-cultural films produced in some time, in fact it is one of the funniest films made in some time putting most American specialists to shame.
Do take the opportunity to go and see some of the most thought-provoking films made in recent years, there is something for everyone in a very mixed bag.
For more information log on at www.filmafrica.org.uk and follow on twitter @FilmAfrica #FilmAfrica2012.