AFRICA IN MOTION (AiM) FILM FESTIVAL 2012

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Thursday 25 October – Friday 2 November

MEDIA RELEASE

This year’s festival, built around the very timely theme of ‘Modern Africa’, is structured in five sections: African Science Fiction, Arab Spring Documentaries, Nollywood, Modern African Identities and African Popular Arts.

Arab Spring Documentaries

Beginning in Dec 2010 a wave of popular uprisings and demonstrations swept through the Arab World (North Africa and the Middle East); civil protests that resulted in the toppling of decades-long oppressive regimes and the beginnings of a new era of democracy for those countries. Rulers in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were forced from power, and uprisings and protests have erupted in many other countries since, reaching as far as sub-Saharan Africa. These civil resistance campaigns involved strikes, demonstrations, marches and rallies and were characterised by the use of social media and digital technology as a way to spread information and subvert censorship and freedom of speech. While these young democracies are finding their feet, their artists are embracing a new-found freedom of creative expression which is having a positive effect on the cinema industries in these countries. Africa in Motion salutes this new wave in Arabic cinema with a selection of new shorts and features.

The films in this programme are:

Rouge Parole – UK Premiere

Elyes Baccar • Tunisia/Switzerland/Qatar 2011 • 1h36m • DCP • English, Arabic and Turkish with English subtitles

The Arab Spring started in Tunisia, initiating a political earthquake that shook the whole world. Tunisia had the image of a quiet and stable country until a young man set himself on fire, igniting the fight for freedom and dignity. Rouge Parole depicts the Tunisian popular revolution and the expulsion of President Ben Ali. It is an emotional story, told by its heroes through both their silence and their clamour, charting Tunisia’s first steps towards democracy.

This screening is kindly sponsored by the Division of Literature and Languages at University of Stirling.

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Tripoli Stories and Rabat Stories

This collection of short documentaries offers fresh insight into the identities of the Libyan capital of Tripoli and the Moroccan capital of Rabat after the revolutions. The documentaries were made during two ten-day workshops organised by the British Council in collaboration with the Scottish Documentary Institute (SDI) and the Institut Spécialisé du Cinéma et de L’audiovisuel (ISCA) in Morocco. For the last 9 years, the SDI has been running creative documentary workshops in various parts of Africa. The Tripoli and Rabat Stories focus on Muslim cultures in North Africa, with the aim to help young people living in transitioning societies discover visual storytelling and enable them to define their national identity, away from TV headlines. The screenings of the Tripoli and Rabat Stories are sponsored by the British Council. We are screening four films from the collection:

Graffiti (Tripoli Stories) – UK Premiere

Anas El Gomati/Ibrahim El Mayet • Libya/UK 2012 • 4m • MiniDV • Arabic with English subtitles

‘In every spray of the can you feel a part of your emotion is released from inside of you, to the wall to the people.’ After the Libyan Revolution, long suppressed feelings are appearing on the walls of buildings in Tripoli.

Granny’s Flags (Tripoli Stories)

Naziha Arebi • Libya/UK 2012 • 5m • MiniDV • Arabic with English subtitles

Haja Fatma, a mother to eight children, tells the tale of family life in Tripoli during the Libyan Revolution. Women of all ages contributed to the revolution during these difficult months in many unique ways. The film presents a human portal into the acts of ordinary people in their hope for freedom.

The Secret Room (Tripoli Stories)

Ibrahim Y. Shebani • Libya/UK 2012 • 5m • MiniDV • Arabic with English subtitles

During the 12 months of anxiety and turbulence of the Libyan Revolution, the caretaker for the National Museum of Libya had to live not just at home to protect his family, but also at work to protect the precious objects which are a part of the country’s national heritage.

Bitter Return (Rabat Stories) – UK Premiere

Mohamed Benabou • Morocco/UK 2012 • 5m • MiniDV • Arabic with English subtitles

Hicham is a Moroccan migrant worker in Libya sharing his experiences in Libya prior and post the revolution. The return home is not always as smooth as the nostalgia held for one’s own country.

The screenings of the Arab Spring Documentaries will be followed by a discussion with Noe Mendelle (producer of the Tripoli and Rabat Stories) and other experts on the Arab Spring revolutions.

The full programme is available at: www.africa-in-motion.org.uk

For further information, interview requests and publicity images, please contact: Miles Fielder

Press Officer; Email: press@africa-in-motion.org.uk; Mobile: 0044 (0)7760 284 177

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