Africa at the movies

Story by Kernan Andrews
Last Updated: Friday, May 21, 2010


IT’S STRANGE but many people actually think of and refer to Africa as if it were one country, not a continent of many and diverse nations.

However the third annual Galway African Film Festival which takes place in the Town Hall Theatre on Monday May 24 and Tuesday May 25 to coincide with Africa Day (May 25) will showcase the quality and diversity, not only of African films, but of the peoples who make up the continent as well. The event also promises to top quality entrainment for film fans.

The festival kicks off with the Zimbabwean film Legend of the Sky Kingdom on Monday at 11am.

Three children make a daring escape from an underground city in which they are slaves to the Evil Emperor. They go on an epic, and often dangerous journey in search of the fabled Sky Kingdom and the great Prince Ariel.

Using an animation style called ‘junkmation’, the film makers built all the sets and puppets from pieces of junk, inspired by Africa’s folk artists who turn others people’s rubbish into works of art.

The film will also be shown on Tuesday at 11am. Both screenings will also feature the South African cartoon short film Bhovas & Sam, about two canine rap artists.

Football fans will be looking forward to the Chadian film Captain Majid which will be screened at 5pm.

Majid is the captain of a local club but he dreams of one day playing for FC Barcelona at the Nou Camp. Just days before his town’s championship game, Faiza, the team president’s daughter, catches his eye and that of the coach too. He now has to decide between football and Faiza. What will he do?

Algerian film Masquerades, which will be shown at 7pm, is set in a small village in the north African nation. Mounir is the laughing stock of the town. To boost his status he tells his neighbours that his sister is engaged to a European business mogul. She isn’t, but this lie could change the destiny of Mounir’s family and community.

Nigerian film The Figurine (Araromire) will be screened at 9pm. Two buddies and a girl, all down on their luck, have their lives changed after one of them discovers Araromire, a mysterious figurine in an abandoned shrine which according to ancient legend bestows seven years of good luck. However, no one told them about the next seven years.

Tuesday’s film begins at 4.30pm with For The Best And For The Onion, a film from Niger, which won best documentary at the African Movie Academy Awards 2009. The film concerns the Galmi purple onion which pervades West African markets with 400,000 tons a year. It focuses on an onion farmer who must work his crops while also preparing for his marriage.

Nigerian film Arugba will be shown at 5.30pm and is a parody of the life and times of former President Obasanjo. Set against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking cleansing, rebirth, and nationhood, the Arugba - a virgin who carries the sacrificial calabash during the Osun Osogbo festival - must perform her annual traditional role of carrying a sacrifice in a procession to the river.

It is also planned to show the film A Sting In A Tale, directed by Shirley Frimpong-Manso, at 7.30pm. This has yet to be confirmed so keep an eye on the website for details.

The Figurine

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5/21/2010 3:45:32 AM
Well, won't be able to make this one, lol... though I'd love to. Nation by Nation, "African" films are making their presence felt. The New York African film festival is about to wind down toward the end of this month and it's been a blast of talent from filmmakers representing many nations. Tribeca also had a few works on showcase. Let us know how this one goes.
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