The Africa in Motion (AiM) film festival is delighted to announce the shortlist for their film competition, which consists of eight short films by young and emerging African filmmakers who have not completed feature-length films yet.
The films on the shortlist span fiction and documentary genres: a magic realist tale from Tunisia; a Moroccan story of childhood nostalgia; a single-setting short from Egypt; an edgy tale about two gangsters set in the high-octane Nigerian capital Lagos; a heart-warming love story from Mozambique; and three films from South Africa: a stylistically experimental documentary on anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko; an innovative stop motion animation short; and a fascinating documentary on two lovers and community activists in the Cape.
All selected short films will be screened during the Africa in Motion film festival (23 October - 2 November 2008), and the winner will be announced at a special awards ceremony after the screenings. There will also be an Audience Choice Award, voted for by the viewing public at the AiM film festival, to be announced at the end of the festival.
The winning film will be selected by a jury consisting of acclaimed Burkinabe filmmaker Gaston Kaboré; writer, presenter and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa; Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute Noe Mendelle; and high-profile film critic, writer and producer Mark Cousins. The winning filmmaker will receive £1,000 prize money to assist them in their filmmaking career.
Jury member Mark Cousins says of the competition: "Short films are the spurts of life, the new shoots, of the film world. It is great that Africa in Motion is focusing on them. That's where the discovery and vitality is. The short film competition, and its considerable prize, is a brilliant way of putting the festival's money where its mouth is, and giving a fillip to the zingy and daring new African directors. I am delighted to be part of it."
"We were impressed with the overall quality and standard of the entries", says festival director Lizelle Bisschoff. "We received films all over the continent, from almost 20 African countries. This competition is part of the festival's commitment to support filmmaking talent on the continent and it is our hope that the competition will contribute to making it a bit easier for aspiring African filmmakers to fulfil their dreams."
The shortlist consists of the following eight films:
Red & Blue, Mahmood Soliman, Egypt, 2007
Sellam and Demetan, Mohamed Amin, Morocco, 2008
I Love You, Rogério Manjate, Mozambique, 2007
Area Boys, Omelihu Nwanguma, Nigeria/UK, 2007
Magic Crop, Anis Lassoued, Tunisia, 2006
Agenda, Diek Grobler, South Africa, 2007
Biko's Children, Vuyisa Breeze Yoko, South Africa, 2007
Pam & Ashraf, Robyn Rorke, South Africa, 2007
The AiM short film competition is kindly sponsored in part by Total Black TV, an online film distributor based in New York www.totalblacktv. com.
AiM is organised by Stop and Stir Arts Ltd, www.stopandstir. org, a not-for-profit arts company that aims to make marginalised and underrepresented art more widely available to Scottish audiences.
Lizelle Bisschoff is the artistic director of both AiM and Stop and Stir Arts Ltd, email@example.com.
The filmmakers are:
Anis Lassoued: Born in Tunisia in 1972, Lassoued received a Bachelors Degree in Film Production from the Institut Maghréb in Tunis. He pursued further training in script writing at Fémis in Paris and has worked as an assistant and casting editor on many Tunisian and international films. He has directed three short fiction films and documentaries to date, and Magic Crop has won several awards at film festivals worldwide.
Mohamed Amin: Amin has studied various cinema courses in Belgium and worked with a number of Belgian directors. He has made several short films and his work has been screened in festivals in Belgium and Morocco.
Mahmood Soliman: Born in Minia (Upper Egypt) in 1976, Soliman graduated from the Higher Cinema Institute in Cairo in 1997 and has written, directed and produced three short films to date. He is currently working on the screenplay of his first feature film and has published essays in several Arab publications as well as three collections of short stories.
Omelihu Nwanguma: Nwanguma was born in London to Nigerian parents in 1977 and spent his early childhood growing up in Lagos and Eastern Nigeria. He has received funding from the UK Film Council for short film production, and his second short film, Seeker, was produced in 2005 and has won a host of awards at international film festivals. His third short film, Area Boys, was entirely self-funded and shot on a low budget.
Rogério Manjate: Manjate was born in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1972 and is a professional actor and director of theatre, a writer and a filmmaker. He has studied Agronomy at Eduardo Mondlane University and he currently lives in Maputo. I Love You is his second short fiction film, and he has worked as an actor in several Mozambican films.
Diek Grobler: Grobler obtained a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1996. His animations have won several awards and he has also work in the production of animation television series for children. Agenda is his second independent film.
Vuyisa Breeze Yoko: Actor, graphic designer, hip-hop MC and graffiti artist Breeze started his career in the film and television industry as a runner on commercial shoots. While working on a show as presenter for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Breeze developed an interest in directing. Biko's Children has been screened at film festivals in South Africa and India and has won a best short film award at the Tri-Continents Film Festival in 2007.
Robyn Rorke: Rorke is currently working towards her PhD at the University of Cape Town in the fields of democracy, governance and civic activism. She is a social scientist who is interested in stories and she primarily employs a method of participant observation in her research. Rorke has worked with the Anti-eviction Campaign in Cape Town since 1994, and has close contact with the two activists represented in Pam & Ashraf.