Africa in Motion (AiM) 2009 : Edinburgh African Film Festival

Genre : Festival | Edinburgh

From thursday 22 october to sunday 01 november 2009

Times : 00:00
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv

The festival is taking place from 22 October to 1 November at Filmhouse Cinema and other venues. Now in its fourth edition, Africa in Motion (AiM) has grown into a flourishing and exhilarating festival of cultural diversity and cinematic brilliance. Providing a platform to challenge, engage with and explore issues surrounding the African continent and its films, the festival includes a range of classic and contemporary films - long, short, fiction and documentary. AiM09 includes screenings of 60 films from 22 African countries including over 20 UK premieres.

AiM 2009 will open on Thursday 22 October with the UK premiere of My Secret Sky (Izulu Lami). Hailed as South Africa's answer to Slumdog Millionaire and acclaimed for the brilliant acting of its main child characters, themselves from an impoverished background, My Secret Sky is a poignant tale of suffering and redemption. The closing night film, Jerusalema, offers a realistic and unwavering look into the gritty underbelly of crime, corruption and transgression in the new South Africa.

In recognition that 2009 is the United Nation's International Year of Reconciliation, the opening weekend will focus on filmic representations of conflict and reconciliation in Africa. A highlight is the award-winning feature film Flame; a powerful tribute to female freedom fighters in Zimbabwe's War of Liberation. The director of Flame, Ingrid Sinclair, will be in attendance at the festival. Continuing the theme, AiM is co-hosting a symposium on art and trauma with the Centre for African Studies at the University of Edinburgh on Saturday 24 October. There is also a complementary photography and painting exhibition in the Filmhouse café bar entitled A Truth in Black and White.

We are delighted to have a number of filmmakers in attendance at the festival to take part in discussions about their work. These include Wanuri Kahiu, director of From a Whisper, one of the most talked-about African films from the past year, having won an array of awards at the African Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria; and Esdon Frost, director of Notice to Quit!, one of the first anti-apartheid films made in South Africa.

The diversity AiM takes so much pride in is expanded even further this year and is not only reflected in the feature-length screenings, but also in our second short film competition in which the audience will get the chance to vote for their favourite. The shortlist for the competition will be announced on 5 October. On Halloween there will be late-night screenings of a selection of South African horror and other mysterious films.

The festival also includes two afternoons of free documentary film screenings at the Edinburgh College of Art, a seminar hosted by the University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies and an African storytelling event for children (and adults!).

For the first time this year, a selection from the programme will tour to the Scottish Highlands and Islands from early November. Generously funded by Regional Screen Scotland, this is an exciting addition to the festival and a way to promote African cinema amongst film-loving communities who have very limited access to African films.

Thank you to all staff and volunteers, and our sponsors, partners and supporters. We look forward to welcoming you to another exciting celebration of African cinema!

Festival co-directors Lizelle Bisschoff and Stefanie Van de Peer

*For full programme details please visit

*For purchasing tickets please visit

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*Tickets are available from the Filmhouse on 0131 228 2688 or Concessionary discounts and ticket deals will be available.

*AiM is funded and supported by Scottish Screen; Regional Screen Scotland; University of Edinburgh's Centre of African Studies; Scottish Documentary Institute; University of Stirling's School of Languages, Cultures and Religions; University of Edinburgh's International Office; Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Edinburgh; Global Concerns Trust; Tools for Self Reliance; Women's International League for Peace and Freedom and the Tanzania High Commission in London.

AiM Directors
Lizelle Bisschoff
Stefanie Van de Peer

AiM Staff and Volunteers
Robert Cannon - Website implementation
Jamie Chambers - Public Relations
Kirsty Dickson - Press Officer
Mariza Dima - Website design
Claire Hall - Opening event organisation
Dan Hammett - Film selections
Michal Hefer - Graphic design
Mara Menzies - Storytelling and animation events
Eunice Olumide - Public Relations
Clare Rossouw - Partnership development, film selections
Kari Ann Shiff - Film selections, guests hospitality
Melissa Trachtenberg - Founding co-director (2006) and festival consultant
Alba Valle - Administrative assistant
Stefanie Van de Peer - Sponsorship, film selections, book stall
Jen Wood - Music events organisation
Leo Wood - Press Officer, partnership development, sponsorship

AiM Board of Advisors
Mark Cousins - Film critic, writer and producer
Andrew Lawrence - Senior lecturer in African Politics at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh
Noe Mendelle - Head of Film and TV at the Edinburgh College of Art and Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute
David Murphy - Senior lecturer at the University of Stirling and a leading scholar on African film
Paul Nugent - Professor of Comparative African History and Director of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh

Further thanks
Thank you to everyone at Filmhouse Cinema.

Huge thanks to Rod White from Filmhouse Cinema who handled all the scheduling and was very accommodating to all our various and ongoing requests; James Rice from Filmhouse Cinema, who organised the touring programme and print traffic and did everything brilliantly; Paula Callus who assisted with the animation screenings; Trevor Steele Taylor who assisted with the late-night screenings; and Moragh Reid who assisted with the Bushmen screenings and organised the accompanying discussion and exhibition - it was a joy and privilege to work with all of you!

Further thanks to Barbara Bompani, Alastair and Nasim Christie, Michael and Mariem Freudenberg, Sonja Henrici, Bill Marshall, Hannah McGill, Kamran Rastegar, Sambrooke Scott, Samba Sene and James Smith for supporting AiM in various ways.


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of