Afrika Eye Film Festival 2012 launches today with a vibrant melange of Africa and Jamaica!
Screening of celebrated Senegalese film LA PIROGUE and after party showcasing best of contemporary and traditional Jamaican music and dance
Afrika Eye Film Festival 2012 launches today, Friday 9th November, with a sensational blend of African film and Jamaican music and dance – inaugurating a festival that celebrates 50 years of Jamaican independence and pays tribute to the power of healing trauma in Africa.
Weaving the two strands of this year’s festival comes the launch film LA PIROGUE at 20.30. Winning standing ovations at this year’s Cannes festival, LA PIROGUE is the moving story of a group of Senegalese men who, desperate to escape poverty, set off for Europe on a simple fishing boat, hoping for a better life.
Directed by Moussa Touré, whose many acclaimed documentaries and dramas have chronicled his country’s social woes, the film was inspired by Touré’s experience that virtually every Senegalese family had a member who had left by boat for Europe. In the last decade over 5,000 Africans are reported to have died trying to make this perilous crossing to Europe. The film echoes the festival’s Jamaican theme in showing the lengths people are prepared to go to escape poverty.
“It’s an everyday reality in my country,” Moussa Touré told CNN. “In Dakar, young people attempt these journeys practically every day because they have no hope for their future in Senegal. They are often educated young people with qualifications, and they pay a lot of money to be smuggled out of the country, because they have no choice.”
“Moussa Touré is the next generation of great Senegalese directors, weaving poetic images and the immense evocative power of Senegalese music to the intensely dramatic story of LA PIROQUE,” says Ingrid Sinclair, Director of Afrika Eye. “This film has wowed audience on the continent and Afrika Eye is proud to launch LA PIROGUE for a series of screenings in the UK stretching from Manchester to London.”
Fish4Ever – the world’s first sustainable canned fish brand founded in 2001 – is supporting Afrika Eye’s opening film LA PIROGUE, to highlight the illegal and unsustainable fishing methods inflicted on west Africa’s traditional fishing communities by foreign trawlers.
Adroitly capturing the dilemmas facing these desperate fishermen, LA PIROGUE is a powerful depiction of a story that is relevant worldwide. Screenings of LA PIROGUE in association with Afrika Eye will follow at other UK cinemas, including Manchester’s Cornerhouse, Monday 12th November and Cambridge Picture House on Wednesday 14th November for the Cambridge African film festival. And the Curzon group in London have recently announced their interest in showing the film.
In collaboration with WOMAD Foundation, the famous Afrika Eye after party in the Watershed bar brings a stunning Jamaican dance and MC turntable collaboration from Ripton Lindsay and Mr Benn, ripping up the dance floor. The night also features Jamaican inspired artwork by David Cox and Jamaican folk song and dance from local Bristol group Tan Teddy.
Producer/DJ Mr. Benn’s blend of reggae, hip hop and more, introduced the new Bristol sound to the world. As well as playing parties around the globe, he also DJs alongside Massive Attack’s Daddy G, Queen Bee and MC Souls Liberation as part of the Bristol Hi-Fi collective. His broad range of production techniques combined with upfront DJ and selector skills will be sure to have you jumping. Dancer and MC, Ripton Lindsay, who grew up in Jamaica, has worked with Africa Bambaata, DJ Babu and Massive Attack. Incorporating traditional and contemporary Jamaican music with hip hop and reggae, he’s a sought after tutor and a mesmerising performer.
Ripton’s epic party performance will pave the way for his eagerly awaited dance workshop for the festival on Saturday afternoon, teaching youngsters (13-18) his inimitable brand of contemporary Jamaican dance techniques. Also in collaboration with WOMAD Foundation, artist David Cox hosts a Jamaican style Mask Making workshop on the Saturday for children (8-12).
“We are delighted to bring the dynamic duo of Ripton and Mr Benn plus artist David Cox’s vibrant images to the Afrika Eye party,” says Annie Menter, WOMAD Foundation’s Director. “Our workshop programme with these three great artists is a fantastic opportunity to extend the reach of this culturally important annual film event.”
- For more information about Afrika Eye visit www.afrikaeye.org.uk; www.facebook.com/AfrikaEye; Twitter @AfrikaEyeFest
- Tickets to LA PIROGUE £8/£6.50 concs include priority entry to the Opening Party
- For booking and further information visit www.watershed.co.uk or call the Box Office on 0117 927 5100
- Fish4Ever is sponsoring the Environmental Justice Foundation’s fact-sharing stall at the Watershed on the opening night. Fish4Ever’s Charles Redfern (Seafood Champion 2012 finalist) will explain links between European consumerism and illegal fishing