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28 October 2013

AiM2013 Glasgow Update | 28/10/2013


By Rhea Lewis 

Africa in Motion 2013 launched its second year of events in Glasgow last Friday (25th Oct), and our Festival Assistant for the city, Rhea Lewis, is eager to share how things are going. 

We've had a fantastic opening weekend of events in Glasgow for the festival! This is the second year that the festival has come over West to Glasgow. We've been excited about reconnecting with our partners from last year and developing new partnerships for this year...

Friday was a busy day here. Our first event was Immigration Stories From Scotland and Beyond which was in partnership with Document - International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival and was held at the Centre For Contemporary Arts (CCA). We showed a variety of short films which focused primarily on immigration. The films were honest and compelling depictions of the complexities of immigrants’ stories of arrival and settling into new environments. After each session we opened up discussion on the issues and questions raised. It was great to have Viltė Vaitkutė (from Media Co-op) give us insight into their 'Making it Home' project, as well as having Gary Christie from the Scottish Refugee Council speak about the charities’ invaluable work in providing services and advocacy for refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland. Fantastic discussions were had with our audiences and some of the filmmakers too!

Our festival opening feature Of Good Report was screened to a full house at the GFT. It was amazing to see such a diverse audience in the building and they joined us for an informative Q& A session with the filmmaker Jahmil Qubeka and his leading lady Petronella Tshuma. Our audience were invited to join us for the festival Opening Reception in the CCA. Saramago café/bar in the CCA was chock-a-block! We had such an eclectic mix of people coming to support the festival! DJ Chief Boima (an American-Sierra Leonian) welcomed in guests. LAW then played a mesmerising live set, followed by DJ Steven from YEBO (Glasgow collective) who tantalised us with his fusion of wicked visuals and mixes. Despite the dreich weather outside, the CCA was full of colour and heat and ended with DJ Chief Boima leaving all dancing!

Saturday morning we had our Children's Day which was part of the GFT's Take 2 for family audiences. Storyteller Tawona Sithole enticed the audience with his range of traditional Zimbabwean instruments and stories. We then showed the beautifully animated Adventures in Zambezia. In the evening we welcomed audiences to the first of our AiM Nomad series which was a screening of Otelo Burning at the Govanhill Baths. Before audiences were submerged in the (thankfully now empty) pool, they were given some popcorn and hot chocolate to warm up, having braved another blustery night in the city! We were delighted to have Glasgow University TV come in to do a feature on the festival! This screening was quite busy, and we even had to source some more chairs!

On Sunday, we screened The Forgotten Kingdom at the GFT. It was well received and I had one audience member tell me that the film cinematography truely 'captured the beauty of Lesotho'! In the evening we had our first of 3 events at The Calabash African Bar & Restaurant in Glasgow City centre. We screened The African Cypher, a fantastic documentary depicting the various street dance styles and crews to come out of Soweto. And the great thing about being in a restaurant is that our audience were able to sample some of Calabash's mouth-watering cuisine!

Tonight, we have our Short Film Competition screening at South Block (plus Filmhouse in Edinburgh) and we're excited to have scrumptious Dear Green Coffee samples to try during the event. Come on down and take part in the ‘Audience Choice’ vote too!

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