I already have a good sense of the festival from when George Salt came to visit us at Bower Ashton, seeing as that was so long ago I felt it was worth taking a look into the festival so I can be fully clued up ready for my involvement.
Afrika Eye was founded in 2005, and since 2013 its commercial success has dramatically increased following three of the biggest African Film Festivals uniting with Afrika Eye to bring a greater variety of contemporary African cinema to a broader UK audience. The four festivals consisted of Africa in Motion (Edinburgh), Afrika Eye (Bristol), African Film Festival (Cambridge), and Film Africa (London).
The festival aims to promote the richness and diversity of Africa through film, education and cultural exchange. It is a non-profit organisation and has been supported by a number of arts and council funds including the Watershed who house the majority of the event. Afrika Eye list the following aims on their website:
- Offer access to a wide range of films not generally available through mainstream programming.
- Offer a broader context and deeper understanding of film arts and culture.
- Offer insight into specific countries of Africa through their politics, society, tradition and beliefs.
- Celebrate the significant creative role that Africa plays in todays social, cultural and political landscape.
I admire what the festival stands for, I enjoy how it stands apart from other film festivals as it encourages social change and conversation. It isn’t just about screening and awarding short films, but using it as a method to raise awareness to african culture and bring it into the mainstream UK public eye. I’ve seen a little about the programme in the lead up to the festival and I am eager to see what it is all about.
The festival can be a great opportunity to network. I can’t see any direct opportunities within the festival as it is a seasonal job, but I like to think the individuals involved are the ones who can give me a gage of the film festival network as a career opportunity. This will be my first time working for a festival and I am eager to get stuck in, I’m also eager to take in so much from another culture during the course of my placement.