Africa in Motion 2022 Festival Short Film Competition

africa in motion

Finalists & Emerging Curator Cohort

AiM runs from 11th- 20th November, 2022

Africa in Motion Film Festival (AiM) is delighted to announce the shortlist for the annual Short Film Competition. Due to the unique circumstances still ongoing due to Covid, and the recent devastating news about the Centre for Moving Image, Edinburgh International Film Festival and Filmhouse cinemas, this year’s festival edition will be in a hybrid format. AiM’s annual Short Film Competition has been running successfully since 2008 and this year, the festival received over 600 entries of an outstanding quality and variety including animation and hybrid documentary work. Filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora were invited to submit short films made after 2020 with a running time of no more than 30 minutes. 

The winning film and director will be announced at the festival’s closing.

Audience members will be able to submit ratings after watching the short films and an Audience Choice Award will be granted as a result. Ranging in topic, theme and form, the virtuosity of African film has shone through once again. Director of Africa in Motion, Liz Chege, said: “We are deeply humbled to be in a position to support emerging filmmakers from the African continent and the Black diaspora once more, and for the first time since 2019, offer an an in-person edition. With the cultural sector in Scotland experiencing such a precarious time, we feel it more than ever that our collective future rests on supporting each other to flourish.” 


BABA (dir. Mbithi Masya, Kenya) – A six-year-old boy with the unique gift of teleportation, struggles to understand people and the world around him. 

FROM HERE TO THERE (dir. Remy Ryumugabe, Rwanda) – An old and wise woman sitting by the lake, reflecting on existence.

GRACE (dir. Johanna Makabi, France) – Grace, 8, hates her neighborhood and cheerleading, so she decides to join her father in space.

IMMOVABLE OBJECTS (dir. Manu Kurewa, Scotland) – A family finds themselves forced out of their home at the onset of the Covid pandemic. 

IN THESE TRYING TIMES (dir. Mohamed Sherif, Egypt) – As the inevitable end approaches, three friends try to adapt as the world falls apart around them.

JEDDI (dir. Hamza Atifi, Morocco) – A child sees his grandfather on his deathbed. Confused, he clings to an endemic legend.

JUA KALI (dir. Joash Omondi, Kenya) – Diana, a domestic worker, and her colleagues skillfully perform their cleaning duties against the backdrop of their privileged clients’ private struggles and shenanigans. 

LA STAR (dir. Kevin Mavakala, Democratic Republic of Congo) – With all means at hand, a director does everything possible to succeed in shooting his film. Unfortunately, his lead actress does not wish to facilitate his task.

LETTERS TO THE MAN I LOVE (dir. Brandon Clarke, South Africa) – Set within the aftershocks of South Africa’s Apartheid, a gay farmhand writes letters to his lover.

MANHÃ DE DOMINGO (dir. Bruno Ribeiro, Brazil) – Gabriela is a young pianist who will perform at her first major recital. However, a dream about her dead mother destabilizes Gabriela’s mind and heart, putting her presentation at risk.

XEER BU GAÑJARU (dir. Babacar Hanne Dia, Senegal) – Finding by chance, a precious historical stone on an archeological site, two children decide to deliver it to the village authority.

For the first time in the history of the festival an open call for emerging curators was launched to create new opportunities in the exhibition sector and help prevent the gatekeeping of roles in the film industry.

Africa in Motion’s ongoing mission is to empower creatives from the continent and diaspora to take control of their own narrative, celebrate their heritage, and showcase their stories to global audiences. The open call received an overwhelming response from across the world, with applicants ranging from 18 to 62 years old, indicating a clear need for paid work in the exhibition sector.

Six curators from the African diaspora with a love for film and storytelling were selected and tasked with reviewing submissions for the short film competition.

Chege continues: “Talent programmes I have taken part in over the years have been deeply poignant experiences that have gone on to change my life. It can feel extra isolating when one has not had the opportunity to go through the traditional routes of training in the film industry, especially when the norm is that the gaze fashioned on the work of African filmmakers is not representative. Success for us, is the alumni of this new pathway being part of a growing community that accompanies them over their journey creating change within the African and global film industry.”

The very first cohort cohort spans across discipline and place, but are united by a shared purpose of creating a more inclusive and future:

TOSIN ALAPAFUJA (UK) is a curator for the Otherness Archive, and finds purpose in affirming and celebrating the Black community.

EMMANUEAL FALADE (Nigeria / Scotland) leads an Africa-focussed film club at the University of Edinburgh where he is an MSc. student and a Mastercard Foundation scholar.

YA MALLEN JAGNE (Gambia) is a creative writer and runs YÉMU, a collection of her written poetry and short prose. She is fascinated with African history and art forms, and passionate about literature and retro cinema. 

MBALI MASHABA (South Africa) is a creative researcher, film director and film curator. Her passion for visual storytelling led her to create Behind Her Lens Visuals, a film curation agency aiming to spotlight stories from the African diaspora through curated screenings and festivals.

ESE ONOJERUO (UK) is an interdisciplinary artist working in film production and curation. Her practice is underpinned by the ways in which gender and race can be felt as phenomenological experiences.

PHILIPPA WALUSIMBI (UK) Is a singer-songwriter and filmmaker based in Birmingham. Her passion is cultural democracy, making sure that all feel welcome, heard and seen.

MBALI MASHABA (South Africa) is a creative researcher, film director and film curator. Her passion for visual storytelling led her to create Behind Her Lens Visuals, a film curation agency aiming to spotlight stories from the African diaspora through curated screenings and festivals.

Africa in Motion 2022 GFT
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