2012 Deloitte Ignite Africa on the Piazza film programme
at Royal Opera House Covent Garden (Central London). Programers: Yinka Shonibare and John Akomfrah. FREE FILM PROGRAMME


FREE FILM EVENT for all this WEEKEND IN CENTRAL LONDON – Take the children out for a day & watch the best in African cinema‏‏s.

Royal Opera House Covent Garden

Yinka Shonibare and John Akomfrah’s

2012 Deloitte Ignite

This weekend come and watch a phenomenal two day series of freeopen air screenings in London’s Covent Garden Piazza programmed by the award winning artists John Akomfrah and Yinka Shonibare for the 2012 Deloitte Ignite at the Royal Opera House.
Presenting some of the most exciting, sophisticated and innovative films coming out of the Africa, the 2012 Deloitte Ignite Africa on the Piazza film programme is an incredible and rare mixture from funky African classics to blockbusters of today. Featuring films by cinema masters such as Djibril Diop Mambety and Souleymane Cisse to a generation of new women directors like Moufida Tlatli and Sara Belcher. The 2012 Deloitte Ignite filmprogramme is bringing the celluloid heartbeat of Africa to the Royal Opera House’s Covent Garden Piazza area in this amazing two day open air programme.

Come and see African cinema as you have never seen it before. A fantastic & free, open air film experience; all day Saturday and Sunday in the Convent Garden Piazza. See you there!

2012 Deloitte Ignite

14.00pm – 15.52 pm

directed by Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya)
Science Fiction, 2009/21 mins

African science fiction is beautiful and poignant! Pumzi is set in a post-apocalyptic world in which water scarcity has extinguished life above ground.

Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council. When«  she receives a box in the mail containing soil, she plants an old seed in it and the seed immediately starts germinating. Asha appeals to the Council to grant her permission to investigate the possibility of life on the outside, but the Council denies her exit visa. How can she save the planet?

A Screaming Man
directed by Mahamat Saleh Haroun (Chad)
2008/92 mins

This is a multi-award winning film about the choices that we make in life.

Adam is a former swimming medallist, now a 60-year-old hotel employee and head « pool man, » who maintains this calm oasis as much for his own benefit as for the hotel’s Western guests. The tensions between Adam and Abdel, his adult son, are exacerbated when he loses his job to the younger man and their fragile world begins to crumble.

Complicating their relationship is the fact that rebel forces are at war with the authorities, and civilians like Adam and Abdel are under pressure to support the government. With subtlety and grace, Haroun’s modern fable eschews histrionics for a smart, restrained, yet deeply feeling drama in which personality, politics and place define its characters’ reality.

A SCREAMING MAN was the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival

16.15pm – 18.25pm

Mwansa The Great
directed by Rungano Nyoni (Zambia)
2011/24 mins
Mwansa The Great is the story of an eight year old boy who aspires to be a hero and embarks upon a journey to prove his greatness – with unexpected consequences. The film gives a moving insight into childhood where fantasy jostles with reality as a young boy’s imagination transforms everyday life.

directed by Souleymane Cissé (Mali)
1987/105 mins

This adaptation of an ancient oral legend from Mali, is one of the most acclaimed and widely seen African films ever made. An Oedipal story mixed with magic, Yeelen is as visually stunning as anything from Hollywood.

Set in the powerful Mali Empire of the 13th century, Yeelen follows the journey of Nianankoro, a young warrior who must battle the powerful Komo cult. Nianankoro’s greatest enemy is his own father, a dangerous and corrupt wizard who uses his dark magic to try and destroy his son. Traveling over the arid Bambara, Fulani and Dogan lands of ancient West Africa, Nianankoro eventually comes face to face with his father in a final fatal showdown Cisse’s extraordinary use of landscapes and light produces a unique and striking cinematic style.

*Parental Guidance is suggested: This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film contains some mature themes, some moderate violence and some natural nudity, in the context of the story and of the culture involved and is not gratuitous.

BREAK: 18.25pm – 18.40pm

18.40pm – 19.25pm

La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
directed by Djibril Diop Mambety (Senegal)
1998/45 mins

Made by one of Africa’s cinema visionaries, La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil is a film exalting the lives and promise found among ordinary Senegalese. It depicts a young beggar girl, Sili, who on crutches, confidently makes her way through a city of obstacles, becoming the first girl to sell a daily newspaper in the competitive world of young male newspaper vendors. Mambty dedicated this film to « the courage of street children ». The scenes are expertly played by non-professional actors and with the participation of the street children.

Break: 19.25pm – 19.40pm

19.40pm- 22.00 pm

Area Boys
directed by Omelihu Nwanguma (Nigeria)
2007/27 mins

Exploding onto the screen from Africa’s most populous nation and its energetic capital Lagos, is Area Boy’s. A tale of friendship, hardship and gangs. Having grown up in a world where corruption and greed override all else, lifelong friends Bode and Obi decide to cut their ties with their boss (Dele) and form their own partnership to escape from the corruption that surrounds them. But their plans backfire before they begin when they decide to invade Dele’s turf and he finds out about it. The friends flee from the city and Dele’s henchmen, discovering the true value of friendship.

*Parental Guidance is suggested: This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film contains some scenes of violence and strong language, in the context of the story and of the culture involved.

Otelo Burning
directed by Sara Belcher (South Africa)
2012/112 mins

It is 1989 and the struggle against apartheid in South Africa is at its peak. 16-year-old Otelo, his brother and best friend escape the growing threat of political violence through their shared passion for surfing. But just as they learn to master the waves and begin to win competitions, tragedy strikes. Otelo is forced to make a choice between the allure of surfing and a struggle for justice. Otelo Burning won two awards at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in 2012.

Midday – 14.08pm

Silences of the Palace
directed by Moufida Tlatli (Tunisia)
1994/128 mins

One of the most beautiful and sensitive films to have ever been made on the continent! Silences of the Palace is not to be missed in this very rare screening.

Set in 1950’s Tunisia, the news that Prince Sid’Ali has died suddenly confronts 25-year-old Ali with her past again. During the funeral she visits the palace where she spent her childhood and adolescence and where her mother was a servant. She never knew her father – he may even have been the prince. As she wanders the deserted corridors, the images of her youth return, such as her forbidden friendship with Sarra, daughter of one of the princes, who taught Alia to love the lute. She also re-experiences the painful and silent quest for the identity of her father and remembers her mother, the brave and beautiful Khedija, who protected Alia against the furtive desires of the prince. SILENCES OF THE PALACE delicately reveals the lonely life of the women who were locked up for life in an Arab palace, half slaves, half mistresses.

*Parental Guidance is suggested: This film is suitable for General viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young children. The film deals with mature themes and has some sexual scenes in the context of the story and of the culture involved.

BREAK 14.08pm -14.20pm

14.20pm- 16.50pm

The Adventurer’s Return
directed by Mustapha Alassane (NIGER)
1966/34 mins

The most fantastic African Western ever made!
A man returns home to his village with Western cowboy clothes, hats and guns. He forms a cowboy posse with his old buddies. Getting into their roles, the black cowboys spread panic throughout the village with brawls, robberies and disrespect to the old African ways.

directed by Djibril Diop Mambety (Senegal)
1992/113 mins

One of the great masters of African cinema, Djibril Diop Mambetey is at work here.

Hyenas is the story of The town of Colobane. It is a town that has been bypassed by everything imaginable, the trains don’t even stop there anymore. But when the legendary Linguere Ramatou returns to the place she fled 30 years before, the train does come to a halt. So does the desperate town, eager to welcome back its most famous daughter, who is’richer than the World Bank’.

Once beautiful, now crippled, Ramatou seems inclined to generosity, but it comes with shocking’strings attached’. She’ll donate millions only if Colobane rids itself of her former lover, the genial grocer and mayor-to-be, Draman. As part of her campaign of revenge, Ramatou inundates the hapless and grasping citizens with fans, fridges, fairground attractions and TV sets, so making hyenas of them all. Richly allegorical, and with the force of a parable about corruption, Mambety here addresses a favourite theme, the corruption of Africa by past and present colonisation, all the while dazzling with swirls of reality and hyper-unreality.

Break: 10 mins 16.50pm – 17.00pm


directed by Alla Kovgan and David Hinton (Zimbabwe)
2008/35 mins

You will be astonished by this beautiful dance centred film.
Based on the life of Zimbabwean-born dancer Nora Chipaumire, this film is part biopic, part fable, part dramatic cinema and part dance film. Filmed on location in Southern Africa and lusciously coloured, Nora engages with concepts of self and memory, and the active process of remembering, using a language of dance.

The traditional tools of film-making; lighting and landscape, pacing and movement, draw out story and character, and a searing performance by Chipaumire as herself, her mother, her father and other characters provides a strong emotional centre. Tableaux are carefully composed within the frame and in a gesture towards silent film scenes are punctuated by brief and sometimes humorous inter-titles.

Waiting For Happiness (Heremakono)
directed by Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania)
2002/93 mins

This is a contemporary classic and award winning film. On his way to a better life in Europe, Abdallah’s voyage is interrupted by a stop over in Nouadhibou, an insignificant fishing village in Mauretania where no one comes to stay for longer than they have to.
While waiting to board the boat to Europe, the young boy does his best to adapt to the slow village life, by learning a few words in the local language and observing the lives of the villagers.
The wait is as much part of the journey as movement is, and life is still going on in places that most have never heard of, but some are forced to remain in while waiting for their turn to reach happiness. Sissako’s second feature film premiered and was awarded in Cannes in 2002 and has won numerous other awards since.

This year’s Deloitte Ignite is curated by critically acclaimed artist, Yinka Shonibare, MBE, celebrated for works including Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, which he made for the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. His vision for Deloitte Ignite 2012, Africa Weekend, is a celebration of traditional African and avant-garde arts and culture, expressing Africa’s global contribution to the contemporary arts world.

John Akomfrah, founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, will be curating the best of African cinema in Covent Garden Piazza.

Weekend line-up in brief

The weekend will feature cinema, visual arts, music, food and a club night, all fusing to highlight the surprising aspects of the expressions of contemporary African artists.

* In the photography of Rotimi Fani-Kayode, co-founder of photographic agency Autograph ABP, we see his interpretation of gay African identity.
* John Akomfrah, founding member of the Black Audio Film Collective, will be curating the best of African cinema in Covent Garden Piazza.
* Josephine Amankwah and Tunde Jegede will be performing African Messiah, an African celebration of Handel’s Messiah, curated by Josephine Amankwah.
* Tavaziva Dance will perform Sensual Africa, a dance work inspired by Bawren Tavaziva’s trip to Malawi.
* Victor Gama‘s interactive exhibition of contemporary musical instruments inspired by African instruments, is complemented by a concert featuring the instruments with Victor performing alongside other musicians from Angola and Portugal.
* Improvizations from Alesandra Seutin bring together African dance, ballet and contemporary dance. Alesandra and IRIE! Dance Theatre will also lead workshops. Yinka will be participating too, exhibiting several of his own works. Tickets for the daytime events are free.
* Special guests for the evening concerts will include Radio 1xtra’s DJ Edu, who will take over the Linbury Studio Theatre with his mix of African underground, and Tony Allen, who, along with Fela Kuti, created the sound of Afrobeat.

Please note: there is a legal limit on the number of wheelchair users we can admit to the Royal Opera House at the same time. If you are a wheelchair user intending to visit the ROH for Deloitte Ignite, do let us know in advance to avoid disappointment.
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