Africa in Motion
Since 2006, the Africa in Motion Film Festival, founded by the University of Glasgow’s Dr Lizelle Bisschoff, has introduced British audiences to the diversity of African cinema, screening around 600 African films to over 35,000 people.
Realising the difficulty she had in accessing African films in the UK, Dr Bisschoff wanted to bring these films to a wider audience – out from the archives ("the British Film Institute had a few VHS tapes you could buy") and onto the big screen.
Edinburgh's Filmhouse cinema hosted the first Africa in Motion in 2006 and in 2012, Africa in Motion expanded to Glasgow as well as Edinburgh.
"Africa in Motion helps Glasgow Film to reach out to new and existing audiences who are interested in films from Africa and with their varied programme from documentaries to family films the curated programme offers something for everyone."
Allison Gardner, Programme Director, Glasgow Film Theatre
"Working with Africa in Motion helps us connect with a more diverse audience, reflects our city more accurately, explores our historical past and produces quality and engaging content for our Public Programme."
Jenny Brownrigg, Exhibitions Director, Glasgow School of Art
Small and mighty
The small nature of the festival, which attracts between 5000-6000 visitors each year, is one of its strengths. Audiences gain direct access to the filmmakers showing at the festival. Around 20 African filmmakers attend each year, to discuss their work and to share challenges and experiences of filmmaking with other African and Scottish filmmakers.
"Africa in Motion is a great platform for African filmmakers, the festival offers exposure to young, emerging and established film makers to share with the world the works of their creative juices as well as acting as a window that sheds in light, illuminating different cultures and societies in Africa, giving filmmakers much-needed exposure with the outside world. The festival also offers the attendants a chance to meet, socialize and exchange ideas with people from different cultures and disciplines."
Allan Mwaniki, Kenyan filmmaker
About the researcher
Dr Lizelle Bisschoff is a Lecturer in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her research interests are in contemporary African cinema. She completed a three-year Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Research Fellowship in Film and Television Studies at the University of Glasgow from 2012-2015, and a two-year Leverhulme Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in the Centre of African Studies (CAS) at the University of Edinburgh from 2010-2012.
In 2006, she founded the Africa in Motion film festival, inspired by a desire to combine her academic research with practical work to make African cinema more accessible to British audiences. She is Principal Investigator on the AHRC-funded project "Lost African Classics in Context".