Justine Atkinson

Research title: Representation Matters: On- and off-screen diversity within African cinema exhibition in the UK

Research Summary

Justine is reading a PhD entitled, 'Representation Matters: On- and off-screen diversity within African cinema exhibition in the UK'. The thesis will explore how participatory programming techniques used by film festivals and cinemas, both local and international, can help to increase on and off screen diversity within cinematic exhibition. Justine has been working as the Festival Producer of the Africa in Motion film festival since the beginning of 2013 and has curated and managed the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 annual festivals, plus a high-profile tour of African sport films and events across Scotland in conjunction with the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in June/July 2014. She also founded Aya Distribution, an international sales and distribution company with a focus on African cinema, in 2011, and has been invited to represent Aya Distribution at international film markets in Europe and Africa. Through Aya she has successfully released several African films in the UK, which wouldn’t have otherwise been seen. The practical experience gained through work undertaken within Aya Distribution and Africa in Motion Film Festival will form the foundation of her research.


Atkinson, Justine. (2017). ‘Curating an African Film Festival in Scotland: The recognition of Difference’. Third Text. 31, 5-6: 681-998.


‘Curating African cinema in the UK: A consideration of feminist curatorial practices’. Calling the Shots. 23-25 May 2018, University of Southampton.