Afrika Eye – the South West’s biggest celebration of African cinema and culture – returns to Watershed in November with a 10th anniversary edition that adds a festival song and African quilt auction to its traditional line-up of the best new and old Africa-related screenings, talks, debates, live music and participatory arts workshops. Our focus for 2015 is Senegal with the additional very topical theme of ‘migration’.

Celebrations start with a debut performance of our anniversary anthem sung by Jill Draper and the Afrika Eye choir, followed by a screening of the brilliant tragic-comedy ‘Hyenas’ from Senegal. Then it’s time to dance the night away Senegalese style at our after party with the highly rated singer and instrumentalist Amadou Diagne and Group Yakar.

Other highlights include fresh and classic films from Egypt, Ethiopia and Senegal; the world premiere of a new urban drama set in Bristol; and an auction for the fabuJlilol Durasper community sewn African quilt (in aid of Refugee Crisis). Afrika Eye outreach programme this year includes the stunning ‘Kafountine Lino Print Exhibition’ at Hamilton House, with visiting artist Musa Camara. There will also be workshops at Spike Print Studios and Hamilton House, Senegalese music and dance workshops in primary schools, and family workshops in printing and music at the festival itself.

The Veejays of Tanzania
(Pop up screening)

The Veejays of Tanzania (PG)
Dir. Andres Carvajal and Sandra Gross, 53 mins, 2010, Tanzania

In different parts of East Africa – from Tanzania to Uganda – a hugely popular film culture has existed for more than a decade: that of “video jockeying” (or VJing), where blockbusters – mostly Hollywood, Bollywood, and kung fu films – are translated into local languages for local viewers. But, far more than word-to-word translation, VJs offer viewers their distinctive style of often hilarious commentary and insights as they work to educate and entertain audiences, becoming celebrities in their own right.

This documentary is a fascinating insight into the strategies that human beings use to resist disempowerment using the only thing that they cannot get taken away: their creativity.

Race (Pop up screening)

Ranvir and Rajiv are half brothers who own a huge stud farm in South Africa. Ranvir is a very shrewd and aggressive man while Rajiv is laid back, and a chronic alcoholic. Sophia, Ranvir’s personal secretary adores and loves him. Ranvir is unaware of her feelings. Shaina, an Indian ramp model in Durban loves Ranvir but through a twist of fate gets married to his younger brother Rajiv. When she discovers that Rajiv is a chronic alcoholic, her world is shattered. Ranvir too is disturbed as he has sacrificed his love for his younger brother because Rajiv had promised to leave alcohol for good if he marries Shaina. In a weak moment Ranvir and Shaina come very close to each other. When Rajiv starts suspecting, all hell breaks loose. A murder is committed, a contract killing is issued. A sharp tongued detective R.D., getting wise on the proceedings, starts an intriguing investigation with his brainless bimbo assistant Mini.