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Chapter Arts Centre celebrates five years of Watch Africa

Watch Africa’s film festival returned to Chapter Arts Centre to encourage local people to embrace diversity and African culture throughout Canton.

Credit: Glenn Edwards, Watch Africa Film Festival. Pictured: a band playing traditional African instruments.

CHAPTER Arts Centre opened its doors last Sunday to celebrate the fifth year of Watch Africa.

The Welsh African Film Festival, part of Hub Cymru Africa, came to a close last Sunday after a successful run of showcasing the best of African cinema, music, dance and crafts throughout Wales.

“This year we have gone for a real mix of films,” said Watch Africa Festival Coordinator Fadhili Maghiya, “from the rare lost classics, to showcasing the winners of our short film competition to the best that African cinema and directors have offered us over the past year with films about political activism, cartoons that tell children’s stories, films that tackle issues around witchcraft and much more.


 

The Wales African Film Festival broadcasted Congolese drama Félicité, set in Kinshasa, and animation fiction hybrid Liyana, set in Swaziland, which follows the story of a young Swazi girl on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers.

The event featured over ten stalls which showcased homemade clothes, jewellery and decorations from countries such as Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Pictured: homemade African merchandise made by Tanzanian artists available for locals to purchase from Hamida Ramadhini’s website ‘All Things African’.

One stall owner and founder of charity ‘All Things African’, Hamida Ramadhani helps over 15 deprived Tanzanian artists to earn a living by selling their handmade African fashion and crafts at the event. “I work one on one with the artists,” said Hamida, “I want to give them the opportunity to earn a living and have a fresh start.”

Other charities included local Bridgend charity, Friends of Monze as well as Purple Shoots which work to combat critical issues in Africa such as sanitation and education.

Pictured: Deana Owens, retired health visitor and founder of kitchen-table charity ‘Friends of Monze’, showcasing a variety of goods made by her friends in Zambia.

Sally Griffith, Director of Chapter Cinema said: “Watch Africa has really become a key part of our annual programme as we aim to bring the best of both mainstream and less well-known films to our audiences.  We often try to explore issues that are equally relevant to us here in Wales and around the world, and Watch Africa certainly does that”.

Visitor of Watch Africa at Chapter Arts Centre, Alice, said: “It’s been a really thought- provoking event which has made me reflect how lucky I am to be born into a privileged community. Everyone here has been so warm and welcoming.”

For more details on the Watch Africa Festival, visit: www.watch-africa.co.uk

 

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