‘I am Not a Witch’ to Open AFRIFF 2017


Solomon Elusoji

The first feature film from hugely talented Welsh-Zambian director, Rungano Nyoni, ‘I am Not a Witch’, an enthralling story of an orphan whose apparent magic powers are a goldmine for venal officials, is set to open this year’s Africa International Film Festival at Genesis Cinemas in Lagos on October 29.

Writing for the Guardian UK, Gwilym Mumford, notes that, through ‘I am Not a Witch’, Nyoni “has delivered a pulsingly odd and strikingly original debut: a tale of dogma, prejudice and corruption in the country of her birth. It’s a strange witches brew of deadpan farce and arthouse stillness that some will find exasperating, and it’s not without its missteps; but there’s a confidence and clarity of vision that’s hard not to admire, especially for a first feature.”

The film is one of hundreds which will screen at this year’s AFRIFF, a fast growing film festival which is also set to host a plethora of film Masterclasses, roundtable discussions, networking parties – where major deals are struck – and an award night.

“We screen a variety of films and what we try to do is to ensure that there is something for everybody,” the Festival’s Project Manager, Afie Braimoh, told THISDAY.

This year, too, AFRIFF, which is scheduled to run from October 29 to November 4, is partnering with the French and British Governments to screen films from the two countries; as a result, five French movies will be screened during the festival, including ‘Step by Step’, an emotional movie about the physical reconstruction of a man after a serious accident; ‘Wulu’, a Franco-Malian film, ‘Boarders’, a road-trip between Bamako and Lagos; French Blockbuster ‘Valerian’ by Luc Besson, and ‘He Even Has Your Eyes’, the story of Paul and Sali, a married couple who have been struggling to adopt a child for a long time.

Meanwhile, ‘Felicite’, a 2017 Oscar-contending Senegalese drama film directed by Alain Gomis, will close the festival.