Event Date and time:  October 30 | 8:00 PM – 10:30 PM   

Venue details: Hackney Picturehouse | 270 Mare Street, London E8 1HE

Organisers: Film Africa0203 073 8337 | |

The Royal African Society | 20 3073 8335 |

Event website: FILM AFRICA 2016 – BAOBAB SHORTS – PART 1

Event cost: £8

Established in 2011, the Film Africa Baobab Award for Best Short Film exists to recognise and support new filmmaking talent emerging from across Africa and its Diaspora. The shortlist was compiled from over 300 submissions – a record number for Film Africa, indicating the growing scale of talent in contemporary African filmmaking. 12 shorts from up-and-coming filmmakers from seven countries (Egypt, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia) have been selected to vie for the Award, which includes a £1,500 cash reward. The winner is picked by a jury of filmmakers and industry professionals and will be announced at the Film Africa Closing Gala on Sunday 6 November.


Dir. Maryam Touzani. Morocco. 2015. 19 mins. Arabic with English subtitles. N/C 15+

10-year-old Aya works as a maid in a small house in the medina of Casablanca. Locked away from the world, she diligently takes care of the household duties, whilst finding a few precious moments to play and be a child. The next door neighbour, Habiba, is Aya’s only friend and confidante. Together, they gossip from the balcony and make each other laugh. As the Aïd feast approaches, Aya dreams of going home, but things don’t go according to plan.

After studying in London, Tangier born Maryam Touzani moved back to Morocco and worked as a journalist, specialising in cinema. Soon, the necessity to express herself through her own films emerged. Her first short, When They Slept, won many awards at prestigious festivals around the world, including the Film Africa 2013 Baobab Award.


Dir. Michael MacGarry. South Africa. 2016. 12 mins. French with English subtitles. N/C 15+

A poetic re-imagining of Death in Venice, featuring a West African immigrant making his way to Italy. Our lead character embarks on a journey from the Alpine mountains to the seaside and, ultimately, on a doomed voyage home.

Michael MacGarry is a visual artist and filmmaker based in Johannesburg. Michael has exhibited at an international level including TATE Modern, Iziko South African National Gallery and Kiasma Museum, Helsinki. As a filmmaker he has directed and co-directed ten television commercials and his short films have screened at Rotterdam and VideoBrasil festivals, among many others.

Dir. Mohamed Essam. Egypt. 2015. 10 mins. Arabic with English subtitles. N/C 15+
A professional woman in her 40s pays a visit to her elderly mother and takes her out for some ice-cream. Enchanted by the outside world like a small child leaving the house for the first time, the mother ends up finding her long-awaited happiness and freedom.
Mohamed Essam is a film academic and teacher with degrees from Cairo University and the Academy of Cinema Arts & Technology. He has directed several corporate videos for TV and has won awards at Zagora international film festival in Morocco and Beirut international film festival, before making Ice-Cream.


Dir. Jamil Najjar. Tunisia. 2015. 26 mins. Arabic with English subtitles. N/C 15+

Ghassra, a Tunisian taxi driver stops his car to urinate discreetly by a tree on the side of a quiet country road, but as he attempts to relieve himself, he is ambushed by an exuberant election candidate and his loyal followers. Then comes a disoriented bombshell looking for directions, followed by a group of aggressive football hooligans, followed by a set of Islamic extremists, and finally a couple of policemen – until nature’s call is too strong for Ghassra to hold back.

Jamil Najjar graduated in 2000 with a diploma in Directing from the Arts and Multimedia Institute of Manouba. He made his first short film, Offside, in 2003, picking up the jury prize at the Amateur Film Festival in Kelibia. Stranded is his second short.


Dir. Uche Aguh. Nigeria. 2016. 30 mins. English. N/C 15+

In the midst of his gubernatorial nomination in Lagos, Emeka and his wife, Chioma, can no longer carry on with elegant pretense of living a blissful marriage. Their sacred union is threatened as both reveal dark secrets to one another. Together, they go on a rollercoaster journey to rediscover their lost moments of ‘I do’, in the hope that they will be able to proclaim to each other ‘I still do’.

Formerly a trained doctor, Uche Aguh was born in Nigeria and and has lived in the US for many years. In his last year of studies, Uche decided to explore his long standing vision of filmmaking. I Still Do is his first short film.


Dir. Mike-Steve Adeleye. Nigeria. 2016. 7 mins. English. N/C 15+

A husband comes home from yet another day of failure and he is greeted by his wife complaining and nagging as per usual, except today is different. Things will change for the better and for good today… Or maybe not. A funny and satirical look at the institution of marriage.

Mike-Steve Adeleye is a Nigerian-born writer, director, animator, editor and visual effects generalist. A graduate of the National Film Institute, and an alumnus of the Berlinale Talent Campus, Mike-Steve is currently developing live action-CGI action adventure / family fantasy feature film, Karikaso.

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