Revising the classics : opening up the archives of African cinema

Bisschoff, Lizelle and Murphy, David (2014) Revising the classics : opening up the archives of African cinema. In: Africa’s Lost Classics. Legenda, Oxford, pp. 1-21. ISBN 978-1907975516

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Abstract

The long journey that has led to the present volume began almost a decade ago when we started planning for the inaugural Africa in Motion (AiM) Film Festival (www.africa-in-motion.org.uk), at Filmhouse in Edinburgh, which took place in October 2006. The complete programme for the festival consisted of twenty-five films from all over Africa (shorts, documentaries, and feature films from the 1950s to the 2000s), and was designed to give audiences a sense of the aesthetic diversity and richness of filmmaking across the African continent. However, if part of our motivation stemmed from a desire to reveal the geographical range of African cinema, we were also particularly anxious to provide greater historical depth to our audience's understanding of film in Africa, and it was with this aim that we embarked on a research project - generously funded by the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council - which allowed us to curate a series of 'Lost African Classics' as part of the first AiM.