The longest running African film festival in the United Kingdom returns with a range of films that highlights the extraordinary talent emerging from Africa.

Please use the drop-down menu for more information on each film.


Our sincerest thanks to Tony Jones and the Cambridge Film Trust without whom this would not have been possible. The Cambridge African Film Festival was also generously supported by the Smuts Memorial Fund, managed by the University of Cambridge in memory of Jan Christiaan Smuts, and Trinity College, University of Cambridge.


Dir. Bamba Diop. 2017. Senegal. French with English subtitles.

​Winstanley Theatre (map) - Friday 26 October - 18.00.


THE MAD MAN'S TRUTH + Q&A with director Bamba Diop

In the villages of Senegal, where oral traditions can constitute an integral element in development projects, the wandering poet, Thierno Seydou Sall, introduces a new system of social communication with the goal of effecting positive change in the comportments and attitudes of rural populations.Two musicians, encouraged by the power of his pertinent and provocative poetry, help him. It is this man who we follow in his wanderings, in his travels, in his interactions with rural communities.

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Bamba Diop is a Senegalese documentary filmmaker with strong social interests and engagements. He graduated from Média-Centre Dakar (Dakar Film School) in 1999 and his first documentary was a plea for the abolition of FGM in Senegal with the Rap female activist Sister Fa. Following that, the documentary film, “The Mad Man’s Truth” engaged with Senegalese social poetry as developed by Thierno Seydou Sall since the 1980s. Diop is currently working on his first feature film on African migration to Europe. He also uses photography as an art and social approach within the framework of the group project “Regard sur la ville de Rufisque”.


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Likarion Wainaina’s female lead-characters take us through the anxieties of failing health, fantasies of possessing superpowers, and the thrills of filmmaking in one single story. Because of young Jo, a village is inspired to reach beyond itself, as hope emerges for Jo’s mother and sister in the make-believe world of film. Raw, and unpretentious, SUPA MODO reminds us that life is but a wisp of air, refreshing, but transient; real, yet intangible.


Dir. Jenna Bass. 2017. 74 minutes. South Africa. English and Afrikaans with English Subtitles.

Arts Picturehouse - Sunday 28 October - 19.30.

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Realism and fantasy walk hand in hand in the dry plains of Jenna Cato Bass’ South Africa, where four racially diverse friends set out on a fun-trip, and capture their reality on a phone-camera. Yet, it’s not quite reality when they mysteriously swap bodies with each other, and begin to see the world differently. From its cinematic choices to its narrative, there’s one thing this award-winning, exploratory film tells us: sometimes, it takes fantasy to experience reality.

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Dir. Theresa Traore Dahlberg. 2017. 82 minutes. Burkina Faso. French with English Subtitles.

Arts Picturehouse - Monday 29 October - 18.45.

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Following the lives of a group of girls who are learning to become auto mechanics, OUAGA GIRLS shows bravery through breaking out of traditional stereotypes. The energy, playfulness and sisterhood of the girls is captured in this observation of everyday life, with humour and often poignancy. Touching and personal moments reveal that these women are simply trying to find their place in the world by saying, ‘A woman can do any job she likes, if she decides to.’

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Dir. Wanuri Kahiu. 2018. 82 minutes. Kenya. Swahili with English Subtitles.

Arts Picturehouse - Tuesday 30 October - 18.20.

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Although banned in its home country of Kenya, this love story between two teenage girls received a standing ovation at Cannes. RAFIKI is based on the short story by Ugandan author Monica Arac de Nyeko, and director Wanuri Kahiu brings the secret relationship between Kena and Ziki to life on the politically-charged streets of Nairobi. The chemistry between the two characters sparkles with tenderness in a love story which has never been told in this context before.

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