By Ogova Ondego in Edinburgh
Published November 1, 2012
Mwansa The Great, a film about an eight-year-old boy who aspires to be a hero and embarks upon a journey to prove his greatness with unexpected consequences, has won the Short Film Competition award at the 5th Africa in Motion Scotland African Film Festival.
The jury–that comprised Noe Mendelle (director of the Scottish Documentary Institute), Zina Saro-Wiwa (Nigerian filmmaker), Mark Cousins (director and film critic), Paul Dale (writer & editor) and David Archibald (lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Glasgow)–described Mwansa The Great, a film in Nyanja with English subtitles, as “playful with loads of simple but very effective visual tricks that put us inside the mind of an imagining child.”
Mwansa The Great is directed by Rungano Nyoni of Zambia.
The Short Film Competition is part of AiM’s commitment to nurturing young African filmmaking talent, offering a cash prize of £1,000 to the winning film.
The films that were in competition were:
Le Parrain/The Godfather by Lazare Sie Pale of Burkina Faso; Dog by Jaco Minnaar of South Africa; Who Killed Me by Amil Shivji of Tanzania/Canada; Nola by Askia Traoré of France/Chad; Mkhobbi Fi Kobba/Turbulence by Leyla Bouzid of Tunisia/France; Kichwateli/TV-Head by Bobb Muchiri of Kenya; and Salam Ghourba/Farewell Exile by Lamia Alami of Morocco/USA/Switzerland.
Meanwhile, Nigerian Tunde Kelani captivated the audience with Maami, a film set over two days to the backdrop of the FIFA 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It is the story of a poor single parent, Maami, and what she goes through to bring up her son, Kashimawo in Abeokuta town through a labour of love. Though one may not approve of the antics Maami employs in her struggle to survive in a socio-economically hostile environment, one can’t fail to warm up to her loving heart, enterprising soul, brave body and resilience.
Maami is the centre of the universe for her son till he yearns for delicacies like meat and the father he has never seen. This rocks the boat and the plot fasts forward with almost regrettable outcome. The theme of the film appears to be that our obsession with wealth may be nothing but vanity; it doesn’t satisfy.Whether this film is about love, fate, goodwill or hard work is for the viewer to decide.
Maami employs flashback in telling the story of Kashimawo, addressing his turbulent childhood and unresolved issues with his father.
Adapted by Tunde Babalola from Femi Osofisan’s novel of the same name, Maami unfolds through Kashimawo’s reminiscences of his childhood in southern Nigeria. The film is 92 minutes long, in Yoruba with English subtitles and was produced in 2011.
Maami starres Funke Akindele, Wole Ojo, Tamilore Kuboye, Ayomide Abatti, Yinka Davies, Kayode Balogun, Fatal Rolling Dollar and Biodun Kupoluyi.
Some of the films that have set Kelani apart as a griot of note are Arugba, The Narrow Path, Abeni, and The Campus Queen.