Africa in Motion is a largely volunteer-run festival, founded in 2006 by good friends Lizelle Bisschoff and Melissa Trachtenberg. At the time, Lizelle had just commenced with a PhD in African cinema, and quickly came to realise how difficult it is to access African films. Not wanting to keep her research to the academic realm only, she founded the Africa in Motion film festival alongside Melissa in order to create more opportunities for Scottish audiences to see African films and to provide a platform to African filmmakers to exhibit their work in Scotland.
The main aims of the festival have been, since its inception, to introduce Scottish audiences to the brilliance of African cinema and to overcome the under-representation and marginalisation of African film in British film-going culture. We believe that the best way to learn about Africa is to listen to African voices and to view representations created by African themselves, as these often counter the stereotypical representations we see from Africa in mainstream media in the West. But our main reason for screening the films is because we believe they are great films which should be seen the world over. Our audiences agree with us – we are proud that our audiences have grown from around 1,300 people in 2006 to almost 3,000 people in 2009!
Since 2009 AiM has been co-directed by curly-haired friends Lizelle Bisschoff and Stefanie Van de Peer. Stefanie is, like Lizelle, a researcher and writer in African cinema.
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Lizelle Bisschoff: AiM founder and director
Stefanie Van de Peer: Co-director
Staff and volunteers
Kari Ann Shiff: Festival Management & Guests Hospitality
Kirsty Dickson: Press & Marketing Advisor
Gillian Cook: Press Officer – for all press enquiries, please get in touch with Gillian
Natalia Palombo: Press Assistant
Ailsa Boag: Opening Event Coordinator
Safia Ali Kparah: Fashion & Jewellery Coordinator
Alastair Cole: Film Selections
Jamie Young: Graphic Designer
Natalia Rodríguez Domínguez: Website & Graphic Design
Richie McCaffery: Copy Writer & Poetry Event Organiser
Other lovely volunteers helping us out with various things: Zora King, Shauna Powers, Lynne Jones, Vee Shanky, Penda Diallo, Leila Bright, Charlie Ager, Wonu Tejumade, Rosie Baker, Susan Clare, Ross Cunningham
Michael Marten: Photographer
Mabel Forsyth: Photographer
Moragh Reid: DRC Event Organiser
Fiona Macalister: Music Events Organiser
Mara Menzies: Storyteller
Jonathan & Anna Freemantle: Fashion Event Organisers
AiM Board of Advisors
Mark Cousins – Film critic, writer and producer
Andrew Lawrence – Lecturer in African Politics at the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh
Noe Mendelle – Head of Film and TV at the Edinburgh College of Art and Director of the Scottish Documentary Institute
David Murphy – Senior lecturer at the University of Stirling and a leading scholar on African Film
Paul Nugent – Professor of Comparative African History and Director of the Centre of African Studies at the University of Edinburgh