Afrika Eye – the South West’s biggest celebration of African arts, film and culture – returns to Bristol from 4-10 November. The 15th edition of the festival will weave together sights, stories and sounds from more than a dozen countries across the continent.

Check out these five highlights not to miss, cherry-picked from the jam-packed programme of screenings, discussions, poetry, music and more that you can view in full here.    

Return to Gorée at Brunel's SS Great Britain (4 November)

Take a journey to Senegal aboard the SS Great Britain at this event featuring traditional Senegalese food by Samba Samba and live music from kora master Modou Ndaiye, ahead of a screening of Return To Gorée. This is a music-rich film by internationally acclaimed singer Youssou N’Dour and world-renowned jazz pianist Moncef Genoud, exploring Africa’s slave legacy and celebrating the continent’s enduring musical culture. Stick around afterwards for the post screening chat about the country and its music with musicians Justin Adams and Simwinji Zeko.

Youssou N'Dour and Pyeng Threadgill Return to Goree

What does the future of journalism look like? at Arnolfini (5 November)

Head to the Arnolfini to hear the multiple award-winning author, broadcaster and Guardian columnist Gary Younge speak on the future of journalism. The event is being staged in association with Mandem, a network for young BAME journalists and creatives, and a panel of industry figures will also be discussing the importance of authentic representation and diversity as well as the industry’s future.

What does the future of journalism look like? with Gary Younge and Mandem at Arnolfini

Voices of Africa at Brunel's SS Great Britain (7 November)

On 7 November the SS Great Britain will be filled with site specific spoken word, dance and poetry for ‘Voice of Africa’ – an apt venue for a night of storytelling around journeys, history and heritage. Organised in collaboration with talent development programme Boat Poets and Bristol-based spoken word organisation Raise The Bar, the night will be headlined by vibrant performance poet and musician Zena Edwards. She’ll be joined by TJ Dema (Africa Writes), Saili Katebe (SS Great Britain poet in residence) and dancer, DJ and wordsmith Ripton Lindsay.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind at Watershed (8 November)

Catch The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the director-writer debut of 12 Years a Slave star Chiwetel Ejiofor, in a rare big screen showing at Watershed. Bringing to life the inspiring true story of a Malawian teenager who designs a wind turbine and life-saving water pump for his village using only a school library book, it’s a tribute to ingenuity and resourcefulness. The film scooped a Sundance award and has been picked as a UK Oscars entry.

Finish the evening in the Watershed Café and Bar for an after-party with hot and hypnotic live music from The Krar Collective, who have been dubbed the Ethiopian White Stripes.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Afrika Eye’s Watershed takeover (9 & 10 November)

The festival wraps up with a full weekend of film screenings, Q&As and panel discussions at Watershed. Regional premieres, classics from the archives, and a round-up of shorts selected especially by the Bristol network of BAME filmmakers Cables & Cameras are all on the programme.

Don’t miss the regional preview of this year’s winner of best documentary at Berlinale, a beautifully shot tale that any cinephile will love. Talking About Trees tells the story of four seasoned filmmakers who contend with strict Islamic rule in Sudan in an attempt to revive an old cinema in the city of Khartoum and raise awareness of the country’s film history.

Talking About Trees documentary

For more information about festival events and activities, visit, follow along on Instagram or Twitter (@AfrikaEyeFest | #AfrikaEye2019 | #ourcityyoureyes)

Discover more events in Bristol this November.


Afrika Eye Festival
Afrika Eye Festival

Afrika Eye Film Festival, held annually in Bristol, is the South West’s biggest celebration of African cinema and culture.

Brunel's SS Great Britain
Historic Ship
Brunel's SS Great Britain Bristol

Step aboard the award-winning Brunel's SS Great Britain for a ship shape and Bristol fashion day out!

Arts Centre
Arnolfini at Bristol Harbourside

Arnolfini is a centre for contemporary arts based on Bristol’s Harbourside. The organisation is dedicated to producing and presenting visual arts, performance, film, music and events.

Watershed Bristol Harbourside

Enjoy a lively programme of independent film, digital media and events at this fantastic media centre in the heart of the Harbourside