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Some say that African Cinema is of little interest to a Western Audience. We beg to differ! Yes, it is different to your standard Hollywood fare but also strangely similar in many aspects. African Cinema deals with all the issues that mainstream cinema covers – love, death, crime, romance, family, friends … you name it. And yet, at the moment you cannot see these movies in the cinema, only at dedicated film festivals such as the Galway African Film Festival. We think that African Cinema is well worth a look and just might surprise you in how you see Africa and its peoples.

Through the Film Festival we are hoping to advancing an enhanced
understanding of African culture. Therefore, the main aims of the Galway African Film Festival have been, since its inception, to introduce audiences in Ireland to the brilliance and variety of African cinema and to overcome the under-representation and marginalisation of African film in Irish film-going culture.  As organisers, we believe that one of the best ways to learn about Africa is to listen to African voices and to view representations created by Africans themselves, as these often counter the stereotypical representations seen in the Western mainstream media.

At the same time, the festival is aware of its own power regarding the films it chooses to screen; censorship, however well meaning it may be, does support a more simplistic view of very complex realities.  Since 2008, the festival has included all genres of films (comedy, sci-fi, horror, etc.), and while stereotyping is something the festival aims to challenge, the quality and ‘buzz’ of films are equally important.