Explore the 2019 programme below, either by browsing the separate sections, or looking at the timetable view.

Student showcases films made by the new generation of ethnographic filmmakers, often as part of doctoral projects
RAI/Basil Wright features the films competing for the top prizes at this year’s festival
Material Culture focuses on films with something to say about the way we engage with our material world
Intangible Culture explores worlds of music, dance, performance, and ritual
Special Interest explores a range of fascinating topics, including programmes with a special director or thematic focus
Shorts is new for 2019, and celebrates the best in short-form ethnographic filmmaking as a cauldron of innovation


Directed by
Safi Faye

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112 minutes

29 March
Cinema 2, Watershed 11:00 AM
Special Interest

The work of pioneering Senegalese filmmaker and ethnologist Safi Faye is the subject of our Special Focus at the 16th RAI Film Festival.

In Fad'jal, Faye tells the story of a Serer village in the groundnut basin of Senegal. Using the words of their ancestors passed on by oral folklore, the villagers trace the history of their village and their difficulties in working their land and living off their produce. Fad'jal is an extraordinary boundary defying film that interweaves ethnographic footage, intimate observation of everyday village life and fictionalised historical scenes. With it, Faye carefully encourages the viewers to reflect both on African history and storytelling, and on the intersection of fiction and documentary.

This screening will be introduced by Caterina Sartori (RAI) and Estrella Sendra (University of Southampton)

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