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Meet our graduates: Manon Haag

A graduate of our MSc in Film, Exhibition and Curation, Manon is the Marketing Co-ordinator of the Africa in Motion film festival.

Photo of Manon Haag
Manon at Africa in Motion in 2015

Having completed her Masters at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC) in 2016, Manon has won a highly competitive, and fully funded, Lord Kelvin Adam Smith Scholarship for outstanding students to complete her PhD at the University of Glasgow.

She is combining her studies with a marketing role at the Africa in Motion (AIM) film festival, which takes place across Glasgow and Edinburgh from 27th October to 5th November 2017.

It was while studying at LLC that Manon first got involved in the festival, as a front-of-house volunteer, in tandem with roles and projects at the French Film Festival UK, the Hidden Door Festival, Glasgow Film Festival and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

She says “the networks I built during my time at Edinburgh, and my volunteering, have proved crucial in finding jobs, allowing me to stay in Scotland”.

A unique opportunity to study African films

Before arriving in Edinburgh, Manon had studied different aspects of film at both Lycée Jacques Prévert and Université Denis Diderot (Paris VII).

Freshly arrived in Scotland, “Africa in Motion was the first opportunity given to us as a new Masters cohort on the Film, Exhibition and Curation programme. I was intrigued, having been seldom exposed to African films despite seven years of studying film.”

“I volunteered for the festival to get to know Edinburgh’s audiences and make new friends but, I must stress, without thinking it would prove as useful as it did in finding jobs in the future.”

“I couldn’t recommend more trying out volunteering for such an inclusive and friendly organisation and, two years on, I am now AIM’s Marketing Coordinator.”

Stepping out of her comfort zone

Manon’s role at AIM includes an element of research into the films in the programme and their production contexts.

Reflecting on this aspect, she says “I enjoy working in a position where I am stepping out of my comfort zone and my research interests to discover exciting and stimulating films and facts and become familiar with a number of historical and political issues in African arts.”

“This year, we have got a very strong programme with some classic gems such as 'Trances', a documentary about the ‘Rolling Stones’ of Morocco restored by Martin Scorsese, and 'Al-Mumia', the ‘Citizen Kane of Egyptian cinema’, which will be screened at a lavish red carpet night at the Dominion (a glass of wine and nibbles are included!).”

“This ‘Africa’s Lost Classics’ programme is combined with the new releases from all over the continent (I recommend South African drama 'Tess' and endearing coming-of-age tale 'Wallay'), but I have to admit the ultimate screening to catch this year is free Blaxploitation Sollywood 'Joe Bullet' which will appeal to all B-movie addicts but which is also very important socially and politically; the film was banned upon release and forgotten until a couple of years back. Since then, it has been shown at Durban and Berlin international film festivals and is taking the world by storm!”

“We’ve also got an exciting programme in partnership with a research group at LLC focusing on Afro-Latin Visibility in Focus, which involves screenings and discussions across Edinburgh and Glasgow, with input from invited speakers including Ramón Perea Lemos, Dixie Lee, and Roberto Zurbano”.

Are you interested in studying Film, Exhibition and Curation at LLC?

Our ground-breaking taught Masters programme is known for the excellence and rigour of its teaching; for its imaginative curatorial projects and creative collaborations; for the insights and impact embedded student researchers have contributed to industry partners; and for the quality and reach of its highly international group of graduates.

Find out more

Related links

Find out more about Africa in Motion on the AIM website

Attend our event on the Politics and Poetics of Afro-Latin Visibility

Learn about Africa Week at the University of Edinburgh