Music, Dance and Performance

The festival will be screening many films which explore intangible cultural heritage of music, dance and performance in a variety of contexts. They cover topics from the preservation of traditional dance and music found in rituals, unusual instruments and their players from around the world, the role of music in local tourism and culture, to modern musicians confronted with their countries political restraints on their creativity. Come and find out more about ...

Stage Name - The role of texts and speech - religious, political or theatrical – in shaping a society and culture.

Long Live Bharatmata - The Bharatmata theatre is an iconic reminder of a colourful working class culture which is now on the decline in Mumbai.

Europaland: A Journey into Popular Cameroonian Imagination - broaches the issue of the image of Europe of young Cameroonians.

Colourful Thinking: Four Artists - Explores how Turkish artists living and working in The Netherlands express their identity through their artwork.

Gods and Kings  - An eerie masquerade festival in a Guatemalan moutnain village which confronts a strange history.

The Act of Killing  - A journey into the memories and imaginations of genocide perpetrators in Indonesia, offering insight into the minds of mass killers.

Swimming in Space - Links different perspectives on problems anchored in the social, political and economic life of Lubumashi, DRC.

When Spirits Ride Their Horses - The film explores the life of a women who devotes her life to Zar spirits. 

Gnawa - Music and Beyond explores a music which was originally created to heal.

Alapana - Four Views of Movement in Carnatic Music - An embodied perspective on Carnatic music, using animation and visual effects to direct the viewer’s attention to physical motion in the musical performance.

The Whistling Village - In this Turkish 'Bird Village' whistling is a form of communication for over 400 years.

Reflection - explores the hardhship of initiating children into a death cult in Brazil.

Slow Walker -  'Isicathamiya' is a music and dance competition created during apartheid by South African migrant workers. 


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Organised by the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain & Ireland (RAI) since 1985, it is an itinerant festival that moves biennially from one university host to another, in association with local community and cultural organisations.

The festival will be held from Thursday 13 June to Sunday 16 June 2013 in Edinburgh, hosted by National Museums Scotland and the STAR consortium. Scottish Training in Anthropological Research (STAR) is a collaboration between the Universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and St. Andrews. Over 60 new films will be screened alongside a conference 'New Observations' and a selection of special events and workshop about art & anthropology and the use of archival film.

The RAI Film Festival is held in collaboration with the Center for Visual Anthropology, University of Southern California.

Our Sponsors

The Festival gratefully acknowledges sponsorship from:

UDDA NMS SSGS ED Unversity of Aberdeen StAndrews WILEY