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The red carpet at the Talbot Hotel is being dusted down ahead of what is fast becoming a 'must attend' on the local social calendar, the Carlow African Film Festival which runs from September 14 to 16. Unique in Ireland, Carlow will play host once again to film enthusiasts and stars alike next weekend as the festival in its third year gets bigger and better.

The festival is delighted to welcome South African actress Bonnie Henna, who stars alongside Tim Robbins in Catch A Fire'. Bonnie will also participate in a Q and A session with the people attending the screening Friday night. Nigerian born writer and film director Jeta Amata and actor Fred Amata from the first Nigerian film ever on 35mm will also attend for the screening of The Amazing Grace' and take audience questions on the Saturday night following the screening and before attending the after party in the Ashfield Room, open to the public.

More films have been added this year and a new departure is the symposium Imagining an African Irish Cinema' which will take place on Saturday from 10.30 am. This is a free event where a panel of academics and people from the film industry will discuss the changing face of Irish African film landscape. The discussion will finish with the screening of a film by Ousmane Sembene, the father of African film who passed away this year. This symposium is free to participants.

Each year we push ourselves to expand the festival and we hope the addition of the symposium to the weekend will create not only a new interest in African film but also a new interest for people in Carlow', says Ade Oke, Chairperson of the festival committee.