National Traveling Series
The National Traveling Series presents a tailored selection of feature and short films from the latest New York African Film Festival that are not otherwise readily distributed. The aim of the program is to bring African cinema to the broadest possible audience. Screenings are scheduled throughout the year by various cultural and educational institutions.
AFF has created two programs to reach young audiences. The first, the Young Adults Education Program brings New York City middle and high school students to a matinee program during the annual New York African Film Festival. The age-appropriate films we screen during this program are not only tailored to the schools’ curricula, but also relevant to African history, geography, and culture. An AFF facilitator moderates a dialogue with visiting directors pre- and post-screening.
AFF’s In-School Program was initiated in 2000 with the East Harlem School at Exodus House (EHSEH), a middle school of seventy-five students in one of New York City’s most disadvantaged neighborhoods. With EHSEH staff, AFF developed a model curriculum that augments traditional materials with African films and visiting African artists and scholars. To date, AFF has expanded the program to other schools, including a very active collaboration with Global Kids, Inc.
AFF contributes to many cross-cultural projects and has become a resource for programmers worldwide. The AFF Network reflects this unique perspective on the film industry. AFF has been to Burkina Faso to scout FESPACO since 1993. In the mid-1990s the Bob Marley Foundation hosted the African Film Festival at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1996, AFF curated the film program of Africa: Art of a Continent, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and, in 1997, went on to co-curate the African and African Diaspora Film Series for the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale. Recently, AFF partnered with the Celebration of African Heritage to co-curate a pan-African film festival in Brazil as well as Africala in Mexico. As our reputation for quality programming grows, so does the community of individuals and organizations committed to cultural understanding. In 2007 AFF met with partners in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Sudan, Brazil, St. Kitts and Nevins, as well as organizers from North Africa and the Middle East. In 2010, AFF curated a program of shorts in St. Petersburg, Russia, in collaboration with Message to Man Festival and with Imagem dos Povos in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In September 2011, AFF forged an ongoing partnership with Lights, Camera, AFRICA!!! Film Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. This festival shares the best and most exciting of African cinema, to stimulate discourse on issues rooted in the African experience.
Sierra Leone Cultural Conservation Program
The Sierra Leone Cultural Conservation Program (CCP) utilizes AFF’s resources to facilitate audiovisual production and exhibition in Sierra Leone. The CCP is a sustainable, ongoing program run by local artists and journalists with a three-year youth audiovisual workshop at its core. The CCP workshop engages a diverse team of young Sierra Leoneans in the documentation of local culture and in the creation of a public space where all Sierra Leoneans can celebrate their common heritage. Instructors guide participants in the production, dissemination, and archiving of media documentary projects. The program engages the greater Sierra Leonean community through limited radio spots, airing excerpts of audio projects; exhibitions at the Sierra Leone National Museum; opportunities for the public to share their own stories through oral histories; screenings of local and other African films; and the establishment of a permanent, publicly-accessible audiovisual library.
AFF brings African films directly to New York neighborhoods with limited cultural resources, taking African cinema out of the art house and into the community. These screening reach many who may be unable to attend our annual Festival due to cost or location.
Community-based program partners have included cultural institutions and city agencies, such as Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Aaron Davis Hall, City College, Ocularis, and the CityParks Foundation, The Trust for Governors Island, Queens Museum of Art, Bronx Museum of Art, Columbia University Institute of African Studies, among others, to bring free film screenings, music and dance, workshops, panels and art shows to the public.