Autumn Highlights

September 28, 2012 – December 31, 2012


Co-presented by African Film Festival, Inc. and Bronx Library Center

Saturday, October 20, 2012, 2:30pm
Bling, Raquel Cepeda, Sierra Leone / USA, 2007, 85 min.

Untold Stories From Africa and The Diaspora

Film screenings followed by discussions and reception

Co-presented by AFF, Doc Watchers, and Caribbean Cultural Center

Monday, October 1 – 7:00PM
In My Genes, Lupita Nyong’o, Kenya, 2009, 78 min

Monday, November 12 – 7:00PM
Roots, Evan Turk, USA, 2011, 4 min.
Based on the history of the African Burial Ground in Lower Manhattan, this animated short explores the ritual of coffins and burial as an unbreakable connection between the Africans brought to America as slaves and those who stayed behind in West Africa.

Twinkl, Gilles Elie-Dit-Cosaque, Martinique, 2008, 51 min.
In the seventies, whilst Martinique was facing social unrest, one man Robert Saint-Rose, a great admirer of Aime Cesaire, planned an incredible project: to be the first Frenchman in space. Thanks to the testimony of politicians, scientists and personalities of this period in time, and, of course, Robert Saint-Rose’s family, “Twinkl”, describes this extraordinary adventure and finally draws the portrait of a man, a dream, a society.

Tuesday, December 4 – 7:00PM
Daughters of the Dust, Julie Dash, USA, 1991, 112 min.

National Traveling Series, Nov 2012 – May 2013

Since 1995, African Film Festival, Inc. has worked to increase access to African cinema by expanding its channels of distribution. In order to make the unique experience of watching African cinema available to a wider audience, AFF programs the annual National Traveling Series that travels to cultural institutions, museums, and universities in ten to thirteen cities in the U.S. including Puerto Rico.

Our 2012-2013 package includes short- and feature-length films with promotional and education materials. To learn more about how your community can host AFF Traveling Series screenings, contact us.

Short Films

Farewell Exile, Lamia Alami, Morocco, 2011, 15min.
In Arabic
In the midst of an underprivileged Moroccan neighborhood, Fatima, 30, is waiting anxiously to join her husband who migrated to France over a year ago as soon as she received the immigration papers. The absence of the husband, the misery that surrounds her, the lack of job and finances, along with the harmful environment that her naïve son, Mohammed, 10, is immersed in gives her very little hope. Will the husband’s letter potentially secure a brighter future for her and her son Mohammed or will she have to make a crucial sacrifice?

Africa Shafted: Under One Roof, Ingrid Martens, South Africa, 2011,55 min.
In English
Filmed in Africa’s tallest residential building located downtown Johannesburg, South Africa, that housed more than 4000 people, this is a serious, poignant, humorous, and uplifting universal documentary. It gives you an honest glimpse at the tragic reality of xenophobia through the eyes of people from every corner of Africa living under one roof. It also conveys a powerful message that through dialogue and understanding, respect starts to take root.

Feature Films

Black Africa White Marble, Clemente Bicocchi, USA/Italy, 2011, 77min.
In English, Italian, and French
In the Republic of Congo, the long-time dictator plans to sweep aside the country’s most revered spiritual leader. The capital Brazzaville is abuzz with rumors of skullduggery. A lavish spectacle, funded by the French multinational TOTAL, is set to betray the population’s ancient traditions and re-write the nation’s history. Defying the regime, one woman comes to King Makoko’s rescue.

Monica Wangu Wamwere: The Unbroken Spirit
Jane Murago – Munene, Kenya, 2010, 71min.
In Kikuyu and English
Monica Wangu Wamwere – The Unbroken Spirit explores the search for justice by a mother for her three sons and forty nine other detainees locked up during the clamour for multiparty democracy in Kenya. It is a story of courage, determination and power for the powerless. Above all, it is the story of a mother’s unconditional love.

How to Steal 2 Million, Charlie Vundla, South Africa, 2011, 85min.
In English and Zulu
While Jack served 5 years in prison for robbery, his friend and partner Twala never got caught and proved treacherous by marrying Jack’s fiancée Kim during his prison term. After being released Jack wants to start a construction business but his loan gets rejected. With a third partner, Olive, Twala suggests a home invasion at his father Julius’ home. When the robbery goes wrong the tension builds towards an explosive and surprising finale. The film is a slick and sexy urban tale set in Johannesburg’s opulent leafy suburbs.

Our Beloved Sudan, Taghreed Elsanhouri, Sudan/ UK, 2011, 92min.
In Arabic and English
Our beloved Sudan takes the historical trajectory of a nation from birth in 1956 to its death or transmutation into two separate states in 2011 and within this structure it interlaces a public and a private story. Inviting key political figures to reflexively engage with the historical trajectory of the film while observing an ordinary mixed race family caught across the divides of a big historical moment as they try to make sense of it and live through it.

Microphone, Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt, 2010, 120min.
In Arabic
Microphone is a sparkling mash-up of shooting styles that tells the story of Khaled, who returns to his native Alexandria after a long stay in the United States and becomes enmeshed in a thriving underground arts scene after he chances upon a cooperative of young musicians. Once more stimulated by the city he had long given up on, Khaled finds things getting complicated when a documentary film crew starts to take an interest in him.

Lights, Camera, Africa!

Co-hosted by The Life House and AFF in Lagos, Nigeria, from September 28 to October 1, 2012.

This year’s Lights, Camera, Africa! Film Festival falls on the long holiday weekend to mark Nigeria’s Independence Day and film picks will revolve around the theme ‘Shine your Eye.’ ‘Shine Your Eye,’ a Nigerian expression urging to look beneath the surface, speaks to the need for active citizens to ask questions, seek answers and possess their space.

This second edition of the Lights, Camera, Africa! Film Festival comes against a backdrop of grassroots movements which spurred seismic and even incremental shifts across the African continent. Over the past year, communities have mobilised, with one ‘Occupy’ movement emboldening the next. In North Africa, a revolution triggered by a fruit seller led to the fall of feared strongmen. The growing sense of urgency has fuelled the courage of ordinary citizens to actively participate in change that proves to be inevitable.

2012 AFF Summer Series


Friday, July 6th – 6:00 pm

LOCATION Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx (161st Street and Grand Concourse)
RAIN VENUE The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse
LIVE PERFORMANCE The Cimarron Project featuring Roman Diaz

Young Rebels
Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, Cuba/USA, 2005, 70 min
Documentary (English and Spanish with English subtitles)
In Havana, Cuba, the spirited beats and rhymes of the hip-hop community are just as much a product of the troubled economy as of their insatiable revolutionary spirit. Young Rebels intimately engages five hip-hop groups and two producers as they negotiate the Havana summer. With unheard of access to some of Cuba’s best musicians, this documentary witnesses the future of Cuban hip-hop in the making and is a look at Cuba through the eyes of its youth. The New York Times called the film “essential viewing for anyone interested in rap music, free speech issues or the youth culture of contemporary Cuba.”

Followed by

Freddy Ilanga: Che’s Swahili Translator
Katrin Hansing, South Africa/Cuba/USA, 2009, 24min
Freddy Ilanga, a fifteen-year old Congolese youth, becomes Che Guevara’s personal Swahili teacher and translator during the seven intense months of Che’s mission to train anti-Mobutu rebels in Congo. This film is about displacement, familial relations, and the high costs of exile.

Co-presented by The Bronx Museum of the Arts


Wednesday, July 18th – 7:30pm

Part of Historic Harlem Parks Coalition’s “Reel Harlem: 11th Annual Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival

LOCATION The Plaza: St. Nicholas Ave. and 135th St.
RAIN VENUE Harlem School of the Arts
LIVE PERFORMANCE DJ Ron Jean-Gilles w/ live drummer

The Harder They Come
Perry Henzell, Jamaica, 1973, 90 min
Reggae superstar Jimmy Cliff is Ivan, a rural Jamaican musician who journeys to the city of Kingston in search of fame and fortune. Pushed to desperate circumstances by shady record producers and corrupt cops, he finally achieves notoriety as an outlaw. Boasting some of the greatest music ever produced in Jamaica, The Harder They Come brought the catchy and subversive rhythms of the rastas to the U.S. in the early ’70s.

Co-presented by Historic Harlem Parks Coalition


Friday, August 3rd – 6:00pm

LOCATION Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
RAIN VENUE Queens Museum of Art
LIVE PERFORMANCE Something Positive Dance & Village Drums of Freedom Afro Caribbean Ensemble

Fire in Babylon
Stevan Riley, UK, 2010, 80min
Fire in Babylon is a remarkable documentary about how the West Indies triumphed over its colonial masters through the achievements of one of the most gifted cricket teams in sporting history. In a turbulent era of apartheid and race riots, the West Indian cricketers struck a defiant blow at the forces of white prejudice worldwide. Their undisciplined skill and fearless spirit, led them to dominate the genteel game at the highest level, replaying it on their own terms.

Co-presented by Queens Museum of Art


Friday, August 3rd- 6:00pm

LOCATION Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx (161st street and Grand concourse)
RAIN VENUE The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse
LIVE PERFORMANCE Francis Akrofi & The Authentic Rhythms Band

Mama Africa
Mika Kaurismäki, Finland/South Africa/Germany, 2011, 90min
An unforgettable portrait of Miriam Makeba, the world-famous South African artist and civil right activist, who devoted her life to promoting peace and justice and fighting racism around the planet. A figurehead of the Black African movement in exile, her music and her defiant spirit incarnated the hopes and fears of Africa through the convulsive 20th century.

Co-presented by The Bronx Museum of the Arts


Every Friday of August

LOCATION Fulton Park, Brooklyn (Stuyvesant St. & Fulton St.)
Fridays, August 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th,31st – 7:30 pm
RAIN DATE Following Saturday Night
LIVE PERFORMANCE Creative Outlet (8/3 and 8/24); Culture Clashers (8/10); Sweetbeats (8/17)

Presented in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA), KIDflix guarantees four evenings of entertaining and educational films for kids and families. Screenings include What’s on Your Plate, 2 nyc girls made this doc about the food being served at their school. Kickoff party with free Brooklyn swirl ice cream at 6:00; Freedom Riders, the story of black and white college kids who risk their lives to fight segregation in the Jim Crow south; The First Grader, the true story of an 84-year old Kenyan freedom fighter who was determined to learn to read; Being Elmo, come meet Kelvin Clash and find out how he became the man behind Elmo; The Wiz, complete with a costume and dance contest! Come as your favorite Wiz character for the costume contest.

Co-presented by Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts

August 3rd

Dirs. Catherine Gund with Sadie Hope-Gund and Safiyah Riddle, USA, 2009, 73min.
The film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates! Come and and see what they found out…

Pre-screening performance by Creative Outlet

August 10th

Stanley Nelson, USA, 2011, 120min.
An inspirational documentary about six months in 1961 that changed America. As segregation was still deeply entrenched in society, an integrated band of 400 college students, decided to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South.

Pre-screening performance by Culture Crashers

August 17th

Justin Chadwick, UK/USA/Kenya, 103min.
In a small, remote Kenyan mountain, Mau Mau, a veteran in his eighties who fought for the liberation of his country, shows up to the primary school, feeling he must have the chance of an education so long denied – even if it means sitting in a classroom alongside six-year-olds!

Pre-screening performance by Sweetbeatz

August 24th

Being Elmo
Constance Marks, USA, 2011, 80min.
The film traces Kevin Clash’s rise from his modest beginnings in Baltimore to his current success as the man behind Elmo.

Pre-screening performance by Creative Outlet

August 31st

– The Wiz Sing and Dance Along
The Wiz
Sidney Lumet, USA, 1978, 134m.
Starring the beloved late Lena Horne as Glenda the Good Witch, the late Michael Jackson as Scarecrow, and the talented Diana Ross as Dorothy, The Wiz is a 1970s urban adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. This film version of the Tony award winning Broadway sensation will have you up out of your sit, ready to “Ease on Down the Road”.

Preceding the film, there will be a SPECIAL MUSICAL TRIBUTE to Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, Whitney Houston, Etta James, and Don Cornelius.


Wednesday, August 8th – 7:30 pm

Part of Historic Harlem Parks Coalition’s “Reel Harlem: 11th Annual Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival
LOCATION The Plaza: St. Nicholas Ave. and 135th St.
RAIN VENUE Harlem School of the Arts

Kinshasa Symphony
Claus Wischmann & Martin Baer, DRC/Germany, 2010, 95 min
Picture 200 musicians playing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in the Congo, as they prepare for their first outdoor performance in the Kinshasa neighborhood of Ngiri-Ngiri. A fascinating look at the lone Congolese symphony orchestra, l’Orchestre Symphonique Kimbanguiste, which has persevered through war and other crises. This powerful film is about the Congo, the people of Kinshasa, and the power of music.

Co-presented by Historic Harlem Parks Coalition


Sunday, August 26th – 12:00pm – 5:00pm

LOCATION Governors Island, Manhattan
RAIN DATE Saturday – September 8th, 12:00pm – 5:00pm

The sights and sounds of Africa are just a seven-minute ferry ride away! Please join African Film Festival, Inc. and the Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation for this exceptional all-day celebration on Governors Island. This event will feature FREE dance classes with world-renowned choreographers and master teachers from Brazil, Senegal, and Guinea. There will also be FREE storytelling, double-dutch and quilting demonstrations and workshops. Short African films by emerging and veteran directors will be shown throughout the day. African food vendors will be on site. A wonderful treat for the entire family!

Governors Island is accessible by ferry. Ferries leave from the Battery Maritime Building, at the corner of South and Whitehall Streets, in Lower Manhattan.

Schedule of Events

Dance Classes
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm Afro-Brazilian Dance
2:00 pm – 3:15 pm Senegalese Sabar Dance
3:30 pm – 4:45 pm Guinean Dance
(Live drumming with World-Renowned Master Drummers)

Needle Arts
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Selected Short Films
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

All events take place at Colonels’ Row on Governors Island

Co-presented by Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation

African Film Festival, Inc. is sponsored by: NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Andy Warhol Foundation and Lambent Foundation.

2013 Summer Series


LOCATION: Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx (161st Street and Grand Concourse)
DATE: Friday, July 5th – 6:00 pm
LIVE PERFORMANCE: The Cimarron Project featuring Roman Diaz + DJ David Medina
FILM: Suite Habana (Fernando Pérez, Cuba, 2003, 80min.)
RAIN VENUE: The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse


LOCATION: The Plaza: St. Nicholas Ave. and 135th St.
DATE: Wednesday, July 17th – 7:30pm
FILM: FELA! In Lagos (Mark Gettes, USA/Nigeria, 2013, 15min.)
FILM: Rasta: A Soul’s Journey (Stuart Samuels, Canada/Jamaica, 2011, 93min.)


LOCATION: Jackie Robinson Park (Bradhurst Ave & Edgecombe Ave, West 145th St.)
DATE: Thursday, July 25th – 7:30pm
LIVE PERFORMANCE: DJ (TBA) (Jazz, Fusion, Soul) / With Live Drumming
FILM: Shape of a Broken Heart (Andrew Dosunmu, Nigeria/Cuba, 2012, 16min.)
FILM: Jazz On A Summer’s Day (Bert Stern, USA, 1960, 85min.)
RAIN VENUE: Jackie Robinson Park Recreation Center (85 Bradhurst Avenue, 146th St.)


LOCATION: 125th St. @ the Hudson River
DATE: Thursday, August 1st – 7:30pm
LIVE PERFORMANCE: Zuma Dance Class with Karen Arceneaux
FILM: Lezare (Zelalem Woldemariam, Ethiopia, 2010, 14min.)
FILM: Jeans and Martò (Claudia Palazzi and Clio Sozzani, Ethiopia/Italy, 2011, 52min.)
RAIN VENUE: Manhattan Pentecostal Church 541 West 125th St.


LOCATION: Joyce Kilmer Park, Bronx (161st street and Grand concourse)
DATE: Friday, August 2nd – 6:00pm
LIVE PERFORMANCE: Speaking In Rhythms’ Project Syncopated New York + K5! Azonto
FILM: Lezare (Zelalem Woldemariam, Ethiopia, 2010, 14min.)
FILM: Soul Boy (Hawa Essuman, Kenya/Germany, 2010, 60min.)
RAIN VENUE: The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse


LOCATION: Governors Island, Manhattan
DATE: Sunday, August 4th – 12:00pm – 5:00pm
RAIN DATE: Sunday – September 8th, 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children

Director: Xoliswa Sithole and Jezza Neuman
Countries: South Africa / Zimbabwe
Year: 2010
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: Shona and English

zims forgotten children

The story of three children trying to survive in Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe 2002

Director: Farai Sevenzo
Country: Zimbabwe
Year: 2002
Running Time: 30 min.
Language: English and Shona


Sevenzo, a journalist and filmmaker, returns to Zimbabwe after a 15-year absence to see how his family responds to and participates in the 2002 elections. Despite global condemnation of Mugabe, he finds no easy consensus amongst ordinary Zimbabweans.

Zan Boko

Director: Gaston Kaboré
Countries: Burkina Faso
Year: 1988
Running Time: 94 min.
Language: Mooré


Zan boko means “place where the placenta is buried” in Moré, one of the principal languages of the filmmaker’s native Burkina Faso, and symbolizes an individual’s connection to the land and to future generations. Kaboré creates a gripping narrative out of the story of two men from very different worlds. They share a common integrity: a peasant farmer who loses his land to a wealthy businessman and a journalist whose uncompromising TV expose of the farmer’s victimization, is censored by a corrupt government. This film is the first to examine the role of mass media in contemporary Africa, Zan Boko is a tribute to the ancestral heritage of agrarian village societies.

Yellow Fever-Taxi Man / Fievre Jaune-Taximan

Director: Jean-Marie Teno
Countries: Cameroon
Year: 1985
Running Time: 30 min.
Language: French


A delightful comic short, Yellow Fever-Taxi Man chronicles the misadventures of Sam, a swaggering cab driver in the Cameroonian capital Yaoundé, who sees himself as quite the ladies’ man. Composed of a series of episodes as seen through the eyes of Sam, this short work is a deceptively simple exploration of urban life.

Yellow Card

Director: John Riber
Countries: Zimbabwe
Year: 2000
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: English


Tiyane is 17. He is the rising star of the city’s soccer team and doing well in high school. His hormones are running riot and everyone wants a piece of him, especially Linda, a long-time friend. Tiyane wants to play the field, but he hadn’t bargained for falling in love with Juliet or becoming a father.

Yandé Codou, The Griot of Senghor / Yandé Codou, La Griotte de Senghor


Director: Angèle Diabang Brener
Countries: Senegal
Year: 2008
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: Wolof / Sérère / French


Yandé Codou Sène (80 years old) is one of the last great singers of polyphonic Sérère poetry. This film is an intimate look at a diva who has lived through the history of Senegal at the side of one of its greatest near-mythical figures, President-poet Léopold Sédar Senghor.


Director: Idrissa Ouedraogo
Countries: Burkina Faso
Year: 1989
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: Mooré


Yaaba unfolds in the spectacular landscapes of rural Burkina Faso in a mythical time when peasant life was still unspoiled by colonialism. It is the story of a friendship between Bila, Nopoko and an old woman shunned as a witch by the rest of the community. Unafraid of her, twelve-year old Bila calls her “Yaaba” (grandmother) and learns the value of intolerance and his own worth as a human being. Ouedraogo, who shot the film in his own village, said that it was “based on tales of my childhood and on that kind of bedtime storytelling we hear just before falling asleep.” Yaaba’s strikingly beautiful images, haunting rhythm and subtle interactions, bring back the enchantment generated by Souleymane Cisse’s Yeelen and confirm Ouedraogo as a major voice in the new African cinema.

Xica da Silva

Director: Carlos Diegues
Countries: Brazil
Year: 1976
Running Time: 107 min.
Language: Portuguese


The story of legendary slave, Xica da Silva, who parlays a unique sexual talent into a rise to power that elevates her into the unofficial Empress of Brazil.

Wrestling Grounds / L’Appel des Arènes

Director: Cheikh Ndiaye
Countries: Senegal
Year: 2005
Running Time: 105 min.
Language: Wolof and French


When 17-year-old Nalla joins a champion wrestling team, he learns that wrestling is about more than muscles, money and ladies. Wrestling Grounds twists the familiar images of Africa, cutting from nightclubs to ancestral ceremonies to streets where boomboxes play and athletes in traditional dress and sneakers dance their way to victory.

The Wound / La Blessure

Director: Nicolas Klotz
Countries: France
Year: 2005
Running Time: 162 min.
Language: French and English

la blessure

The Wound is the story of Blandine, an African woman who experiences prejudice and brutality at the hands of the state when she attempts to emigrate to France. A poetic, poignant and beautifully composed work, The Wound is a convincing portrait of the injustices black immigrants face as they seek homes in the West.

Woubi Chéri

Director: Philip Brooks and Laurent Bocahut
Countries: Ivory Coast / France
Year: 1998
Running Time: 62 min.
Language: French


Woubi Chéri is a 1998 French/Ivorian documentary that shows a few days in the life of various members of the gay and transgender community in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. It is one of a very few films from Africa to deal with LGBT issues.

The Woman Alone / La Femme Seule

Director: Brahim Fritah
Countries: Togo / France
Year: 2004
Running Time: 23 min.
Language: French

la femme seule

The Woman Alone is based on the story of Akosse Legba, a young Togolese woman who has been a victim of modern slavery in France. The film centers on her memories from her childhood in Togo and her arrival in France. Through her memories we discover the path of someone who always considered herself a woman alone.

Within a Shadow Lies What Will Fall

Director: Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter
Countries: USA / Kenya
Year: 2003

within a shaow

Within a Shadow Lies What Will Fall is a two-channel video installation in which Ingrid Mwangi and Robert Hutter engage in a dialogue about cultural identity, place and contextual exchange. While traveling in Kenya, the artists film one another as they cut their hair. Projected side-by side, the artists present the hair cutting process as a symbolic act of transformation.

The Widow’s Inheritance / A Herança da Viúva

Director: Sol de Carvalho
Countries: Mozambique
Year: 1997
Running Time: 54 min.
Language: Portuguese

The true story of a widow begins after her husband dies; her neighborhood says she is the murderer. This film is about how she survives.

Whole – A Trinity of Being

Director: Shelley Barry
Countries: South Africa
Year: 2004
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: English

whole trinity of being

Three experimental shorts which deal with sexuality, visibility, and voice from the perspective of a wheelchair user who turns the camera on herself to celebrate love and survival.

White Handkerchief

Director: Tunde Kelani
Countries: Nigeria
Year: 1998
Running Time: 17 min.
Language: English and Yoruba


Odejimi is marrying his childhood love Awero. On their wedding night, Odejimi has a white handkerchief that has to be stained by the virginal blood of Awero. When no blood is produced, the villages of the two lovers are at the brink of war.