Also Known As: For Today
Director: Zelalem Woldemariam
Country: Ethiopia
Year: 2009
Running Time: 15 min.
Language: Amharic

Lezare is a revealing and touching story about a homeless boy in a small village in southern Ethiopia, using beautiful visuals to deliver a powerful message about global warming and shortsightedness.

A History of Independence

Also Known As: Il était une fois l’indépendance / Nziri Nin Kera Yeremahoronya Waati Ye
Director: Daouda Coulibaly
Countries: Mali / Senegal
Year: 2009
Running Time: 21 min.
Language: Bambara

history of independence

Following an African cinematic trend of retelling traditional oral stories through cinema, this film depicts the life of newlyweds Siré and Nama. Nama decides to make his home in a cave, where he will lead a hermit’s life and devote himself to God. One day, God sends an angel to Nama to thank him for being so devoted.

Virgin Margarida

Also Known As: Virgem Margarida
Director: Licínio Azevedo
Countries: France / Mozambique / Portugal
Year: 2012
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: French / Portuguese

Veteran filmmaker Licínio Azevedo draws on the stories of real women who endured the Mozambican “re-education camps” in this dramatic and inspiring elegy to the insurgent spirit of women across nations, histories and cultures.


Director: Moussa Touré
Countries: France / Germany / Senegal
Year: 1997
Running Time: 90 min.
Languages: French / Wolof

TGV is an express bus service between Dakar, Senegal, and Conakry, Guinea, operated by the enterprising Rambo and his assistant, Dembo. Before setting off, Rambo and his passengers are warned of the danger that lies ahead on their route. The Bassari are carrying out a revolt at the Guinea border, leading to an exodus of refugees from their villages. On hearing the news, only a dozen or so passengers decide to make the risky trip. During the arduous journey, each passenger’s motivation for making the trip is slowly revealed.


Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Countries: France / Mauritania / Russia
Year: 1993
Running Time: 37 min.
Language: Russian


Idrissa leaves the university zone for a few hours to bid farewell to his Muscovite girlfriend Ira. Paralyzed with fear and hidden in the shadows, this doomed relationship between a black man and a white woman in contemporary Russia acts as a metaphor for the sense of exclusion and misunderstanding at the heart of the outsider experience.

Life on Earth

Also Known As: La Vie sur Terre
Director: Abderrahmane Sissako
Countries: France / Mali / Mauritania
Year: 1998
Running Time: 61 min.
Languages: Bambara / French

On New Year’s Eve in the year 2000, Sissako returns to Sokolo, his father’s village in Mali. The echo of the celebrations for the end of the century arrives via the radio, which, together with the telephone, is the only opening on the outside world. Sissako cycles around the alleyways, the squares, and into the fields where he comes across a young girl who is also passing through; a subtle playful relationship grows between them. Meanwhile, in the village, life goes on peacefully and unchanged as a new millennium arrives.


Director: Ousmane Sembène
Country: Senegal
Year: 1992
Running Time: 115 min.
Languages: French / Wolof

On the morning of the funeral of political activist, Guelwaar, his friends and family discover that his body has disappeared from the morgue. Being that he died violently, theories on the whereabouts of the corpse multiply wildly before the truth is revealed. The remains of this baptized Catholic have been mistakenly buried in a Muslim cemetery. The confusion that ensues due to this bureaucratic mix-up and the amazing attempts to rectify this error add up to a razor sharp critique of contemporary politics and the fractious religious dogma that still exists in many places, including the sahel, a drought stricken belt in Senegal. The Sahel, being the area in which the film takes place. Inspired by a true story, Sembène uses the death of this champion of an independent, unified Africa to symbolize the petty jealousies and deeply rooted conflicts that are the enemies of that cause.

Borom Sarret

Director: Ousmane Sembène
Country: Senegal
Year: 1963
Running Time: 18 min.
Language: French

The genesis of Black African cinema can be traced to this short, stark masterpiece that chronicles a day in the life of a Dakar cart-driver. The frustrating day of this “borom sarret” (a Wolof expression for cart-driver) leaves him cheated out of his wages and deprived of his cart. In this striking evocative film with urban details, Sembène conveys the toll of natural loss, poverty, and the stain of European colonization on Africa.

2014 NY African Film Festival | Venues

Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave, Upper Level.
Tickets: General Admission $13, Students and Seniors (62+) $9, FSLC members, $8. Tickets for the Opening Night Reception and film on April 3 are $50.00. Information about tickets for the April 5 Festival Celebration Party are available upon request at 212-352-1720. For Walter Reade Theater tickets: call (212) 875-5601 or visit www.filmlinc.com or the Walter Reade Theater Box Office, Box Office Hours: Mon-Fri opens at 12:30pm, Sat/Sun opens one half hour before the first screening. Closes everyday 15 minutes after the start of the last show. Directions: 1 train to 66th Street. Bus: M5, M7, M10, M11, M66 and M104.

BAMcinématek @ BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn.
Tickets: $12 per screening for adults; $9 for seniors 65 and over, children under twelve, and students 25 and under with valid I.D. Mon.-Thur., except holidays; $7 for BAM Cinema Club members.
Buy online: BAM.org/BAMcinematek, by phone at 718-777-FILM (theater ID #545) or at the BAM Rose box office. Tickets are also available through www.movietickets.com. Directions: take the C train to Lafayette; the N, R, D or M train to Pacific; the #2, #3, #5 train to Nevins; or the G train to Fulton.

343 Lenox Avenue, between 127th & 128th Streets.
Suggested donation: $10.
Buy online: mayslesInstitute.org/cinema. Program info at DocWatchers.com.
Directions: Take #2 or #3 train to 125th Street.

Teachers College, 525 West 120th Street (on 120th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.). Room TBA. No admission fee.
Directions: Take #1 train to 116th.  Columbia University, 606 West 122nd Street, New York, NY 10027 (between Broadway and Claremont). No admission fee.
Directions: Take #1 train to 116th or 125th Street.


Director: Frances Bodomo
Country: USA
Year: 2012
Running Time: 12 min.
Language: English

Boneshaker follows a Ghanaian immigrant family on a road trip to a Pentecostal church in Louisiana to cure its problem child, played by Beasts of the Southern Wild Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis. As the family journeys to a tent revival at the ends of the levee-less Louisiana delta, they discover the complications of trying to perform a traditional ritual away from home. Boneshaker focuses on the feelings of homelessness, landlessness, and rootlessness that accompany immigration.

Dolce Vita Africana

Director: Cosima Spender
Countries: France / Mali / UK
Year: 2007
Running Time: 69 min.
Languages: Bambara / French

A documentary about internationally renowned Malian photographer Malick Sidibé, whose iconic images of his country from the late 1950s through to the 70s captured the carefree spirit of his generation asserting their freedom after independence up until an Islamic coup ushered in years of military dictatorship. The filmmaker travels to Malick Sidibé’s studio in Bamako to witness him at work and meet many of the subjects of his earlier photographs, whose personal stories also tell the history of Mali. Embellished with a fantastic soundtrack that features the best in Malian music.

Ousmane Sembène, Tout à la Fois

Also Known As: Ousmane Sembène, All At Once
Director: Christine Delorme
Country: France
Year: 2011
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: French

allatonceEdited in 2011 from super-8 films, the footage for this documentary was shot in 1992. At the time, Ousmane Sembène was just finishing Guelwaar, his comedy based on a true story concerning the conflict between the Muslim and Christian communities in Senegal. Pandemonium breaks out when the corpse of a Catholic villager, nicknamed “Guelwaar” or “Noble One”, is mistakenly buried in a Muslim cemetery.

Christine Delorme

Biography: Christine Delorme is a screenwriter, filmmaker, and producer for the French radio station, France Culture. Her work interrogates different worlds, with no apparent ties, that she succeeds in bringing together to reveal unexpected connections. Her meeting with Ousmane Sembène at FESPACO (Ougagadougou) in 1985 resulted in her film, Ousmane Sembène, tout à la fois; widely shown in Europe, the documentary is one of the rare instances where the African master allowed himself to be captured on film. Other works include a doctorate at Paris 8 University on French producer, Humbert Balsan.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Ousmane Sembène, tout à la fois (2013).

Ousmane Sembène, tout à la fois (2011).

Jeans and Martò

Directors: Claudia Palazzi and Clio Sozzani
Countries: Ethiopia / Italy
Year: 2011
Running Time: 52 min.
Languages: Amharic / Afaan Oromo

The story of a young Ethiopian pastoralist who escapes his arranged marriage to fulfill a dream. An apparently normal student who is willing to reach a balance between his tribe’s customs and the dream of becoming an educated man. A life straddled between tradition and modernity, and a commitment to discover the good in both.

Clio Sozzani

Biography: Clio Sozzani is an anthropologist and a filmmaker. She worked in Ethiopia and Senegal for International Development Cooperation Projects. For the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs she managed a program of Behavioural Change Communication, directing spots and awareness-raising videos. She has been working as a film director for different production companies and non-profit organizations. Together with Claudia Palazzi, she wrote the script of a 52 minutes film on women’s entrepreneurship, winner of the funding of the Italian Film Commission; she also directed two 26 minutes social documentaries that were selected in Leipzig, Milan, Rome, Venice Film Festivals. In addition, she has developed a web documentary for Slow Food International.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Jeans and Martò (2013 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani).

In Benito’s Land. Predappio [Nella Terra di Benito. Predappio] (2005 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani);
Memories of Crespi d’Adda [Memorie di Crespi d’Adda. Passato riemerso] (2005 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani);
Moto for Peace (2006);
Brick Making and Food Conservation in Kenya (2006);
Ma la Femmina… (2006);
Kenyan Acrobats (2007);
Toward a Better Life. The stories of Mantgebush and Ashenafi (2008);
Development Experience Association (2009);
CinemArena in Ethiopia (2010);
Come2Play in Ethiopia (2010);
CinemArena in Senegal (2010);
Jeans and Martò (2011 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani).

Claudia Palazzi

Biography: Claudia Palazzi is a sociologist and a filmmaker. In 2005 she directed two documentaries (In Benito’s Land. Predappio and Memories of Crespi d’Adda), selected in various international festivals. Since 2006, she has supervised the scriptwriting of historical and news independent documentaries. Her work in the film industry also includes collaborations with Lucky Red Production Company and Janus International. In 2008 she started working with major Italian Production Companies and TV Channels (Endemol S.R.L., Zodiak Active, Current, Cult, Italia 1, Fox Channels and Sky 1) as an assistant director on several documentary series and fictional documentaries focused on modern society and culture: Erotika Italiana, Business of Sex, Addiction, Gossip History, Italian Doomsday Preppers, etc. In 2011 she co-directed her first full-length documentary Jeans and Martò with Clio Sozzani.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Jeans and Martò (2013 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani).

In Benito’s Land. Predappio [Nella Terra di Benito. Predappio] (2005 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani);
Memories of Crespi d’Adda [Memorie di Crespi d’Adda. Passato riemerso] (2005 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani);
Jeans and Martò (2011 – Claudia Palazzi, Clio Sozzani).

Hugo Berkeley

Biography: Hugo Berkeley is a half-British, half-American film director based in London. His directing credits include: Land Rush, a film for the Why Poverty? series about industrial vs. small-scale farming in Africa; The Market Maker for PBS/WNET about agricultural development in Ethiopia; and A Normal Life, winner of the Tribeca Best Documentary award, about a group of young friends in post-war Kosovo. He co-produced the theatrical documentary Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love. Hugo Berkeley also works as a producer, director, and editor of television documentaries for channels including CNN, MTV, VH1, and Bravo. Passionate about harnessing media for social change, his work has been supported by Ford, MacArthur and Rockefeller Brothers Foundations and he has been recognized with a UN appointment.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Land Rush (2013 – Hugo Berkeley, Osvalde Lewat).

A Normal Life (2003 – Hugo Berkeley, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi);
Wide Angle – The Market Maker (2009);
Land Rush (2012 – Hugo Berkeley, Osvalde Lewat).

Land Rush

Directors: Hugo Berkeley and Osvalde Lewat
Countries: Cameroon / Mali / UK / USA
Year: 2012
Running Time: 58 min.
Languages: Bambara / English / French

For 20 years, the hunger crisis seemed to be under control. But by 2008, prices had increased, and the African continent had become a playground for foreign investors. This investigative documentary focuses on Sosumar, a huge project that has the Malian government collaborating with a large group of foreign investors.

Osvalde Lewat

Biography: Osvalde Lewat is an award-winning filmmaker who began making documentaries after several years as a journalist. She produced her first documentary, Upsa Yimoowin (The Pipe of Hope) in Toronto in 2000. That film denounces the sidelining of Native Americans. With Au-delà de la peine, Lewat tells the story of a prisoner who, after being sentenced to four years in jail for a minor offense, is imprisoned for thirty-three years. In her 2009 film, Black Business, Lewat addresses the question posed by Nigerian Nobel Laureate author Wole Soyinka: “They say Africans are not ready for democracy. So I wonder: have they ever been ready for dictatorship?” Lewat studied at Sciences Po in Paris.

Through African Eyes – Conversations with the Directors – Volume 2, BONETTI Mahen and SEAG Morgan (Editors), 2010, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.120)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Forgotten Man [Au-delà de la peine] (2007);
A Love during the War (2007);
Black Business [Une affaire de nègres] (2008);
Sderot, Last Exit (2012);
Land Rush (2013 – Hugo Berkeley, Osvalde Lewat).

Upsa Yimoowin [The Pipe of Hope] (2000);
Itilga [The Destinies] (2001 – Osvalde Lewat, Cyrille Masso);
140, rue du Bac (2001);
The Forgotten Man [Au-delà de la peine] (2003);
A Love during the War (2005);
Les Disparus de Douala (2006);
Black Business [Une affaire de nègres] (2007);
Sderot, Last Exit (2011);
Land Rush (2012 – Hugo Berkeley, Osvalde Lewat).


Director: Chinonye Chukwu
Countries: Nigeria / USA
Year: 2012
Running Time: 75 min.
Language: English

In this gorgeous, knowing debut film, Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggles to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown.