Chinonye Chukwu

Biography: Chinonye Chukwu is a Nigerian-born, Alaskan-raised screenwriter, producer and director. A recipient of the prestigious Princess Grace Award, Chinonye’s short, The Dance Lesson, premiered at the Ritz Theater of Philadelphia and was later acquired by MindTV for regional network distribution. The film was also a Regional Finalist for the 2010 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Student Academy Awards and an Honorary Mention at the Los Angeles International Film Festival. Chinonye’s other work include Igbo Kwenu!, a recipient of the PIFVA Subsidy Grant from the independent film community and both the “Best Motion Picture Award” and “Best Screenplay Award” at the 2009 Diamond Screen Festival. In 2012 she completed her first feature narrative, Alaskaland, the story of an estranged Nigerian-American brother and sister who reunite in their Alaskan hometown.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Alaskaland (2013).

Igbo Kwenu! (2009);
The Dance Lesson (2010);
Bottom (2012);
Alaskaland (2012).

Stones in the Sun

Director: Patricia Benoit
Countries: Haiti / USA
Year: 2012
Running Time: 95 min.
Languages: Creole / English / French / Haitian

In the midst of increasing political violence in their homeland, the lives of three pairs of Haitian refugees intersect in 1980s New York City. They must confront the disturbing truth of their pasts, as the history of their interlocked lives is slowly revealed.

Patricia Benoit

Biography: Patricia Benoit was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and grew up in Queens, New York. Her family was forced into exile under the Duvalier dictatorship and moved to France before moving to the United States. Benoit’s documentary Courage and Pain (produced by Jonathan Demme), about victims of political torture in Haiti, was shown at the Walter Reade Theater in New York and the London Film Festival. Tonbe/Leve, her award-winning documentary about the struggle for democracy in Haiti after the end of the Duvaliers’ 30-year rule, was an official selection of the New York Film Festival, The Havana Film Festival, The New York Human Rights Film Festival, and the San Juan Film Festival. Benoit’s short story, “The Red Dress” was included in the anthology, The Butterfly’s Way, edited by Edwidge Danticat.  With Stones in the Sun, Benoit was a fellow at the 2007 Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs, and winner of the first Time Warner Storytelling award in 2007.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Stones in the Sun (2013).

No Time to Lose (1988);
Courage and Pain (1996);
Subway Stories: Tales from the Underground – Fern’s Heart of Darkness (1997);
Stones in the Sun (2012).

Death For Sale

Also Known As: Baya Al Maut / Mort à vendre
Director: Faouzi Bensaïdi
Countries: Belgium / France / Germany / Morocco / United Arab Emirates
Year: 2011
Running Time: 117 min.
Language: Arabic

Tetouan, a Moroccan port city permanently under a low, heavy sky. Three friends, small time crooks, decide to rob the town’s biggest jewelry store to escape from a hopeless future. Malik is out of a job and madly in love with Dounia, a prostitute at the La Passarella nightclub. He’s in on the heist to rescue her and create a new life for them. Allal is the tough guy who can’t understand how Malik has fallen for a whore. He needs cash so he can be a player in the local drug trade and move up from snatching purses. Soufiane is the youngest of the three, drifting out of school and looking for direction. After his world is turned upside down, he has his own reasons for wanting to rob the Christian jewelry storeowner. But when the plan falls apart, the three friends must face their own, separate destinies, alone.

Faouzi Bensaïdi

Biography: After working in theater as a director and an actor, Faouzi Bensaïdi directed his first short film The Cliff (1997), which won 23 prizes in festivals in France and abroad. In 1999, he co-wrote the script for André Téchiné’s Far. In 2000, he directed two short films: The Wall, which won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival and The Rain Line, which won a prize at the Venice Film Festival. In 2003, his first feature film A Thousand Months, won two prizes in Cannes and was distributed in over a dozen countries. In 2006, his second feature WWW: What a Wonderful World was selected for Venice Days in the Venice Film Festival and was distributed in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Norway, Germany, Denmark… In 2011, Bensaïdi made Death for Sale which once again was selected and won many prizes in numerous film festivals around the globe.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Death for Sale [Baya Al Maut / Mort à vendre] (2013).

La Falaise [The Cliff] (1997);
Le Mur [The Wall] (2000);
Trajets [The Rain Line] (2000);
Mille mois [A Thousand Months] (2003);
WWW: What a Wonderful World (2006);
Death for Sale [Baya Al Maut / Mort à vendre] (2011).

Nairobi Half Life

Director: David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga
Countries: Germany / Kenya
Year: 2012
Running Time: 96 min.
Language: Swahili

Nairobi half life1

A young aspiring actor from upcountry Kenya dreams of becoming successful in the big city. In pursuit of this and to the chagrin of his brother and parents, he makes his way to Nairobi: the city of opportunity. He quickly understands why Nairobi is nicknamed Nairobbery as he is robbed of all his money and belongings and left alone in a city where he doesn’t know a soul. Luck, or the lack of it, brings him face to face with two groups of downtown crooks and he forms a friendship with a young small time gang leader who takes him in. He is quickly drawn into a new world of theft and violence, even as he still tries to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Keeping the two worlds seperate proves to be a contest for him as he struggles to survive in this unknown world called Nairobi.

Tosh Gitonga

Also Known As: David Tosh Gitonga / Tosh

Biography: David Tosh Gitonga, popularly known as Tosh, was born in a small town named Nanyuki in the East of Kenya on September 20th, 1981. He studied at the Kenya Institute of Marketing, where he graduated in 2003 with a Diploma in Marketing. During his studies he started an internship at a production company called Baraka Films. There he was introduced to the world of film and worked on his first feature film Dangerous Affair in 2002 as a production assistant. Tosh continued to work on several other productions as an assistant director: Afrika, mon amour (2006), Malooned (2007), Garden of Eden (2007), The First Grader (2009). In 2010 he enrolled in the One Fine Day Film Workshop, where he was selected to direct his first feature film Nairobi Half Life under the supervision of Tom Tykwer.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Nairobi Half Life (2013).

Nairobi Half Life (2012).

Lonesome Solo

Biography: Born in 1986 in Abidjan, Souleymane Bamba aka Lonesome Solo grew up in the poor suburbs of the Ivorian capital. He describes himself as a child from the “ghetto”. A real movie fan, he took correspondence courses and began making movies with friends. He also worked as an assistant director. He made his first feature film, Burn It Up Djassa, in 2012.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Burn It Up Djassa [Le Djassa a pris feu] (2013).

Burn It Up Djassa [Le Djassa a pris feu] (2012).

Moussa Touré

Biography: Moussa Touré was born in 1958 in Dakar, Senegal. He entered the film industry as an electrician, then became assistant director and finally directed his own short, Baram, in 1987. His first feature, Toubab Bi, made in 1991, was honored with awards at numerous film festivals. In 1997 he directs TGV which is the real popular success in Africa and wins the Special Jury Prize at the Namur Festival and the Audience Award at the 1998 Mannheim Festival. An actor, a technician and a director at the same time, Moussa Touré played in, and directed many films, taking all genres together. He is heading his own production company, Les Films du crocodile in Dakar. The Senegalese filmmaker has also initiated the Moussa Invite festival in Rufisque in Dakar, which promotes African documentaries directed by Africans. Moussa Touré was the President of the Documentary Film Jury at FESPACO 2011.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Toubab Bi (1993);
TGV (2000, 2013, 2016)

Histoire oubliée, soldats noirs (1985 – Eric Deroo, Moussa Touré);
Baram (1987);
Toubab Bi (1991);
Les Tirailleurs sénégalais (1992);
TGV (1997);
Nous sommes nombreuses [Toza é bélé] (2003);
Poussières de ville (2004);
5×5 (2005);
Nanga def (2005);
Nawaari (2005);
Nosaltres (2006);
Les Techniciens, nos cousins (2009);
Xali Beut les yeux grand ouverts (2009);
The Pirogue (2012).

Toussaint Louverture

Director: Philippe Niang
Country: France / Haiti
Year: 2012
Running Time: 180 min.
Language: French

At the age of eight, Toussaint Louverture is marked forever when he sees his father, an old slave, judged unproductive and thrown into the harbor. As an adult and a free man, Louverture leads the slave revolt that results in the independence of Haiti.

Philippe Niang

Biography: After studying in Nice, France, and in Paris at the prestigious IDHEC (High Cinematographic Studies Institute), Philippe Niang became an assistant for television. Thereafter, he directed many documentaries, and then his first features, being also the screenwriter for TV programs including Mammy Mamours, shot in Senegal, and Gaffe Loulou !, for which he won the Golden Angel award at the International Film Festival of Nice. As a director and screenwriter, Philippe Niang’s efforts include directing French actor Guy Marchand in an episode from the TV series Nestor Burma, creating the famous TV series Josephine, the Guardian Angel, writing A Black Baby in a White Cradle (selected in the TV Festival of Luchon) as well as The Big Brothers, among many others. Another landmark in Philippe Niang’s career was his meeting the two producers of Eloa Prod, France Zobda and Jean-Lou Monthieux, with whom he shares many convictions; for them, he wrote and directed Prohibited Love (selected in the FESPACO – Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso; in the African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York; and in the Vues d’Afrique film festival in Montreal) and Toussaint Louverture, which was selected in the French Festival of Luchon, the New York African Film Festival, the Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival, and which received awards at the Vues d’Afrique film festival in Montreal and at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria…

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Toussaint Louverture (2013).

Un privé au soleil (1989-1990);
Lava Story (1992);
Mammy Mamours (1992);
Miracle à l’Eldorado (1997);
Nestor Burma (1998);
Gaffe Loulou ! (1999);
Le Crocodile (2000);
Ric Hochet (2000);
Le Fantôme du lac (2007);
Les Amants de l’ombre (2009);
Toussaint Louverture (2012).

Abderrahmane Sissako

Biography: Abderrahmane Sissako was born in Kiffa, Mauritania, in 1961 and raised in Mali, his father’s homeland. When he returned to Mauritania in 1980, the emotional and financial difficulties of adjustment made him turn to literature and film. A study grant allowed him to attend the Institute of the University of Moscow. Le Jeu (1989), first presented as a graduation assignment, won the prize for best short at the Giornate del Cinema Africano of Perugia in 1991. In 1993, October was shown at Locarno and won prizes the world over. His film Waiting for Happiness was screened at Cannes 2002 and was winner of the FIPRESCI award for best film in the Un certain regard section. It was also shown at the New York Film Festival in 2002 and won the Grand Prize at FESPACO in 2003. The overtly political Bamako (2006) represents a move away from autobiography but the explicit subject of Bamako had been the implicit themes of his other films: the legacy of colonialism and the lopsided relationship between the first and third worlds.

Sissako is, along with Ousmane Sembène, Souleymane Cissé, Idrissa Ouedraogo and Djibril Diop Mambety, one of the few filmmakers from Sub-Saharan Africa to reach a measure of international influence. His 2014 film Timbuktu was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or in the main competition section at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, garnered a 2015 Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Film, and swept the 2015 Cesar Awards in France winning seven awards, including Best Director and Best Film.

Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.36

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Le Jeu (2003);
October (1994, 1997, 2003, 2013);
Africa DreamingSabriya [The Black and the White] (1998);
Rostov-Luanda (1998);
Life on Earth [La Vie sur Terre] (2013);
Heremakono [Waiting for Happiness] (2003);
Bamako (2007)
Timbuktu (2015).

Le Jeu (1989);
October (1993);
Molom, conte de Mongolie (1994);
Le Chameau et les Bâtons flottants (1994);
Le Passant (1995);
Africa DreamingSabriya [The Black and the White] (1997);
Rostov-Luanda (1997);
Life on Earth [La Vie sur Terre] (1998);
Heremakono [Waiting for Happiness] (2002);
Bamako (2006);
8 – Tiya’s Dream (2008);
Stories on Human Rights – Dignity (2008);
L’Afrique vue par… [Africa Seen by…] – Une femme fâchée (2009);
Je vous souhaite la pluie (2010);
Timbuktu (2014).

Safi Faye

Biography: Safi Faye was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1943. She was a school teacher for six years before beginning her career in film, as an actress in Jean Rouch’s Petit à petit in 1971. Subsequently, Faye studied both ethnology and film at the Louis Lumière National Cinema School. There she made her first short film, La Passante, in 1972, and in 1975 she became the first sub-Saharan African woman to direct a feature film: Kaddu Beykat (Letter from My Village). Faye has directed many feature films, and today is recognized as one of Sub-Saharan Africa’s most prominent directors. Her 1996 film Mossane received the Un certain regard award at Cannes.

(Source: Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.18)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Letter from my Village [Kaddu Beykat] (1993, 2000);
Mossane (1998, 2000, 2015).

The Passerby [La Passante] (1972);
Revenge (1973);
Letter from my Village [Kaddu Beykat] (1975);
The Harvest Is In [Göob Na Nu] (1979);
Come and Work [Fad’ Jal] (1979);
Three Years and Five Months (1979);
I, Your Mother [Man Sa Yaay] (1980);
As Women See It? (1980);
Souls under the Sun (1981);
Selbé: One among Many (1982);
Ambassades nourricières (1984);
Elsie Haas, Haitian Woman Painter and Filmmaker (1985);
Black Roots (1985);
Tesito (1989);
Mossane (1996).

Ismail Farouk

Biography: Ismail Farouk is an artist and urban researcher living and working in Cape Town. He holds the position of Researcher at the African Centre for Cities, where he convenes the Central Citylab project and is responsible for the urban culture portfolio. In his artistic practice, he focuses on developing creative responses to racial, social, political and economic justice. His work has appeared in several exhibitions: Afropolis (Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum, Cologne, 2010); Urban Concerns; ZA: Young Art from South Africa (Palazzo delle Papesse, Sienna, Italy, 2008); Apartheid: The South African Mirror (CCCB, Barcelona, 2007). In 2008, he was a fellow at the MAK Centre for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles; this residency gave rise to the exhibit Canceled without Prejudice (2008-2009). Ismail Farouk was the first recipient of the Sylt Quelle Cultural Award for Southern Africa (2008), presented by the Goethe Institut, South Africa.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
God’s Land (2010).

Morris Isaacson High School Route (2006);
Johannesburg Time Lapse – Jack Mincer Taxi Rank (2006);
JHB626GP (2006);
We Cannot Continue to Die like This (2007);
Soweto Uprisings: Vuwani Secondary oSchool (Chiawelo) (2007);
Rock Sale (2007);
Performance 2 (Passage) – Public Intervention (2007);
Johannesburg Trolley Pusher Protest (2008);
JAG Gates: 15h30 (Urban Concerns) (2008);
Keith Trolleycam 1 (Urban Concerns) (2008);
Keith Trolleycam 2 (Urban Concerns) (2008);
Rites of Fealty / Rites of Passage at the Bag Factory 2008 (2008);
Trolley Pushing and Life in Zim (2009);
First Trolley Road Test (2009);
Stayin Alive in Joburg (2009);
God’s Land (2009);
Binary Existence: Reggie Watts (2010).

Lázaro Faria

Biography: Lázaro Faria started in 1990 at Bahia X Movies, where he produced commercials for all Brazil, political and institutional marketing programmes for television. In the following years, he produced and directed the 16 mm documentary Os Orixás da Bahia, and travelled to India to produce and direct the documentary video Satytananda, made a documentary film about the party Yemanjá, embarked on an expedition through the Amazon and the Western boundaries and made the film Amazônias. His first feature film City of Women (A Cidade das Mulheres) received awards from BNDS and won the Golden Armadillo for best feature film at the XXXII Journey Film of Bahia. In the same year he produced, cinematographed and directed Mandinga em Manhattan, a documentary about capoeira. His films were selected at numerous festivals in Brazil and abroad, as well as at the universities of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Notredame. Faria also created the system GeoVid, a digital tool. In addition, he is president of Casa de Cinema da Bahia, where he produced documentaries and fiction films such as TV documentary Mandinga en Colombia and Connecting South, with the participation of Gilberto Gil.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
City of Women [A Cidade das Mulheres] (1999).

Arembepe (1977);
A Comunidade no Poder (1980);
O Cometa Harley (1981);
Lagrima de Crocodilo (1982);
I Festival de Verão da Bahia (1983);
Minha Vó em Pituaçu (1983);
Ilha de Maré (1988);
Futebol na Praia (1989);
Satytananda (1992);
Som da Rua (1993);
Ópera Cólera (1994);
Yá Omi Karòdó (1996);
O Segredo do Faraó (1998);
Os Orixás da Bahia (1999);
City of Women [A Cidade das Mulheres] (1999);
Amazônias (2000);
Estórias de Jorge (2001);
Pop Zen Lampirônicos (2001);
Raimundo Sodré (2001);
Lua Violada (2002);
O Corneteiro Lopes (2003);
Mandinga em Manhattan (2005);
Seu Mané Quem Quer e o Demo (2006);
A Psicanalise e o Filme (2007);
O Negro e o Cinema (2008);
Mandinga en Colombia (2009);
Palavras de Paz (2009).

Nadia Farès Anliker

Biography: Nadia Farès Anliker is of Egyptian-Swiss origin. She graduated from Cairo University in 1986 and that same year, began to make short films. In 1989, she assisted filmmakers, Kieslowski and Zebrowsky. She received a Master’s degree in film studies from New York University in 1995.

(Source: AFF, Inc.)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Honey and Ashes (1996).

Magic Binoculars (1986);
Letters from New York (1986);
Projections on Sundays (1987);
Semi-Sweet (1987);
Charlotte’s Empire (1988);
1001 American Nights (1988);
Sugarblues (1990);
D’amour et d’eau fraîche (1992);
Made in Love (1993);
Portrait of an HIV Positive Woman (1995);
Lorsque mon heure viendra (1995);
Honey and Ashes (1996);
ID Swiss: Mixed Up (1999);
Festival Stories: Les Saveurs du printemps (2000);
Anomalies passagères (2003);
Expectations (2011).

Kramo-Lanciné Fadika

Biography: Kramo-Lanciné Fadika was born in 1948 in Ivory Coast. He studied at the Nationale Photo-Cinéma de la rue Vaugirard à Paris, and now has credits in directing, scriptwriting, and editing. He directed his first short film, La Fin de la course, in 1974. From 1975 to 1981 he made several television magazine programmes and educational films for the rural world. His first feature, Djéli, conte d’aujourd’hui (Djéli, a Modern Tale) won the Grand Prize at FESPACO in 1981. In 1994, he finished his second feature, Wariko, the Jackpot (Wariko, le gros lot).

– AFF, Inc.,d.ZG4)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Wariko, the Jackpot [Wariko, le gros lot] (1996).

La Fin de la course (1974);
Djéli, conte d’aujourd’hui [Djéli, a Modern Tale] (1981);
Wariko, the Jackpot [Wariko, le gros lot] (1994).

Hawa Essuman

Biography: Hawa Essuman performed in and worked on several theatre plays and a couple of films before she made her way into the world of production and then, eventually behind the camera. Working on TV commercials and documentaries provided her production experience before working as part of the directing team on a local TV drama series, Makutano Junction. In 2008 she wrote and directed her first film Selfish? and then three short films over the next year – The Lift, Cold War and Coming Out. Her film Soul Boy (2010) was screened at over 40 film festivals around the world and won some awards as a result, the dioraphte audience award at the International Film Rotterdam 2010, the Signis Award at the Zanzibar International Film Festival and Best East African Film at Kenya International Film Festival 2010 being among them. Since then she has been exploring music videos and developing a few projects.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Soul Boy (2011).

Selfish? (2008);
The Lift (2008);
Cold War (2008);
Coming Out (2008);
Soul Boy (2010).

Theo Eshetu

Biography: Theo Eshetu was born in London in 1958 and spent part of his childhood in Ethiopia. He received a degree in Communication Design from North East London Polytechnic and has been working as a video artist and photographer in Italy since 1982. He established White Light Productions in 1986, intending to innovate television programming, and has since received several prizes for his work, including the First Prize at the 1993 Berlin Video Festival for Travelling Light. He works with documentary formats, experimental film, video installations, and photography; covering a wide range of subject matter. He seeks to promote a subjective, personal, and art-based approach to a medium that is now associated with mass communication.

– AFF, Inc.
Through African Eyes – Dialogues with the Directors, BONETTI Mahen and REDDY Prerana (Editors), 2003, African Film Festival, Inc. and Printinfo JV LLC, Yerevan, Armenia, p.112)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Blood Is Not Fresh Water (2000);
Brave New World (2003);
Africanized (2003);
Body and Soul V.3 (2006);
Lightning Strikes (2010).

Rites of Passage (1983);
Thunder and Lightning (1983);
Another Time Another Place (1984);
My Better Half (1984);
La Morte in diretta (1984);
Back to Zero (1985);
That’s Life [Questa è vita] (1986);
L’Altro Mondo (1987);
Seshoku (1987);
Nativity (1989);
La Madonna di Theo Eshetu (1990);
Travelling Light (1992);
La Nascita di Dionisio (1994);
One for You, One for Me and One for Raffael (1994);
Mass Memory (1994);
Horses [Cavalli] (1994);
Flying with Birds [Volare con gli uccelli] (1995);
Sogno della città ideale (1995);
Art Is Easy [L’arte è facile] (1996);
Anima e corpo version 1 (1996);
Blood Is Not Fresh Water (1997);
Brave New World (1999);
Ways to a Void (2000);
Africanized (2002);
Body and Soul V.3 (2004);
An Extraordinary Event (2006);
The Return of the Axum Obelisk (2009);
Lightning Strikes (2010);
Veiled Woman on a Beachfront (2011);
The Festival of Sacrifice (2012).