Stevan Riley

Biography: Born in Northern Ireland to a Yugoslav mother and English father, Stevan Riley has lived, worked and travelled in over 50 countries. He set off to Bosnia in 2003 to direct his first documentary, Rave Against the Machine, uncovering a story of musical youth in war-torn Sarajevo. It has since won awards at 9 international festivals. His following featureBlue Blood, premiered at New York’s Tribecca Film Festival and had its theatrical release in May of 2007, receiving fantastic reviews. Blue Blood was nominated for “Best Film” at the prestigious Evening Standard British Film Awards and Stevan was also nominated for “British Breakthrough for Film Making” at the Critics Circle Awards.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Fire in Babylon (2012).

Rave Against the Machine (2002);
Blue Blood (2006);
Fire in Babylon (2010);
Everything or Nothing (2012).

Christopher Changes His Name

Director: Cilia Sawadogo
Countries: Canada
Year: 2000
Running Time: 7 min.
Language: English

Christopher Changes His Name picture

This animated short for children tells the story of Christopher, a little boy who didn’t want to be called Christopher anymore. Such a common name! When Aunty Gail from Trinidad tells him a story about a Tiger, Christopher changes his name to Tiger. But then he finds a better name. When he has trouble cashing a birthday cheque, he realizes maybe he should stick with his original name… or maybe not?

Adama Roamba

Biography: After working on national television in Burkina Faso, Roamba perfected his skills as an assistant to filmmakers such as Raymond Tiendrebeogo, Issa Traore, Dany Kouyate, Gaston and Cabora Issiaka Konate. He made his first documentary in 1994 and his first fiction film, Yango, in 1995. This was followed by a short film trilogy, titled Garba, in 1999.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
On Line Rendez-Vous (2006).

Yango (1995);
Garba (1999);
Mouka (2001);
Source d’histoire (2003);
On Line Rendez-Vous (2004).

Lionel Rogosin

Biography: Lionel Rogosin was born in New York City in 1924, graduated from Yale with a degree in chemical engineering, and spent four years in the Navy during World War II. After a decade in business, he decided to become a filmmaker. His first film, On The Bowery, is a dramatic documentary about homeless men on New York’s Skid Row; it won the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival and brought Rogosin to the forefront of the documentary movement. He followed On The Bowery with Come Back, Africa in 1960 and several other feature-length documentaries.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Come Back, Africa (2000; 2012).

On The Bowery (1957);
Come Back, Africa (1959);
Oysters ‘R’ in Season (1966);
How Do You Like Them Bananas (1966);
Wonderful Times (1966);
Black Roots (1970);
Black Fantasy (1972);
Woodcutters of the Deep South (1973);
Arab Israeli Dialogue (1974).

Nicolas Rossier

Biography: Nicolas Rossier was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. He pursued a career in the financial sector in Europe before relocating to New York City in 1998 to transition into a career in film and journalism. He has studied at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, the School of Visual Arts and the New York Film Academy. He now lives in Brooklyn, New York as a filmmaker and reporter. His work has appeared in venues around the world, aired on many outlets. He took home the Best Documentary prize at the Pan-African Film Festival for Aristide and the Endless Revolution, while American Radical won the Audience Choice award at Chicago Underground Film Festival, the Cinema Politica Audience Award, the Jean Renoir Award for Best Anti- War Film and was named one of the ‘top ten best political documentaries’ by ScreenJunkies.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Aristide and the Endless Revolution (2006).

Life is a Dream: A Street Poet in New York (2000);
Brothers and Others (2003);
Aristide and the Endless Revolution (2005);
American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein (2009);
One Breath: The Story of William Trubridge (2012).

Jean Rouch

Biography: Jean Rouch was a French filmmaker and anthropologist. He is considered to be one of the founders of cinéma-vérité in France. Rouch’s practice as a filmmaker for over sixty years in Africa, was characterized by the idea of shared anthropology. He began his long association with African subjects in 1941 after working as civil engineer supervising a construction project in Niger. When he arrived in  Niamey as a French colonial hydrology engineer, he became interested in Zarma and Songhai ethnology and began to film local people and their rituals. By 1950, Rouch had made the first films set in Niger with au pays des mages noirs (1947), l’initiation à la danse des possédés (1948) and Les magiciens de Wanzarbé (1949), all of which documented the spirit possession rituals of the Songhai, Zarma, and Sorko peoples living along the Niger river. His best known film is Chronique d’un été (1961), which he filmed with sociologist Edgar Morin and in which he portrays the social life of contemporary France. Throughout his career, he used his camera to report on life in Africa. Over the course of five decades, he made almost 120 films. Rouch died in an automobile accident in February 2004.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs: 
Les Maitres Fous [The Mad Masters] (1998).

Au pays des mages noirs [In the Land of the Black Magi] (1947);
Initiation a la danse des possédés [Initiation into Possession Dance] (1949);
La Circoncision [The Circumcision] (1949);
Cimetière dans la falaise (1950);
Bataille sur le grand fleuve [Battle on the Great River] (1951);
Les Fils de l’eau (1953);
Les Maîtres Fous [The Mad Masters] (1954);
Jaguar (1955);
Mammy Water (1955);
Baby Ghana (1957);
Moi, un noir (1958);
La Pyramide humane (1959-1961);
Chronique d’un été (Chronicle of a Summer) (1960);
Gare du nord (1964);
La Chasse au lion à l’arc [The Lion Hunters] (1965);
Sigui année zero (1966);
Les veuves de 15 ans [The 15-Year-Old Widows] (1966);
Sigui: l’enclume de Yougo (1967);
Sigui 1968: Les danseurs de Togo (1968);
Sigui (1969);
La caverne de Bongo (1969);
Petit à petit [Little by Little] (1969);
Sigui 1970: Les clameurs d’Amani (1970);
Sigui 1971: La dune d’Idyeli (1971);
Tourou et Bitti, les tambours d’avant [Tourou and Bitti: The Drums of the Past] (1971);
Sigui 1972: Les pagnes de lame (1972);
Sigui 1973: L’auvent de la circonsion (1973);
Cocorico M. Poulet (1974);
Babatu (1976);
Ciné-portrait de Margaret Mead (1977);
Makwayela (1977);
Bougo, les funérailles du vieil Anaï (1979);
Dionysos (1984);
Liberté, égalité, fraternité et puis après [Freedom, Equality, Fraternity–And Then What?] (1990);
Le rêve plus fort que la mort (2002-Bernard Surge).

The A77A Project – On Presidents and Superheroes


Director: Khaled Hafez
Country: Egypt
Year: 2009
Running Time: 3 min.
Language: English


Every civilization looked for the imaginary super-hero for protection against evil forces, from ancient Anubis to modern Batman. In the fifties and sixties, the voice of president Nasser echoed from the Atlantic ocean to the Persian gulf, was broadcast live, every citizen stopped to listen to the superhero of modern times. Today, with the collapse of the Pan Arab theory and ideology, superheroes of religion took over, with their centuries-old dress codes and primitive behaviour. The 3-minute work probes, ironically, social changes Hafez personally lived through his childhood, adolescence and adulthood in Egypt.


Paulin Soumanou Vieyra

Biography: Paulin Soumanou Vieyra was born in Porto-Novo, Benin in January of 1925, but grew up in Senegal. He was both a director and historian of African cinema. His film Afrique sur Seine is credited as being one of the first francophone African films to ever be released. He later went on to found the “Fédération panafricaine des cinéastes” in 1969. He passed away in November of 1987 at the age of 62.

C’était il y a quatre ans (1954);
Afrique-sur-Seine (1955);
L’Afrique à Moscou (1957);
Le Niger aujourd’hui (1958);
Les présidents Senghor et Modibo Keita (1959);
Avec les Africaines à Vienne (1959);
“Présence Africaine” à Rome  (1959);
Indépendance du Cameroun, Togo, Congo, Madagascar (1960);
Une nation est née (1961);
Lamb (1963);
Voyage du président Senghor en Italie (1963);
Voyage présidentiel en URSS (1963);
Avec l’ensemble national (1964);
Écrit du Caire (1964);
Sindiely (1964);
Voyage du président Senghor au Brésil (1964);
N’diongane (1965);
Le Sénégal au festival national des arts nègres (1966);
Môl (1966);
Au marché (1967);
La bicyclette (1967);
Le gâteau (1967);
Rendez-vous (1967);
Écrit de Dakar (1974);
L’art plastique (1974);
L’habitat rural au Sénégal (1976);
L’habitat urbain au Sénégal (1976);
Birago Diop (1981);
En résidence surveillée, L’envers du décor (1981);
Les oiseaux (1981);
Iba N’diaye (1982).


Bill Guttentag

Biography: Bill Guttentag is a two-time Oscar-winning documentary and feature film writer-producer-director. His films include LIVE!, a dramatic feature he wrote and directed starring Eva Mendes and Andre Braugher (Mosaic Media Group/The Weinstein Company), and Nanking, a documentary feature which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was released last winter by THINKFilm. Nanking won awards at a number of US and international film festivals, was nominated for a Writers Guild award, and short-listed for an Oscar. In 2003 Bill Guttentag won an Oscar for the documentary Twin Towers (Universal). He has also has received a second Oscar, three additional Oscar nominations, a Peabody Award, three Emmy Awards, two additional Emmy nominations, and a Robert Kennedy Journalism Award. Bill Guttentag created and executive produced (with Dick Wolf) the NBC series Crime and Punishment, which ran for three seasons (2002-2004). He has made films for HBO, ABC, CBS, TNT and others, including You Don’t Have to Die ( HBO), for which he also won an Oscar. He completed his first novel, Boulevard, published by Pegasus Books/W.W. Norton in February 2010. Since 2001, he has been teaching a course at Stanford University.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Soundtrack for a Revolution (2014).

Crime & Punishment (2002);
Twin Towers (2003);
Nanking (2007);
Soundtrack for a Revolution (2009).

Dan Sturman

Biography: Dan began his career working under legendary filmmaker Charles Guggenheim, and since then he has gone on to film rock stars, war criminals, Nobel Prize winners, Olympic gold medalists, presidents, and many thousands of ordinary people with interesting stories to tell. Dan’s films include Soundtrack For A Revolution and Nanking, both of which were short–listed for the Academy Award, and the 9/11 documentary Twin Towers, which won an Oscar in 2003. His films have screened at festivals around the world, including Cannes, Sundance, Hong Kong, and Tribeca, and received numerous special screenings, including at the White House and the Museum of Modern Art. Dan’s television projects include NBC’s Law & Order: Crime & Punishment, VH1’s much–loved cult series Behind the Music, and The Hollywood Complex for Showtime. Previously, Dan worked as a journalist for Reuters in London and for ABC News 20/20 in New York. A proud member of the DGA and WGA, Dan’s a magna cum laude Harvard graduate and a former staffer on “The Harvard Lampoon” humor magazine.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Soundtrack for a Revolution (2014).

Crime & Punishment (2002);
Twin Towers (2003);
Nanking (2007);
Soundtrack for a Revolution (2009).

Soundtrack for a Revolution

Director: Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman
Country: USA
Year: 2009
Running Time: 82 min.
Language: English


Soundtrack for a Revolution tells the story of the American civil rights movement through its powerful music -the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.

Farouk Salomão

Biography: Farouk Salomão was a Brazilian director and producer in film and TV, with national recognition. Solomão belonged to the functional framework of Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina and integrated culture television teams at UFSC. Originally from Belo Horizonte, and former employee of TVE River, Farouk worked in Headline Networks and Tupi Bandeirantes of Belo Horizonte, where he began his career. He passed away in October of 2008.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
A Song to Angola / Uma Canção para Angola (2000).

A Song to Angola / Uma Canção para Angola (2000).

Oumarou Ganda

Biography: Ganda was born in Niamey, the capital of Niger, in 1935 and was of Djerma ethnicity. He completed his primary studies in Niamey and at the age of 16 joined the French Far East Expeditionary Corps as a soldier from 1951 to 1955. After spending two years in Asia during the First Indochina War he returned to Niger, where he was unable to find work. He emigrated to Côte d’Ivoire and became a longshoreman in the port of Abidjan. There he met French anthropologist and filmmaker Jean Rouch. Rouch was interested in the Nigerien community in Côte d’Ivoire and hired Ganda as a statistician for his research on immigration.

It was Rouch who introduced Ganda to the cinema. Ganda had a small role in Rouch’s 1957 film Zazouman de Treichville, and the lead role in Moi, un Noir (I, a Negro) in 1958. A few years later he returned to Niamey, where he became involved in the Franco-Nigerien Cultural Center. In the Center’s Culture and Cinema club he met technicians who offered training in directing, camera, and sound, and he became an assistant technician. The club produced several films, and in 1968 organized a screenplay contest, for which Ganda wrote the script of his first film, Cabascabo, based on his experiences in Indochina. He continued making films throughout the 1970s, many of which received international acclaim and were vehicles of social commentary in what was then a single party state. His most famous, Le Wazzou Polygame (1970) won the first FESPACO Film Festival Best Film Award. In addition to his dramatic films, Ganda completed several documentaries and was working on one at the time of his death of a heart attack on January 1, 1981.

As the winner of the Best Film award at the first annual FESPACO film festival, upon his death FESPACO began awarding an African Feature Film Award named the Oumarou Ganda Prize

Cabascabo (1968);
Le Wazzou Polygame (1970);
Saïtane (1972);
L’Exilé (1980).

Ababacar Samb-Makharam

Biography: Ababacar Samb-Makharam, director of Jom, The Story of a People, was born in Dakar, Senegal, in 1934 and trained as an actor at the Centre d’Art Dramatique de la rue Blanche in Paris. From 1959 to 1962 he studied filmmaking at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome, after which he returned to France and worked as an assistant director in television. On returning to Senegal, Samb worked as a cameraman for Senegalese TV news. In 1965 he made his first film, Et la neige n’etait plus / There Was No Longer Snow, followed by Kodou (1971). Samb served as the Secretary General of the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI) from 1971 to 1977.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Jom, the Story of a People (1993; 1994).

Et la neige n’etait plus / There Was No Longer Snow (1966);
Kodou (1970);
Jom, the Story of a People (1982).

Kollo Daniel Sanou

Biography: Kollo Daniel Sanou was born in 1949 in Borodougou in Burkina Faso. He studied at the Institut National des Arts in Abidjan, Ivory Coast and at the Conservatoire Libre du Cinéma Français in Paris, France. He has made over 25 documentary and cartoon films since 1977. In 2001, he helped with the television production Taxi brousse, for which he directed 8 films.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Tasuma (2004).

Paweogo (1983);
Jigi- L’espoir (1992);
Sababu (1993);
Tasuma (2003).


Director: Ingrid Sinclair
Year: 2002
Country: Zimbabwe
Running Time: 26 min
Language: English

Riches was inspired by the writer Bessie Head. It follows the flight of a coloured teacher, Molly McBride and her son Peter, from apartheid South Africa to an isolated school in Zimbabwe. She finds life tough and the villagers hostile and conservative. Molly’s clash with the hypocritical headmaster leaves her jobless and in despair, but a simple gesture of friendship from one of the poorest members of the community inspires her to fight back and claim her place within her new society.

Mama Africa

Country: United States
Year: 2002
Running Time: 78 min
Language: English

Mama Africa, hosted by rapper/actress Queen Latifah, combines three short films, directed by African women, telling tales of misguided youth in contemporary Africa. These three 26-minute films were selected from a longer program of six such films produced by the African companies Zimmedia and M-Net.

Uno’s World
Director: Bridget Pickering
Country: Namibia
Running Time: 26 min

Uno, a beautiful, but weary 25-year-old single mother, is forced to face overwhelming responsibilities after falling in love with a man who does not want commitment.

Hang Time
Director: Ngozi Onwhura
Country: Nigeria
Running Time: 26 min

Departing from the obvious interpretation of the MAMA AFRICA project, Hang Time tells the heartbreaking story of a young, poor but talented West African basketball player whose desperation to wear the right shoes to impress an American basketball scout ends in tragedy.

Director: Zulfah Otto Sallies
Country: South Africa
Running Time: 26 min

The title character, Raya, is a smart but troubled young woman who has just been released from prison after several years. Raya goes to the home of her mother, Salaama, a devout Muslim, who has been taking care of Raya’s daughter, Madeegah. An independent modern woman unable to live by her mother’s rules, Raya takes Madeegah away, telling Salaama, “You’re not going to keep her under a veil all her life.” But when Raya finds herself unable to get a job because of her criminal record, she’s tempted to return to crime to provide for her daughter.


The short films featured in the original Mama Africa series but not included in the anthology:

A Close-Up on Bintou
Director: Fanta Régina Nacro
Country: Burkina Faso, France
Running Time: 26 min

An African woman wants to send her daughter to school despite her family’s resistance.

Director: Ingrid Sinclair
Country: Zimbabwe
Running Time: 26 min

Riches was inspired by the writer Bessie Head. It follows the flight of a coloured teacher, Molly McBride and her son Peter, from apartheid South Africa to an isolated school in Zimbabwe. She finds life tough and the villagers hostile and conservative. Molly’s clash with the hypocritical headmaster leaves her jobless and in despair, but a simple gesture of friendship from one of the poorest members of the community inspires her to fight back and claim her place within her new society.

One Evening in July
Director: Raja Amari
Country: Tunisia
Running Time: 26 min

One Evening in July unfolds the battle between the society morals of a sixty year old bridal beautician and her empathy for a reluctant bride, who is plotting to murder her groom.

Tides of Gold

Director: Ingrid Sinclair
Country: Zimbabwe
Year: 1998
Running Time: 52 min
Language: English

The film illuminates a 1000-year old trading network which dominated southern and eastern Africa, linking the country to places as far away as China and Indonesia.


Director: Cheick Oumar Sissoko
Country: Mali
Year: 1990
Running Time: 107 min
Language: Bambara


In Finzan, Cheick Oumar Sissoko has skillfully crafted a film which raises one of the most important issues of African rural life, the status of women, in a style accessible to every villager. Finzan tells the story of two women’s rebellion. Nanyuma, a young widow defies her brother-in-law, the village fool, when he asserts his traditional right to “inherit” her. Fili, a young woman sent from the city by her conservative father, is brutally “circumcised” by village women, scandalized by her refusal to submit to this ancient ritual. Sissoko weaves these two stories together into a painfully realistic picture of village society, tragically unable to free itself from the past.

Cilia Sawadogo

Biography: Cilia Sawadogo studied communication, specializing in cinema animation at Concordia University in Montréal. She started her career in 1989, and made many cartoons for Sesame Street. She made her first animated film, La femme mariée à trios hommes, in 1993, for which she has won many awards. Her other animated films include L’Arrêt d’autobus / The Bus Stop and Naissance / Birth. In 1999, she directed her latest film, Le Joueur de cora. Sawadogo also produces video-clips, designs posters, and illustrates books.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
La femme mariée à trios hommes (1997);
Naissance (1997);
L’Arrêt d’autobus (1997);
Le Joueur de cora (2004);
Christopher Changes His Name (2004).

La femme mariée à trios hommes (1993);
Naissance (1993);
L’Arrêt d’autobus (1994);
Le Joueur de cora (1996);
Christopher Changes His Name (2000).