highlights

2014 New York African Film Festival Program Guide

The following program guide lists the features and shorts scheduled to screen at the 2014 New York African Film Festival. This guide begins with information on our Opening Night Reception Exhibition and on our special co-presentation of “Coeur de Lion” with the United Nations’ Department of Public Information. The line-up is then organized alphabetically, and each film or program of films is followed by its showtime and a trailer (if there is an available trailer).

ART SHOW: DIGITAL AFRICA WEDNESDAY, MAY 7 – TUESDAY, MAY 13

Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery – Free & Open to the Public

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Digital Africa features the works of Congolese and American photographers. The first portion, Congolese Dreams, showcases the works of acclaimed photographer Baudouin Mouanda and a collective of artists, acting as a companion to Philippe Cordey’s short film of the same name, which will screen during the festival. The exhibition will also feature Adama Delphine Fawundu’s stunning portraits capturing the residents of Tivoli Towers in Crown Heights, Brooklyn – home to more than 350 families, who are mostly of African descent – as well as portraits of young musician-activists from Nigeria and the U.S.

 

SPECIAL SCREENING AT THE UNITED NATIONS (WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 6:30PM):

LION HEART (COEUR DE LION)

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Boubacar Diallo, Burkina Faso, 2007, 90min.

A lion wreaks havoc when it attacks the village livestock. Several people disappear. Samba manages to kill the lion and discovers that the chief’s advisor is involved in slave-trafficking.

RSVP required before May 12:  http://bit.ly/1hwFBxx; Info: gerardl@un.org

Co-presented by the UN Remembrance program of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the International Organization of La Francophonie.

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2014 NYAFF FILMS

A LOT LIKE YOU

Eliaichi Kimaro, Tanzania/USA, 2011, 80min.

Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother. When her retired father moves back to Tanzania, Eliaichi begins to examine the intricate fabric of her multi-racial identity.

May 18, 4:00pm

 

ANGANO, ANGANO

César Paes & Marie Clémence Paes, Madagascar/France, 1989, 64min.

This pioneering work of ethnographic filmmaking takes oral tradition itself as its central character. Passing down the wisdom of the ancestors through myths and folktales, venerable storytellers recount the founding myths of Malagasy culture.

May 24 at 2:00pm, 7:00pm

 

AYA OF YOP CITY (Animation) 

Marguerite Abouet & Clement Oubrerie,

Côte d’Ivoire/France, 2013, 85min.

Tracking the adventures of a 19-year-old girl living in in the neighborhood of Yopougon, a working-class suburb of Abidjan, the film offers up an intriguing snapshot of West African life in the 1970s, with a fanciful vintage soundtrack to boot.

May 8, 4:30pm; May 11, 9:00pm 

 

B FOR BOY (NY PREMIERE)

Chika Anadu, Nigeria, 2013, 118min.

A contemporary drama set in Nigeria about one woman’s desperate need for a male child. The film explores the discrimination of women in the name of culture and religion.

May 18, 7:00 PM

 

BASTARDS (US PREMIERE)

Deborah Perkin, Morocco/UK, 2013, 93min.

At 14, Rabha El Haimer was an illiterate child bride. Ten years later, she is a single mother, fighting to legalize her sham marriage and secure a future for her illegitimate daughter. Bastards follows Rabha’s fight from the slums to the high courts.

May 9, 4:00pm; May 12, 6:00pm (Q&A with Deborah Perkin) 

 

BELEH (NY PREMIERE)

Eka Christa Assam, Cameroon, 2013, 30min.

Ekema’s hard and uncompromising attitude toward his very pregnant wife, Joffi, is quickly revised when he has to spend an entire day in her shoes..

May 9, 4:00pm; May 12, 6:00pm (Q&A with Deborah Perkin) 

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BONESHAKER

Frances Bodomo, Ghana/USA, 2012, 12min.

Boneshaker follows a Ghanaian immigrant family taking a road trip to a Pentecostal church in Louisiana to cure their problem child. Starring Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.

May 24, 4:30pm, 9pm

 

BURN IT UP DJASSA

Lonesome Solo, Côte d’Ivoire, 2012, 70min.

After the deaths of his parents, Tony makes a living selling cigarettes. Looking for easy money, he turns to gambling and is dragged further into the seedy underworld of Wassakara.

May 26, 4:30pm, 9:00pm

 

CASSA, CASSA (US PREMIERE)

Elodie Lefebvre, Senegal, 2013, 51min.

Germaine Acogny, a leading figure in contemporary African dance and the founder of the Ecole des Sables in Senegal, brings together 35 choreographers of African descent for two weeks of invigorating creative exchange.

May 24, 4:30pm, 9pm

Cassa Lena Blou danse

THE CHILD OF THE SUN (US PREMIERE)

Taieb Louhichi, Tunisia, 2014, 78min.

After an evening at a nightclub and an early morning swim, three young people sneak into a villa, where they unexpectedly meet the mysterious owner.

May 23, 4:30pm, 9:15pm

Childofthesun

COLUMBITE TANTALITE (NY PREMIERE)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, UK, 2013, 12min.

Chiwetel Ejiofor’s short film explores the western exploitation of Africa’s most coveted minerals as well as the DRC’s reconciliation process with its history and identity.

Columbite Tantalite

CONFUSION NA WA (NY PREMIERE)

Kenneth Gyang, Nigeria, 2013, 105min.

When a cellphone is found by two opportunists, they decide to blackmail the owner. Their scheme sets in motion an unintended chain of events.

May 7, 7:30pm (Q&A with Kenneth Gyang); May 10, 9:15pm (Q&A with Kenneth Gyang)

 

CULTURAL HEALING COMMUNITY CINEMA PROJECT – SUDAN (US PREMIERE)

The Cultural Healing project trained Sudanese journalism students, civil society representatives and young people to make short documentary films that expressed their cultures and traditions.

May 17th, 4:00pm

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ABUNA

Mudzamil, Sudan, 2013, 11min.

A touching tribute to Ami Abdalseed, the caretaker and cook for the Red Sea High-School for Boys. A generation of students fondly recollect their memories of Abdalseed.

COMING SOON

Mustafa Jawhar & Hind Elsheikh,

Sudan, 2013, 16min.

The film tells the story of an abandoned cinema in Kosti, a town in the White Nile State. The filmmakers and the whole town pay tribute to the cinema they remember.

THE CRYING SEA

Aladin Reyhan & Hashim Fath Alrahman,

Sudan, 2013, 12min.

The Crying Sea celebrates the gift of the Red Sea to the city of Port Sudan and makes an urgent plea to its citizens to wake up to the consequences of sea pollution.

NILE DRUMS

Mohamed Abdalaziem, (aka Fox),

Sudan, 2013, 14min.

This film follows a Southern Sudanese musician as he bids a prolonged and bittersweet farewell to Khartoum, the city in which he grew up, before his repatriation to South Sudan.

ONLY A CHILD

Eltahir Daoud, Sudan, 2013, 10min.

The story of a young boy who has given up his schooling so his brothers can continue with their education.

TAYBA

Maha Abdalmoniem, Sudan, 2013, 11min.

An intimate portrait of the filmmaker’s aunt as she, from the repose of old age, recollects how she overcame the stigma of divorce and forged life on her own.

TRAIN OF LONGING

Najwa Yassin, Sudan, 2013, 11min.

Atbara was once known as the city of iron and steel, with a railway that made it one of the most cosmopolitan and prosperous corners of Sudan. This film tells the tale of how the coming of railway changed a city and its population.

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CURSE OF AN ADDICT (US PREMIERE)

Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar/Tanzania, 2013, 25min.

Seif, a young Muslim heroin addict, believes he is cursed. In a battle to be freed from his addiction, Seif seeks help from a sheikh.

May 18, 4:00pm

 

FAISAL GOES WEST (NY PREMIERE)

Bentley Brown, Sudan/USA, 2013, 34min.

A family moves from Sudan to the U.S. in search of a better life, but they soon discover they must weather the economic crisis.

May 24, 4:30pm, 9pm

 

FELIX (NY PREMIERE)

Roberta Durrant, South Africa, 2013, 97min.

The young Felix Xaba dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother thinks jazz is the devil’s music. When Felix gets a scholarship to an elite private school, he defies his mother and begins preparations for the school jazz concert.

May 25, 2:00pm

 

FUELLING POVERTY

Ishaya Bako, Nigeria, 2012, 28min.

An artistic depiction of the failings of fuel subsidy management in Nigeria, Fuelling Poverty graphically captures the various contours of the fuel subsidy debate and offers a rallying cry for change in Nigeria by the Occupy Nigeria movement.

May 26, 4:30pm, 9:00pm

 

GRIGRIS (NY PREMIERE)

Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France, 2013, 101min.

Despite a bum leg, Grigris has hopes of becoming a professional dancer. His dreams are tested when his stepfather falls critically ill and he’s forced to risk his future by smuggling oil to pay the hospital bills.

May 8, 8:45pm; May 12, 3:45pm

 

HALF OF A YELLOW SUN (NY PREMIERE)

Biyi Bandele, Nigeria/UK, 2013, 111min.

Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel, Half of a Yellow Sun is set during the Nigerian-Biafran war in the 1960s, and follows two middle class Nigerian twins as their settled lives are torn apart by the conflict.

May 9, 7:00pm (Q&A with Biyi Bandele and some cast members)

 

IT’S US (NI SI SI) (US PREMIERE)

Nick Reding, Kenya, 2013, 88min.

It’s Us portrays a typical Kenyan community: a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families who place no stock in which tribe their neighbor comes from. Then one day, rumors begin to spread and suddenly mistrust takes hold.

May 8, 6:00pm (Q&A with Nick Reding); May 12, 1:45pm

 

THE LAST SONG BEFORE THE WAR

Kiley Kraskouskas, Mali/USA, 2012, 90min.

Last Song Before the War captures the inspiring rise and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert and subtly reveals the challenges and triumphs of creating an artistic event under such challenging economic and political circumstances.

May 16, 7:00pm

 

LEGENDS OF MADAGASCAR

Haminiaina Ratovoarivony, Madagascar, 2012, 93min.

Jim and his friends Bob and Dylan, travel to see Jim’s father, who is seriously ill. Charu, a young woman, joins them, awakening the interest of the three boys and converting the trip into a kind of initiatory journey showing the challenges faced by Madagascar’s youth.

May 23 at 2:00pm, 7:00pm

 

LIVING FUNERAL (ΝΥ PREMIERE)

Udoka Oyeka, Nigeria, 2013, 21min.

Set against the backdrop of delusional stability, a young girl in the last days of her life battling with breast cancer, arranges a farewell for her family to help ease their pain; a celebration of life… A living funeral.

 

MINERS SHOT DOWN (US PREMIERE)

Rehad Desai, South Africa, 2014, 85min.

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. What emerges is the country’s first post-colonial massacre.

May 15, 7:00pm (Q&A via Skype with Rehad Desai)

 

MUGABE: VILLAIN OR HERO?

Roy Agyemang, Zimbabwe/UK, 2012, 116min.

Mugabe: Villain or Hero? explores the reality behind the headlines with unprecedented access to Mugabe and his entourage. This film raises serious issues about the relationship between African leaders and the West in the fight for African resources.

May 7, 2:00pm; May 11, 6:15pm

 

NAIROBI HALF LIFE

David Tosh Gitonga, Kenya, 2012, 96min.

Mwas is a young aspiring actor who moves from his home village to Nairobi to make it big. But as he moves toward his dream of taking center stage, he finds himself drawn into a world of small-time crooks and deceit.

May 25, 4:30, 9:00pm

 

NEW AFRICAN SHORTS:

May 8, 2:00pm; May 11, 3:30pm  (Q&A with Iquo B. Essien, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ekwa Msangi-Omari, Kenya, Frances Bodomo and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine) 

AFRONAUTS

Frances Bodomo, Ghana/USA, 2014, 15min.

On July 16 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon.

AISSA’S STORY (US PREMIERE)

Iquo B. Essien, Nigeria/USA, 2013, 15min.

An African immigrant housekeeper and single mother must decide whether to move on with her life or fight when the case against her assaulter is dismissed.

BAUDOUIN MOUANDA: CONGOLESE DREAMS   (US PREMIERE)

Philippe Cordey, Congo, 2012, 25min.

Photographer Baudouin Mouanda explores beauty in unlikely places – by asking women to pose in the same white wedding dress in different locations – from rubbish dumps to crowded trains.

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KUHANI (NY PREMIERE)

Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Uganda, 2013, 7min.

An experimental short inspired by a Ugandan priest’s open letter to the Church in response to the country’s recently passed Anti Homosexuality Act.

KuhaniPoster

KWAKU ANANSE (NY PREMIERE)

Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/Mexico/USA, 2013, 26min.

The traditional West African fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father’s funeral. Overwhelmed by the procession, she escapes into the spirit world in search of her father.

SOKO SONKO (THE MARKET KING) (US PREMIERE)

Ekwa Msangi-Omari, Kenya/USA, 2014, 22min.

When her mom gets sick, Kibibi’s dad takes her to the market to get her hair braided before school. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish-out-of-water journey, about a well-intentioned dad who goes where no man has gone before…

Writer-Director-EKWA-MSANGI-OMARI

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NINAH’S DOWRY (ΝΥ PREMIERE)

Victor Viyuoh, Cameron, 2012, 95min.

Co-presented by Human Rights Watch Film Festival

Ninah, a mother of three, is stuck in an abusive relationship with no hope of change. Her family lives off her meager earnings, but she decides to run away.

May 9, 2:00pm; May 13, 6:30pm

 

OF GOOD REPORT (ΝΥ PREMIERE)

Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, South Africa, 2013, 109min.

Schoolteacher Parker Sithole arrives in a rural village with no local connections. He begins an illicit affair with one of his new pupils, 16-year-old Nolitha, which proves to be a disastrous development for both.

May 10, 6:30pm (Q&A with Jahmil XT Qubeka); May 12, 9:00pm (Q&A with Jahmil XT Qubeka) 

 

THE PROMISE

Akin Okunrinboye, Nigeria/USA, 2013, 6min.

Kemi has been with Femi for five years now. She is tired of waiting, especially since the relationship does not seem to be going anywhere. It’s the New Year, and it is time for progress.

May 25, 4:30, 9:00pm

thepromise

 

RÊVE KAKUDJI

Ibbe Daniëls & Koen Vidal, Congo/Belgium, 2013, 73min.

Ever since Serge Kakudji heard the sounds of opera for the first time as a young boy on Congolese television, he has dreamt to make it to the top of the classical opera world.

May 17, 7:30 PM

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SARRAOUNIA 

Med Hondo, Burkina Faso/Mauritania/France, 1986, 120min.

A young warrior queen of the Azna tribe uses her mastery of traditional martial arts and pharmacology to defend her people from an attack by a neighbouring tribe. But the real trial of strength comes when she is faced with the conquering French army.

May 13, 9:00pm 

 

SODIQ (NY PREMIERE)

Adeyemi Michael, Nigeria/ UK, 2013, 44min.

How does a boy with the aspirations of becoming a doctor find himself on trial for murder?

May 17, 7:30pm

 

SOMETHING NECESSARY (NY PREMIERE)

Judy Kibinge, Kenya/Germany, 2013, 85min.

An intimate moment in the life of Anne, a woman struggling to rebuild her life after Kenya’s post-election violence of 2008 which claimed the life of her husband, the health of her son, and left her isolated farm in ruins.

May 25, 7:00pm

 

WHEN THE STARS MEET THE SEA

Raymond Rajaonarivelo, Madagascar, 1996, 85min.

A poetic exploration of traditional and modern concepts of freedom set within the landscapes of Madagascar.

May 26, 2:00pm, 7:00pm

 

WINTER OF DISCONTENT (US PREMIERE)

Ibrahim El Batout, Egypt, 2012, 96min.

Co-presented by 3rd i NY and Alwan for the Arts

Set against the backdrop of the 2011 protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, director Ibrahim El Batout takes us on a raw, moving journey into the lives of an activist, a journalist, and a state security officer.

May 7, 4:30pm; May 11, 1:00pm

 

WOODEN HANDS (US PREMIERE)

Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia, 2013, 23min.

Co-presented by 3rd i NY and Alwan for the Arts

Five-year-old Amira lives with her mother in a small apartment in Tunis. On the day that she’s supposed to return to school, Amira finds nothing better to do than to attach her hand to a chair with superglue…

May 7, 4:30pm; May 11, 1:00pm

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