20TH NATIONAL TRAVELING SERIES

In 2015-2016, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) celebrates the 20th anniversary of our National Traveling Series. Due to the demand for African films across the country, in 1995 AFF launched the series, which travels to cultural institutions, museums, and universities in ten to thirteen cities in the U.S. and in some Caribbean nations, in order to make the unique experience of watching African cinema available to a wider audience. The Traveling Series program consists of several feature and short films, including promotional and educational materials.

The 20th edition of the National Traveling Series is comprised of eight films presented under the theme of “International Decade of People of African Descent.” The films represent a unique opportunity to examine the ways in which people of African descent have broken through borders with films and narratives, that form part of the global imagination. Likewise, the use of technology to help usher in the many cultural and social movements taking place on the continent is spotlighted in this edition of the National Traveling Series.

If you have an interest in bringing the films of the 2015-2016 National Traveling Series to your community, please contact the African Film Festival office at 212.352.1720 or by email at nyaff@erols.com for full details. Our team will be happy to work with you in order help bring African cinema to your community.

FEATURE FILMS

HEAD GONE
DARE FASASI, NIGERIA/SWEDEN, 2014, 111min.
In English & Pidgin with English subtitles

Due to a road mishap, a bus driver loses a group of psychiatric patients on the way to a federal hospital. To cover up the mistake, he and a nurse pick up unsuspecting commuters to substitute the patients and the plot thickens as the new passengers must try to prove their sanity in a psychiatric institution, while the escapees try to adjust to a new environment. This allegorical comedy of errors features some of Nigeria’s biggest names  including Innocent “2Face” Idibia, Alleluya “Alibaba” Akporobomerere, Bright “Basketmouth” Okpoucha, and more.

 

THE LONGEST KISS (A jamais, pour toujours)
ALEXANDRA SICOTTE-LEVESQUE, SUDAN, 2013, 72min
In English & Arabic with English subtitles

The meeting of the Blue and White Nile in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is referred to as ‘the longest kiss in history.’ As the Arab Spring was in full bloom, Sudan, straddling between the Middle East and Africa, was about to split in two. The film follows six young Sudanese searching for a place to call ‘home’ as their journeys take us up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, ahead of the south’s secession. Facing conflicting identities, youth in north Sudan grapple with a stale dictatorship while others in south Sudan hope to start over—but at what costs? For the first time a film gives a voice to Sudanese youth from different origins, Muslims and Christians. It is an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation.

 

RED LEAVES (Alim Adumim)
BAZI GETE, ISRAEL, 2014, 80min.
In Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles

Meseganio Tadela, 74, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia 28 years ago with his family. He has chosen to zealously retain his culture, talks very little, and hardly speaks Hebrew. After losing his wife, Meseganio sets out on a journey that leads him through his children’s homes. He comes to realize that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class that believes in retaining Ethiopian culture. As this harsh reality begins to hit him, he struggles to survive according to his own rules.

 

SHORT FILMS

AFRIPEDIA: GHANA
TEDDY GOITOM, BENJAMIN TAFT AND SENAY BERHE, GHANA/KENYA/SWEDEN, 2014, 28min.
In English

The whispers among connoisseurs talk about Accra as the next big hotspot for African cultural production, and Afripedia: Ghana suggests they’re not wrong. Meet outspoken and androgynous music star Wiyaala and exciting trick-bikers Bikelordz whose BMX skills and flamboyant style have taken neighborhoods by storm. Visual artist Afrogallonism puts on extraordinary outdoor performances to highlight environmental issues.

AFRIPEDIA: KENYA
TEDDY GOITOM, BENJAMIN TAFT AND SENAY BERHE, GHANA/KENYA/SWEDEN, 2014, 28min.
In English

Take an intimate look at Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars. Meet 3D-artist Andrew Kaggia, creator of a 3D-animated political short film, taking you to his futuristic vision of Nairobi and proving that disability is never inability. Afro-futuristic pop band and DIY-enthusiasts Just a Band redefine music videos, and visual artist Cyrus introduces us to his remarkable collection created solely with found materials.

 

CHOLO
MUZNA ALMUSAFER, OMAN, 2014 21min.
In Swahili with English subtitles

The dark-skinned, 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother, Abdullah for the first time when their father Said arrives in Muscat. Although strikingly different, the boys have great chemistry. Cholo is a young boy full of imagination and a great love for nature and life. However, jealousy, competitiveness, and curiosity arise between the two, as they go through a journey of self-discovery.

 

PANIC BUTTON
LIBBY DOUGHERTY, SOUTH AFRICA, 2014, 25min.
In English

From the moment that Tshepo, a security guard, breaks through Jenny’s multi-locked door to save her, she feels as if she’s been swept off her feet. But as Jenny imagines herself falling in love with him, an unhealthy, delusional obsession begins to take shape.

 

THE PROPHECY
MARCIA JUZGA, SENEGAL, 2015, 20min.
In French & Wolof with English subtitles

Concerned about the environmental issues that Senegal is facing, photographer Fabrice Monteiro, in collaboration with the designer “Jah Gal,” created The Prophecy. The objective of this photographic project is to raise global awareness of the environment by combining art, culture, fashion, and tradition. The essence of each site photographed is characterized by a Jinn — supernatural genies omnipresent in African cultures — merging with its environment. Marcia Juzga’s film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Monteiro’s project.

A Message from Abderrahmane Sissako…

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“My first encounter with NYAFF took place twenty-two years ago, and though I am far from being its progenitor, I was there to witness its birth.  This encounter, which would mark my first voyage to New York, took place in Africa, at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou. The better part of the participants had met up after the screening in La Forêt, the mythic restaurant of the day, to dine together and to share our hopes for our cinema’s eventual emancipation. I was one of the novices joining the family of African cinema with their early efforts. A woman approached me and said, with her now-legendary determination, like that of a soldier, a warrior for good causes, “My name is Mahen,” and she spoke to me of her festival and of her wish for me to attend its first edition. “Yes,” I replied, without having understood everything. She wanted to bring little-known images to New York, to spure a meeting between meaning and desire.”

                                                                                                             – Abderrahmane Sissako

Founded in 1990 by Mahen Bonetti, African Film Festival, Inc. continues to introduce the best in cinema and culture from Africa and its Diaspora. AFF has exposed audiences to veteran and emerging filmmakers and multidisciplinary artists through the New York African Film Fesitval (NYAFF) and its other year-round programs.

Please consider making a donation today. Through your generosity, AFF will be able to bring the next generation of African and Diasporan artists, directors, and tastemakers to the forefront.

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AFF is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

Nadia Sasso

Biography: Born in America to parents who emigrated from Sierra Leone, Nadia Sasso believes in the potential for collaboration to inspire innovation. She spearheaded the corporate social responsibility initiative at Royal Dynamite so that the company donates an educational care package to children around the world when a t-shirt is purchased from the company. In 2010 she co-founded Yehri Wi Cry (YWC), an organization that distributes birthing kits in Sierra Leone to increase the successful birth and delivery rates for women. Named among Katie Couric’s “Next Generation of Female Leaders,” Sasso received the “Young African Committed to Excellence Award” by Face2Face Africa magazine. She is also the 2013 recipient of the Posse Foundation’s Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award where she was honored for her commitment to social responsibility. Nadia holdsa dual B.A. degree in English and Sociology from Bucknell University and an M.A. in American Studies with a certification in Documentary Film from Lehigh University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Africana Studies at Cornell University.

(Source: http://africana.cornell.edu/graduate/nadia-sasso.cfm)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African (2015).

Filmography:
Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African (2015).

Support AFF This #GivingTuesday

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Shopping #Black Friday or #Cyber Monday? What are you doing on #Giving Tuesday?

#GivingTuesday –which was established as a way to help people give back after Black Friday and Cyber Monday– is a great way to give help your favorite charities.

This year #GivingTuesday will take place on Tuesday, December 1st. We hope that you will take a moment to help African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) on #GivingTuesday by making a donation to support our programs. Your donation will help us continue to present AFF programs such as the New York African Film Festival, Young Adults Education Program, Community Engagement Programs, National Traveling Series, and the Summer Outdoor Series-many of which are free to the public!

AFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so a portion of your donation is tax deductible!

Please click below to make a donation:

Thank you for your contribution! Please help us spread the word by sharing, re-tweeting, and re-posting on social media!

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AFRIPEDIA Series

Directors: Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe
Countries: Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden
Year: 2014
Running Time: 140 min.
Language: English, Portuguese, French and Wolof with English subtitles

Angola

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Angola welcomes us to the home of heavy electro music known as kuduro. Follow us across the pulsating city of Luanda, as we delve into the kuduro revolution and meet the people charting its course.

Ghana

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The whispers among those in the know are saying that Accra is the next big hotspot for African cultural production, and Afripedia, Ghana suggests they’re not wrong.

Kenya

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Through the stories of its key talents, Afripedia, Kenya takes an intimate look at Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars.

Senegal

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In Afripedia, Senegal, we meet fashion designer Selly Raby Kane. Photographer Omar Victor Diop playfully reimagines Hollywood’s most iconic images with a Senegalese twist, while dancer Khoudia Roodia is organizing and building for a future where Africa dominates street dance. Beatmaker Fanny from the Ivory Coast is defying society’s boundaries to create a future for female artists and organizers.

South Africa

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Twenty years after liberation, Afripedia, South Africa portrays a diverse new generation in which fashion designers, animators, cultural entrepreneurs, music producers and guerilla filmmakers redefine what it means to be young, talented and passionate in South Africa today.

Nov. 19 screening of Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?

 

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What does it mean to be an African born in America? AFF and DocWatchers invite you to join us for a screening of Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African? by Nadia Sasso at Maysles Cinema on Thursday, November 19th at 7:00pm. The film features interviews with a number of prominent first generation Americans of African descent, including Issa Rae of Awkward Black Girl fame. The filmmaker, Nadia Sasso, will be in attendance.

Maysles Cinema
343 Lenox Avenue,
New York, NY 10027
Between 127th and 128th Street

Film Synopsis:
Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African? is a documentary film that explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally. It specifically looks at how they wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.

Click here for tickets.

A reception will follow the screening.

Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?

 

Director: Nadia Sasso
Countries: Ghana/Sierra Leone/USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 43 min.
Language: English

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What does it mean to be an African born in America? Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally. It specifically looks at how they wrestle with the concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.

SEMBENE! NYC RUN EXTENDED!

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In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa.

SEMBENE! tells the unbelievable true story of the father of African cinema, the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a 50-year battle to return African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions.

SEMBENE! will be shown at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas beginning Friday, November 6th. Directors Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman will be in attendance for Q&As for select screenings on Friday, November 6th, Saturday, November 7th, and Sunday, November 8th. Click here for tickets and show times.

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas is located at 1886 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 (between 63rd and 62nd Streets).

SEMBENE! directed by Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman, USA/Senegal, 2015, 82min

How to Submit a Film

African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) has year-round programming, including our annual New York African Film Festival.

The deadline for submissions to the 2018 New York African Film Festival is January 12, 2018. Film submissions are also accepted throughout the year in consideration for our other year-round programs.

Films may be submitted as a private online link to submissions@africanfilmny.org.

Alternatively, films can be submitted as DVD screeners via traditional mail to:

154 West 18th St., Suite 2A
New York, New York 10011
USA

Please include the following information with all submissions:

Film title
Director’s name and brief bio
Film synopsis – 2 versions: 1 long, 1 short
Runtime
Country of production
Year of production
Language
Subtitle information (if any) – All non-English language film submissions MUST contain English subtitles
Filmmaker/distributor/producer contact information

 

The Longest Kiss (A jamais, pour toujours)

Director: Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque
Countries: Canada
Year: 2013
Running Time: 74 min.
Language: English and Arabic with English subtitles

The meeting of the Blue and White Nile in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is referred to as ‘the longest kiss in history’. As the Arab Spring was in full bloom, Sudan, straddling between the Middle East and Africa, was about to split in two. The film follows six young Sudanese searching for a place to call ‘home’ as their journeys take us up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, ahead of the south’s secession. Facing conflicting identities, youth in north Sudan grapple with a stale dictatorship while others in south Sudan hope to start over—but at what costs? For the first time a film gives a voice to Sudanese youth from different origins, Muslims and Christians. It is an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation

Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque

Biography: Alexandra Sicotte-Lévesque is a humanitarian aid worker, journalist and filmmaker. Originally from Montreal, Canada, Alexandra co-founded the non-profit organization Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) in 2012. She was awarded the Gordon Global Fellowship in 2006 which enabled her to produce her first documentary film, When Silence is Golden, about the impact of Canadian mining interests on a small community in Ghana, West Africa. The film was awarded a honorable mention at the Pan Africa Film Festival in Montreal, and was screened in the US, the UK and across Canada. After working for nearly 3 years in Sudan, with the BBC World Service Trust and the United Nations peacekeeping mission, Alexandra produced and directed her second documentary film, The Longest Kiss. The film premiered at the Montreal International Documentary Film Festival (RIDM) where it received a honorable mention for the Magnus Isacsson prize, and was broadcasted on Super Channel in Canada.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Longest Kiss (A jamais, pour toujours) (2015, 2016).

Filmography:
When Silence is Golden (2007);
The Longest Kiss (A jamais, pour toujours) (2013).

Upcoming NYC Screenings: Miners Shot Down & Crumbs

 

The Coalition of Peace Organizations of the U.N. is presenting a screening of Miners Shot Down on Friday, October 16th at 7:30. This FREE event will take place at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

Presented in Association with The Source Magazine and AFF.

MINERS SHOT DOWN Trailer from Icarus Films on Vimeo.

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. Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers against the combined forces of a mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.

Director Rehad Desai will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Free admission. Donations will be accepted.

The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center is located at:

3940 Broadway
(between W. 165th & 166th streets)
New York, NY 10032


The Ethiopian surrealist sci-fi, Crumbs will be opening in New York on Friday, October 23rd at Cinema Village.

Crumbs is set against the background of spectacular post-apocalyptic Ethiopian landscapes, where the film finds a strange-looking scrap collector, Gagano. Alternately gripped by daydreams and constant fears, the diminutive Gagano has had enough of collecting the priceless crumbs of decayed civilization, including the most valuable: merchandise from Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. When a spaceship that has been hovering high in the sky for years starts showing signs of activity, Gagano has to overcome his fears – as well as a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis — to discover things aren’t quite the way he thought.

Click here for showtimes and tickets! The filmmaker, Miguel Llanso, will be in attendance at the 7:15pm and 9:15pm shows on Friday and Saturday!

Miners Shot Down

Director: Rehad Desai
Countries: South Africa
Year: 2014
Running Time: 86 min.
Language: English

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, Lonmin, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.

Cuba: An African Odyssey

Director: Jihan El-Tahri
Country: Egypt, South Africa, and France
Year: 2006-2007
Running Time: 118 min.
Language: French, English, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish

Cuba: An African Odyssey, Jihan El Tahir, France, 2006-2007, 118 min.

From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. Cuba: An African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for various African revolutions, one of the Cold War’s most vigorous contests over resources and ideology. This film attempts to understand the world today through the saga of these Cuban internationalists who won every battle but ultimately lost the war.

Circus Without Borders

Director: Susan Gray
Country: Canada/Guinea/USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 70 min.
Language: English and French w/ English subtitles

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World-class acrobats and good friends Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura come from very different corners of the globe—the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa. Despite the distance, they share the same vision: to bring hope and change to their struggling communities through circus. Seven years in the making, this riveting and uplifting story of their two circus companies—Artcirq and Kalabanté—and  the culture-crossing collaborative performance that unites them has the propulsive drama of a gripping work of fiction. Wrapped up in the narrative swirling around these two driven, charismatic men are the parallel plights of the Inuit and Guinean youth they’re committed to helping—the suicide, poverty, and despair that haunts their isolated communities, and the resilience and joy that characterize the tenacity of their collective dream.

Susan Gray

Biography: Susan Gray is an award-winning documentary film director, writer and producer who has produced documentary films for worldwide television broadcast, festivals and cinema, working from Europe, Africa and the United States. She is the Director of Broadcast Development at Northern Light Productions.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Circus Without Borders (2015).

Filmography:
Wide Angle: The Prime Minister and the Press (TV Series Documentary – 2003);
The Prime Minister and the Press (TV Movie documentary – 2003);
Gelato: An Endless Passion (2005);
Killer Poet: The Double Life of Norman Porter (2008);
Circus Without Borders (2015).

The Shore Break

Director: Ryley Grunenwald
Country:  South Africa/Pondo
Year: 2015
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: English and Xhosa

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Amid the tumult of the Arab Spring in Cairo, vendors in a small souk observe the political upheaval while seeking to preserve an ancient tradition of fabric making. The result is a fascinating microcosm of a transitioning nation. In the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, street celebrations turn to conflict—shops burn to the ground, propaganda spreads, and the fraternal spirit of the marketplace is shattered. The Tentmakers of Cairo traces this story from the beginning and follows each character as they develop with the times. Filmmaker Kim Beamish captures some of the most remarkable close-up footage of one of the defining political crises of the decade.

Ryley Grunenwald

Biography: Ryley Grunenwald’s directorial and producing debut, The Dawn of a New Day (2011), won Best Director and Best Cinematographer of a Documentary at the 2012 South African Film and Television Awards. She participated in the 2013 IDFA Worldview Summer School, the 2013 Hot Docs Dealmaker, the 2012 Berlinale Talent Campus and pitched at the 2012 Hot Docs Forum. She holds an MA in Film and Television, is owner of Marie-Vérité Films and also directs and shoots on a freelance basis.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Shore Break (2015).

Filmography: 
The Dawn of a New Day (2011);
The Shore Break (2014).

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15TH: AFF and Doc Watchers Present Cuba: An African Odyssey at Maysles Cinema

 

Doc Watchers & African Film Festival, Inc. are proud to present a screening of Cuba: An African Odyssey at Maysles Cinema in Harlem on Thursday, October 15th at 7:00 pm.

Cuba: An African Odyssey
Directed by Jihan El-Tahri
2006 | 118 mins | Egypt/South Africa/France

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The Previously Untold  Story of Cuba’s Support for African Revolutions

From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. Cuba: An African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for various African revolutions, one of the Cold War’s most vigorous contests over resources and ideology. This film attempts to understand the world today through the saga of these Cuban internationalists who won every battle but ultimately lost the war.

The film screening will start at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a reception.

Price: $10 suggested donation fee

Location: Maysles Cinema at 343 Malcolm X Blvd. (Lenox Blvd) between 127th & 128th Streets, Harlem, NY 10027

For more details, please fee free to visit the Facebook event page

https://www.facebook.com/events/535167943303549/

The Tentmakers of Cairo

Director: Kim Beamish
Country: Australia/Egypt
Year: 2015
Running Time: 98mins.
Language: Arabic

Tentmakers main

Amid the tumult of the Arab Spring in Cairo, vendors in a small souk observe the political upheaval while seeking to preserve an ancient tradition of fabric making. The result is a fascinating microcosm of a transitioning nation. In the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, street celebrations turn to conflict—shops burn to the ground, propaganda spreads, and the fraternal spirit of the marketplace is shattered. The Tentmakers of Cairo traces this story from the beginning and follows each character as they develop with the times. Filmmaker Kim Beamish captures some of the most remarkable close-up footage of one of the defining political crises of the decade.