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.