African Film Festival, Inc. is proud to be co-presenting a collection of amazing films related to the African experience at the American Museum of Natural History’s annual documentary festival, the Margaret Mead Film Festival later this month: Circus Without Borders, The Shore Break and The Tentmakers of Cairo.
The 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival runs from October 22-25 at the American Museum of Natural History. This annual documentary film festival, founded in honor of anthropologist Margaret Mead, hosts movie screenings, video installations, conversations, and events that increase our understanding of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.
Use the discount code MEAD10 and get 10% off of your ticket purchase for any film in the festival.
In an era defined by mobility and transformation, the artists and filmmakers of this year’s festival explore thresholds and boundaries of all kinds—geographic, cultural, personal, and metaphysical—that define contemporary life across Earth. They bring diverse worlds to the screen while highlighting the essential qualities that connect us all.
AFF Co-Presentations at the Margaret Mead Film Festival
Circus Without Borders
Susan Gray, Linda Matchan, and Northern Light Productions
2015 | 70 minutes | Canada, Guinea, U.S.A.
New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance
Showing Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm
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.
The Tentmakers of Cairo
2015 | 98 minutes | Australia, Egypt
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance
Showing Friday, October 23 at 9:30pm
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.
The Shore Break
2015 | 90 minutes | South Africa, Pondo
U.S. Premiere | Director(s) in Attendance
Showing Saturday, October 24 at 7:30pm
Pondoland’s Wild Coast provides a dramatic setting for a high-stakes saga that casts a new light, and accompanying shadows, across the landscape of South Africa. Spurred by an Australian mining company’s plan to exploit local titanium deposits, two cousins—one a tour guide committed to protecting the environment and culture of her home, the other an entrepreneur eager to usher in modernity and profit it will bring—clash in a vicious battle for the hearts and minds of their neighbors. As the national government intervenes with a plot to oust Pondoland’s eco-friendly royal family, tensions between the cousins and their supporters in the split community reach a fever pitch. Featuring an arresting score by a local musician, exquisite footage of Pondoland’s natural wonders, and ingenious interludes of sand animation that focus and amplify the drama, The Shore Break is a skillfully realized story that poses difficult questions about morality, idealism, and opportunism in the global economy.