Tickets + Info – 2016 New York African Film Festival Line-up

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The following program guide lists the features and short films scheduled to screen at the 2016 New York African Film Festival. This guide begins with information on our May 1st Town Hall Event. 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). To read the full statement on this year’s festival, click here.


2016 NYAFF FILMS

TANNA OPENING NIGHT FILM (N.Y. PREMIERE)
Bentley Dean and Martin Butler, Australia/Vanuatu, 2015, 104 min.
In Nauvhal with English subtitles

Tanna is set in the South Pacific where Wawa, a young girl from one of the last traditional tribes, falls in love with her chief’s grandson, Dain. When an intertribal war escalates, Wawa is unknowingly betrothed as part of a peace deal. The young lovers run away, but are pursued by enemy warriors’ intent on killing them. They must choose between their hearts and the future of the tribe, while the villagers must wrestle with preserving their traditional culture and adapting it to the increasing outside demands for individual freedom. Tanna is based on a true story and performed by the people of Yakel in Vanuatu.

Wednesday, May 4th at 7:00pm (Q&A with Martin Butler and Jimmy Joseph Nako) and Monday, May 9th at 3:45pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


PRICE OF LOVE CENTERPIECE NIGHT FILM – N.Y. PREMIERE
Hermon Hailay, Ethiopia, 2015, 99min.
In Amharic with English subtitles

Teddy (Eskindir Tameru), the son of a prostitute who grew up on the streets after his mother’s death, desperately tries to avoid the temptation of his old ways of chewing khat and drinking. His only support system is his priest, who bought him a taxi license on the condition that he live a decent life away from his past. But after Teddy intervenes in a fight between a prostitute, Fere (Fereweni Gebregergs), and her ex-boyfriend, who sells women to “work” in the Middle East, his taxi is stolen by the latter as leverage. As a result, Teddy finds himself caught up in a relationship with Fere, and during the search for the car, they discover the price of love..

Friday, May 6th at 6:30pm (Q&A with Hermon Hailay) and Tuesday, May 10th at 9:15pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


ABOUT A MOTHER ANIMATION – N.Y. PREMIERE
Dina Velikovskaya, Russia, 2015, 8min.

Dina Velikovskaya’s animated short is about a mother who has given so much that it seems as if she has nothing left…until life opens up new opportunities. (Screening with In the Eye of the Spiral)

Sunday, May 8th at 7:15pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


AFRIPEDIA: GHANA, KENYA AND SENEGAL
Senay Berhe, Teddy Goitom and Benjamin Taft, Ghana/Ivory Coast/Kenya/Senegal, 2014, 84min. (28min. x 3 episodes)
In English, French and Wolof with English subtitles

As Africa changes, and the world’s perception of it changes, the images of Africa and Africans need to change too. Afripedia is a collaborative, multi-part project profiling a new generation of artists from across the continent. This program brings together three documentaries from the Afripedia series, examining the vibrant and rising artistic communities in Ghana, Kenya, Ivory Coast, and Senegal. Viewers meet outspoken androgynous music star Wiyaala; 3D artist Andrew Kaggia, who unveils his vision of Nairobi; fashion designer Selly Raby Kane, who sculpts the digital image of a future alien city in an old railway station; and many others.

Friday, May 27th at 7:00pm (Q&A with Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe) – BAM Rose Cinemas


AKOUNAK TEDALAT TAHA TAZOUGHAI
(RAIN THE COLOR OF BLUE WITH A LITTLE RED IN IT)
Christopher Kirkley, Niger, 2015, 75min.
In Tamashek with English Subtitles

Akounak tells the universal story of a musician trying to make it “against all odds,” set against the backdrop of the raucous subculture of Tuareg guitar. The protagonist, real life musician Mdou Moctar, must battle fierce competition from jealous musicians, overcome family conflicts, endure the trials of love, and overcome his biggest rival – himself. Stylistically borrowing from the Western rock-u-drama and an homage to Prince’s 1984 “Purple Rain,” the story was written with and for a Tuareg audience, drawing from experiences of Mdou Moctar and fellow musicians. Carried by stunning musical performances from Mdou, the film is equally a window into modern day Tuareg guitar in the city of Agadez as it is an experiment in modern ethnographic filmmaking and new techniques of cross cultural collaboration. Akounak is the first feature fiction film in the Tamashek language. The title translates to”Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it,” a literal translation of Purple Rain (the Tuareg language has no word for Purple) – a nod to its unlikely origins and the difficulties of translating ideas across cultures.

Saturday, May 7th at 6:30pm (Q&A with Mdou Moctar) and Monday, May 9th at 2:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


BLACK JEWS: THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREE N.Y. PREMIERE
Laurence Gavron, Senegal/France, 2016, 56min.
In French, English and Hebrew with English subtitles

Over the course of the 20th century, a large number of groups in various Sub-Saharan countries (South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Cameroon, Mali, Ivory Coast, etc.) spontaneously converted to Judaism and claimed Jewish identity. These communities respect the worship rituals and dietary restrictions of Judaism, which they often learn from the Internet, as well as Jewish culture (cuisine, music, language, etc.). The film gives an account of this black Judaism, through an African community – that of Cameroon, with Serge Etélé as its leader. Rabbi Cappers Funnye, Michelle Obama’s cousin and leader of the black Jewish community in the United States, is also interviewed. (Screening with The Dance of King David)

Monday, May 9th at 6:00pm (Q&A with Laurence Gavron and Axel Baumann) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

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CHILD OF THE REVOLUTION U.S. PREMIERE
Xoliswa Sithole, Zimbabwe, 2014, 73min.
In English, Shona and Ndebele with English subtitles

Xoliswa Sithole escaped Apartheid South Africa as a child and grew up amidst the freedom fighters of Zimbabwe, witnessing the euphoria of revolution.  Leaving before the country descended into it’s present challenges. Now, in this powerful documentary the two- time BAFTA and Peabody winner returns to Zimbabwe to relive her story and investigate what happened to those dreams of freedom.

Saturday, May 14th at 4:00pm (Q&A with Xoliswa Sithole) – Maysles Cinema

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CHOLO
Muzna Almusafer, United Arab Emirates/France, 2014, 21min.
Swahili with English subtitles

The dark-skinned 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother Abdullah for the first time. Although strikingly different, the two boys enjoy a crackling chemistry. (Screening with Red Leaves)

Friday, May 27th at 4:30pm & 9:15pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


CUCKOLD N.Y. PREMIERE
Charlie Vundla, South Africa, 2015, 95min.
In English

The second feature by Charlie Vundla (director of How to Steal 2 Million, a selection of the 2012 New York African Film Festival), Cuckold tells the story of a young African-American professor in Johannesburg (played by Vundla) who falls apart after his wife leaves him for another man. While trying to drink himself into oblivion, he has a chance encounter with an old schoolmate who is now a homeless life coach. Together (with a little help from the drug trade), the two men prop each other up, and things soon ease back into normalcy… until the professor’s wife reappears sobbing at his doorstep. An unusual ménage à trois arrangement follows, one that seems destined to wreak havoc on the fragile state of affairs.

Thursday, May 5th at 8:30pm (Q&A with Charlie Vundla) and Tuesday, May 10th at 3:45pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


THE CURSED ONES N.Y. PREMIERE
Nana Obiri Yeboah and Maximillian Claussen, UK/Ghana, 2015, 95min.
In English

A series of misfortunes lead a West African village to accuse a young girl, Asabi of witchcraft. Their Pastor insists that salvation lies in her exorcism and death, using his compelling rhetoric to incite fear into the people and turn Asabi’s mother (Ama K Abebrese) against her own daughter. Disillusioned reporter, Godwin finds himself swept up in the witch hunt. With the help of a young school teacher, he attempts to save Asabi’s life, fighting back against corruption and false prophets. Based on true events, The Cursed Ones is a story of morality, corruption, and community in the heart of Africa.

Thursday, May 5th at 6:00pm (Q&A with Nicholas Lory and Jimmy Jean-Louis) and Tuesday, May 10th at 1:30pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


THE DANCE OF KING DAVID
Axel Baumann, USA, 2011, 32min.
In English and Amharic with English subtitles

Over 2900 years ago, King David brought the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. When he did, King David, “danced before the Lord with all his might” (2 Samuel 6:14). The Dance of King David is a documentary film about the history and the contemporary worship of the Ark. This film examines the disappearance of the Ark from Israel and its reemergence in Ethiopia. We witness the “Dance of King David,”—an ancient rite still performed today by Jews and Ethiopians alike and we learn firsthand what it means to believe in the supernatural powers of this sacred object. (Screening with Black Jews: The Roots of the Olive Tree)

Monday, May 9th at 6:00pm (Q&A with Laurence Gavron and Axel Baumann) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

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EGYPT’S MODERN PHARAOHS N.Y. PREMIERE OF SADDAT & MUBARAK
Jihan El-Tahri, Egypt/France/USA/Qatar, 2014, 168min. (56min. x 3 films)
In English, Arabic and French with English subtitles

On January 25, 1952, downtown Cairo was burnt down: angry mobs demanded the departure of British colonial military rule and called for ‘bread, freedom and social justice’. Fifty-nine years later to the day, the same anger was displayed, the same slogan brandished – but this time against Egypt’s elected president. For six decades, Egypt’s post-colonial leaders forged a system that harnessed military and religious powers, struck a delicate balance in foreign relations and muzzled a complacent civil society. What led the docile Egyptians to mass revolt? How were the promising ideals of the 1952 revolution hijacked? What led to the total breakdown of social justice and political freedom? Filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri has created a masterpiece trilogy of films about former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, aptly titled, ‘Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs’!

Sunday, May 15th at 2:00pm (Q&A with Jihan El-Tahri) – Maysles Cinema


FAAJI AGBA U.S. PREMIERE
Remi Vaughan-Richards, Nigeria, 2015, 91min.
In English and Yoruba with English subtitles

Faaji Agba is a six-year journey taken by film-maker Remi Vaughan-Richards following seven, 68-85 year old Yoruba master musicians in Lagos, Nigeria. They are forgotten by society, until Kunle Tejuoso, owner of Jazzhole Records, follows a trail to rediscover them and the ‘Faaji Agba Collective’ is born. Kunle’s journey starts with Fatai Rolling Dollar, which leads him to others such as Alaba Pedro, SF Olowookere, Ayinde Bakare and more. Their musical styles range from highlife, juju to afrobeat. The story starts in 2009 and follows them on their journey to perform in New York in 2011 where tragedy strikes. A year later, undeterred by the setback they perform again in Lagos, although it ends up being their last. Faaji Agba interweaves the history, culture and music scene of Lagos, Nigeria from the 1940’s to 2015 as their joys and tragedies unfold.

Saturday, May 14th at 7:45pm – Maysles Cinema


IN SEARCH OF FINAH MISA KULE U.S. PREMIERE
Kewulay Kamara, Sierra Leone, 2015, 42min.
In English, Mandeng, and Kuranko  with English subtitles

In Search of Finah Misa Kule: The Story of a People who Live by the Word chronicles the quest of poet Kewulay Kamara to reconstitute an ancient epic handed down in his family. Kamara takes us back to his native Village of Dankawali in northeast Sierra Leone where the epic was written out by his father in the 1960s only to be destroyed when the village was razed during the recent Civil War in Sierra Leone. (Screening with Oya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa!)

Saturday, May 14th at 2:00pm – Maysles Cinema


HEAD GONE
Dare Fasasi, Nigeria/Sweden, 2014, 111 min.
In English and Pidgin English 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. 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. A comedy of errors that features some of Nigeria’s finest entertainers.

Monday, May 30th at 4:00pm and 8:30pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


HEX U.S. PREMIERE
Clarence Peters, Nigeria, 2015, 26min.
In English

Five young people, on their way home after a night in town, accidentally knock down a mysterious hooded man. Bola, a final year medical student, is haunted by the experience and is having an emotional breakdown, or is she? (Screening with Pastor Paul)

Friday, May 6th at 9:00pm and Saturday, May 7th at 8:45pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


IN THE EYE OF THE SPIRAL N.Y. PREMIERE
Raynald Leconte and Eve Blouin, USA/Haiti/UK, 2014, 72min.
In English and French with English subtitles

In the Eye of the Spiral details an artistic and philosophical movement born in Haiti called Spiralism, which has spread across the arts, touching upon spirituality and even politics. Featuring narration by Annie Lennox and the music of Brian Eno, the film sheds light on the state of a country hit by corruption and natural disaster, and the incredible will of Haitian artists who produce art as a personal form of redemption and survival. (Screening with About a Mother)

Sunday, May 8th at 7:15pm (Q&A with Raynald Leconte and Eve Blouin) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

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INTORE (THE CHOSEN) N.Y. PREMIERE
Eric Kabera, Rwanda, 2014, 64min.
In English

Intore offers a rare and powerful look at how Rwanda survived a tragic past by regaining its identity via music, dance, and the resilience of a new generation. It’s a story of triumph and a lesson in how to forgive and live, told through the eyes of a mother whose grief provides hope; an artist, who chooses to forgive rather than seek revenge; a maestro, who brings together the National Ballet with an incredible touch of genius; and a young man, whose determination and hard work has given the Rwandan culture a new dimension of identity and celebration. These characters and others show viewers how a nation rose above the ashes of a horrific 1994 genocide to become a world model of post-conflict peace and unity. Featuring performances from Rwanda’s top traditional and commercial artists in music and dance, interwoven with poignant interviews with genocide survivors and perpetrators who sit side by side, Rwandan leaders, and the Hollywood elite. (Screening with Some Bright Morning: The Art of Melvin Edwards)

Sunday, May 8th at 1:30pm (Q&A) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


KIRIKOU AND THE WILD BEASTS
Michel Ocelot and Benedicte Galup, France, 2005, 75 min.
In English

Lilliputian hero Kirikou must outwit the evil witch Karaba in order to save his village in this follow-up to Michel Ocelot’s animation masterpiece Kirikou and the Sorceress, produced by Didier Brunier (The Triplets of Belleville). Based on West African folk tales, with a soundtrack featuring songs by Youssou N’Dour, Rokia Traore, and others, Kirikou and the Wild Beasts proves that spirit, not size, is the key to overcoming all odds.

Sunday, May 29th at 2:00pm – BAM Rose Cinemas

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LA BELLE AT THE MOVIES N.Y. PREMIERE
Cecilia Zoppelletto, UK/Belgium/Congo, 2015, 67min.
In French and Lingala with English subtitles

Kinshasa, “Kin la Belle” is a city of 10 million people without a single cinema. The story of the city, its apartheid era, and Mobutu’s neocolonialism, unfolds through the fate of its cinemas. At the same time, “La Belle” celebrates the Kinshasa cowboys who found their identity in the Spaghetti Westerns of the 1960s. Through interviews and poetic imagery, La Belle at the Movies bears a unique testimony to an African film industry in crisis – orphaned but living in hope for a brighter future. (Screening with Twaaga)

Friday, May 6th at 4:15pm and Monday, May 9th at 8:30pm (Q&A with Cecilia Zoppelletto)  Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


LAMB
Yared Zeleke, Ethiopia/France/Germany/Norway/Qatar, 2015, 94min.
In Amharic with English subtitles

Yared Zeleke’s remarkable debut feature tells the story of Ephraim, a young Ethiopian boy who is sent by his father to live with distant relatives in the countryside after his mother’s death. Ephraim uses his cooking skills to carve out a place among his cousins, but when his uncle decides that his beloved sheep must be sacrificed for the next religious feast, he will do anything to save the animal and return home.

Thursday, May 26th at 7:30pm and Friday, May 27th at 2:00pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


THE LONGEST KISS
Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque, 2013, Sudan/Canada, 75min.
In English and Arabic with English subtitles

Six Sudanese youth travel up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, in search of a place to call home. The youth in north Sudan grapple with a stale dictatorship, while their counterparts in south Sudan hope to start over. But at what cost? The Longest Kiss (the title refers to what the Sudanese commonly call the convergence of the Blue and White Nile in Khartoum) gives voice to youth from varying backgrounds and religions, resulting in an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation. (Screening with The Prophecy)

Saturday, May 28th at 4:30pm (Q&A with Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque) and 9:30pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


MARTHA & NIKI N.Y. PREMIERE
Tora Mkandawire Mårtens, Sweden, 2015, 93min.
In Swedish with English subtitles

In 2010, Swedish friends Martha Nabwire and Niki Tsappos were the first-ever female hip-hop dance duo to beat all of their opponents—men included—at the most important international street-dance competition, Paris’s Juste Debout. Armed with boundless energy and huge amounts of talent, they annihilated the opposition. But what happens when they don’t come out on top? After one such disappointment, the first cracks began to appear in their friendship, and in spite of their shared passions, the girls’ different backgrounds and personalities come into conflict. This documentary not only captures two successful dancers in action, but also two young adults grappling with very different life questions. Where are your roots, and what elements of your culture do you bring along from your homeland? How do you keep your heritage alive, and how can you deal with all of these things within such a dynamic friendship?

Saturday, May 7th at 1:30pm (Q&A with Tora Mkandawire Mårtens and Niki Tsappos) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


MIXTRESS X
Daty Kaba, USA, 2005, 74min.
In English

Mixtress X documents the untold story of female Hip-Hop DJs and their unique contribution to the musical form as they operate and contend with a male-dominated industry.

Saturday, May 14th at 6:00pm (Q&A with Daty Kaba) – Maysles Cinema


NEGRITUDE: A DIALOGUE BETWEEN WOLE SOYINKA AND SENGHOR
Manthia Diawara, USA/France/Germany/Portugal, 2015, 59min.
In English and French with English subtitles

This imagined dialogue between Lepold Sedar Senghor, one of the founding fathers of Negritude, and Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, was reconstructed almost entirely from archival materials. It probes the relevance of the concept of Negritude, against the views of its many critics, not only to the decolonization and independence movements of the 1950s and 1960s, but also to an understanding of the contemporary artistic and political scenes of nationalism, religious intolerance, multiculturalism, the exodus of Africans and other populations from the South, and xenophobic immigration policies in the West.

Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00pm (Q&A with Professor Mamadou Diouf and special guests) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ATLANTIC (DO OUTRO LADO DO ATLÂNTICO) N.Y. PREMIERE
Márcio Câmara and Daniele Ellery, Brazil, 2016, 90min.
In Creole and Portuguese with English subtitles

The Other Side of the Atlantic builds a bridge in the ocean that separates Brazil and Africa. The film tackles cultural exchanges, beliefs, prejudice and dreams built on both sides of the Atlantic through the life stories of students of African descent living in Brazil.

Sunday, May 15th at 6:00pm – Maysles Cinema


ỌYA: SOMETHING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO WEST AFRICA!
Seyi Adebanjo, Nigeria, 2015, 30min.
In English, and Yoruba with English subtitles

Ọya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa! follows the journey of Oluseyi Adebanjo as a Queer Gender Non-Conforming Nigerian returning home to connect with Òrìṣà (African God/dess) tradition, and follow a trail back to the powerful legacy of their great grandmother, Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọl ya. This personal and political story vibrantly investigates the heritage of command, mythology, gender fluidity, womyn’s power and the hidden truth behind the power of indigenous Yorùbá spirituality. As they encounter obstacles of a national strike and anti-gay marriage legislation to find the roots of the practice, will they be able to find affirmation for themself as a person between genders/worlds and take on this inheritance? The documentary illuminates the lives of Òrìṣà Ọya (Warrior Goddess), Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọl ya and Seyi Adebanjo while interweaving Yorùbá mythology, poetry, performance, and expert interviews. (Screening with Finah Misa Kule)

Saturday, May 14th at 2:00pm (Q&A with Seyi Adebanjo) – Maysles Cinema


PASTOR PAUL N.Y. PREMIERE
Jules David Bartkowski, USA/Ghana/Nigeria, 2015, 70min.
In English and Pidgin with English subtitles

Pastor Paul tells the story of a white tourist in Africa who is cast to play a ghost in a Nollywood film and suddenly becomes actually possessed by a ghost. From that point on his trip to Africa takes an unexpected turn and his life slowly turns into something not unlike a Nollywood film. Framed as a Chaplin-esque fool, Benjamin wanders around cities and villages seeking the mathematical secrets buried inside African drumming, only to have his project disturbed by becoming a vessel for the spirit of a colonial-era white missionary. Suddenly he’s prone to tourettic utterances, tongue-speaking bible quotes, words of his Nollywood character’s namesake, Pastor Paul. (Screening with Hex)

Friday, May 6th at 9:00pm and Saturday, May 7th at 8:45pm (Q&A with Jules David Bartkowski) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


THE PROPHECY
Marcia Juzga, Senegal, 2015, 20min.
French and Wolof with English subtitles

Filmmaker Marcia Juzga offers this behind-the- scenes look at photographer Fabrice Monteiro’s project to raise global awareness about environmental issues in Senegal by combining art, culture, fashion, and tradition. In collaboration with designer Jah Gal, Monteiro captured various sites throughout the country characterized by a jinn, a supernatural genie omnipresent in African cultures. (Screening with The Longest Kiss)

Saturday, May 28th at 4:30pm and 9:30pm – BAM Rose Cinemas

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QUEEN NANNY: LEGENDARY MAROON CHIEFTAINESS
Roy T. Anderson, Jamaica, 2015, 59min.
In Jamaican Patois and English with English subtitles

Nanny was a queen captured in her homeland and forcibly transported across the Atlantic Ocean in the belly of a slave ship. In the New World, she rose up to become the leader of a new nation—of free Africans. However, not many people outside of Jamaica know about the legendary warrior chieftainess of the Jamaican Maroons. She is the only female among Jamaica’s seven national heroes, and her likeness appears on the country’s $500 bill, yet little is known about her. This landmark documentary, conceived by award-winning Jamaican-born, New Jersey–based filmmaker Roy T. Anderson and history professor Harcourt T. Fuller, unearths and examines this mysterious figure, who led a band of former enslaved Africans in the rugged and remote interiors of Jamaica in their victory over the British army during the early to mid-18th century. (Screening with Yemanja)

Sunday, May 8th at 4:15pm (Q&A with Roy Anderson)  Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


RED LEAVES
Bazi Gete, Israel, 2014, 80min.
In Amharic and Hebrew with English subtitles

Seventy-four-year-old Meseganio Tadela (Eshetu) immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia nearly 30 years ago, but has zealously chosen to retain his culture, speaking very little Hebrew. When his wife passes away, he sets out on a journey to visit his fully assimilated children, eventually coming to realize that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class. Ethiopian-Israeli director Bazi Gete’s debut feature is a beautifully acted, movingly rendered portrait of a man struggling with his place in the world. (Screening with Cholo)

Friday, May 27th at 4:30pm & 9:15pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


SEMBENE!
Jason Silverman and Samba Gadjigo, Senegal/USA, 2015, 82min.
In English and French with English subtitles

In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a Senegalese dockworker and fifth-grade dropout, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. Sembene! chronicles the self-taught novelist and filmmaker’s 50-year struggle to return African stories to Africans and become the father of African cinema. Sembene’s colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo uses rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials to tell this remarkable story of an ordinary man who transformed himself into a fearless spokesperson and hero for the marginalized.

Saturday, May 28th at 2:00pm and 7:00pm (Q&A with Samba Gadjigo) – BAM Rose Cinemas


SOME BRIGHT MORNING: THE ART OF MELVIN EDWARDS
Lydie Diakhaté, USA/France, 2016, 51min.
In English

Born in the American South of the late ’30s during segregation, Melvin Edwards is now a world-recognized sculptor. As a black internationalist, Pan-Africanist, and one of the major Modernist innovators in the New York art scene from the days of Abstract Expressionism up through the current Conceptual wave, Edwards is one of the few African-Americans who has a particular strong connection with Africa beyond his origins. Lydie Diakhaté’s film reveals how in Edwards’s work, the global black initiative operates like a vital lifeline in his artistic expression and how exploring different techniques of welding and engaging his cultural and political values he established his own artistic language across five decades. (Screening with Intore)

Sunday, May 8th at 1:30pm (Q&A with Lydie Diakhaté, Melvin Edwards and Clyde Taylor) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center

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TCHINDAS
Marc Serena and Pablo García Pérez de Lara, Spain/Cape Verde, 2015, 95min.
In Cape Verdean Creole with English subtitles

Within a small, tropical Cape Verdean Island, the beloved Tchinda is hard at work preparing for a Carnival she hopes will capture the town’s imagination. Despite her great reputation, Tchinda remains humble and every afternoon she happily tours the neighborhood to sell her best “coxinhas”, a classic Brazilian treat: delicious fried balls of chicken. Filmmakers Marc Serena and Pablo García Pérez de Lara have crafted a lush, perceptive documentary that at times feels akin to a fairy tale. The film reveals a hidden landscape tucked far away from the world we know, where trans inclusion and teamwork make up the fundamental structure of a truly magical community and culture.

Sunday, May 15th at 8:00pm – Maysles Cinema


TGV
Moussa Touré, France/Germany/Senegal, 1997, 88min.
In Wolof and French with English subtitles

TGV is an express bus service, driven by Rambo, between Dakar (Senegal) and Conakry (Guinea). Before setting off, Rambo and his passengers are warned of the danger of a violent revolt on the Guinea border. On hearing the news, only a dozen or so passengers decide to make the risky trip with Rambo and Demba, his assistant. As they make their way through the chaos, each personality comes to the fore and relationships form.

Monday, May 30th at 2:00pm and 6:30pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


TOO BLACK TO BE FRENCH?
Isabelle Boni-Claverie, France, 2015, 52min.
In French with English subtitles

In 2010, offended by the racist comments against black people held by Jean Paul Guerlain on the France 2 TV news, Isabelle Boni-Claverie organized several demonstrations on the Champs Élysées, negotiated with the LVMH group and obtained a series of measures to promote diversity. However, this incident, which she documents in the film, left her with a bad taste. How is it that today, in France, this is still happening? In response to this question, using a first-person approach, the filmmaker leads an investigation. She invokes the model story of her grandparents, an interracial couple of the 1930s. Reflecting on her upper middle-class childhood, she probes the relationship between class and race. Not without humor, in the manner of: “You know you are black when…”, she asks would-be interlocutors to testify before the camera about the exasperations that they experience. Both personal and collective, the film does not hesitate to call existing policies into question.

Friday, May 13th at 7:00pm (Q&A with Isabelle Boni-Claverie) – Maysles Cinema


TWAAGA (INVINCIBLE)
Cedric Ido, France/ Burkina Faso, 2013, 30min.
In Mooré, French and Arabic with English subtitles

Burkina Faso in 1985 is a country in the throes of revolution. Manu, a young boy who loves comics, tags along with his big brother Albert. When Albert decides to undergo a magic ritual, Manu realizes there are real powers to rival even those of superheroes. (Screening with La Belle at the Movies)

Friday, May 6th at 4:15pm and Monday, May 9th at 8:30pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


UNDER THE STARRY SKY
Dyana Gaye, France/Senegal, 2013, 86min.
In French, Wolof, English and Italian with English subtitles

Between Turin, Dakar, and New York, three destinies cross paths and echo one another, forming a constellation of exile. Twenty-four-year-old Sophie leaves Dakar to join her husband, Abdoulaye, in Turin. Meanwhile, Abdoulaye has already left for New York through a smuggler’s network and 19-year-old Thierno is traveling in Africa for the first time. Under the Starry Sky takes us on a journey through three distinct, diverse cities, underscoring the realities, hopes, and dreams of contemporary emigration.

Sunday, May 29th at 4:00pm, 6:00pm and 8:00pm – BAM Rose Cinemas


WHILE YOU WEREN’T LOOKING
Catherine Stewart, South Africa, 2015, 104min.
In English, Xhosa and Afrikans with English subtitles

The changing landscape of post-Apartheid South African politics and lifestyles is portrayed through two central relationships: a successful black real estate woman who is cheating on her white wife, and their bohemian daughter dating a gender non-confirming woman in the Khayelitsha township.

Friday, May 6th at 2:00pm and Sunday, May 8th at 9:15pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


YEMANJÁ: WISDOM FROM THE AFRICAN HEART OF BRAZIL
Donna C. Roberts and Donna Read, USA/Brazil, 2015, 52min.
In English and Portuguese with English subtitles

Co-Presented by Cinema Tropical 

This documentary, narrated by the Pulitzer Prize–winning author Alice Walker, explores the ethics, social justice, racism, ecological sustainability, and power found in community and faith via the stories of four extraordinary elder female leaders of the Afro-indigenous Candomblé spiritual tradition in Bahia, Brazil. In metropolitan Salvador, the Americas’ main port during the transatlantic slave trade, slavery’s brutal history was transformed into a vibrant religio-cultural tradition in Brazil, the world’s largest Catholic country. Candomblé is a brilliant example of resilience, profound dedication to one’s heritage, and the forces of nature that sustain us all. In the face of tremendous planetary and humanitarian crises, these ancient wisdoms offer inspiration for our shared global concerns. (Screening with Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Cheiftainess)

Sunday, May 8th at 4:15pm (Q&A with Donna C. Roberts) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center 


SHORTS PROGRAM #1 – QUARTIERS LOINTAINS U.S. PREMIERE (total 103min.)

THE RETURN
Yohann Kouam, France, 2013, 22min.
In French with English subtitles

It’s been a year since his big brother left, and Willy, 15, can’t wait for him to return. Willy thought he knew everything about Theo, but when he arrives back in the block, Willy discovers a secret about him…

The Return

THE SENSE OF TOUCH
Jean-Charles Mbotti Mololo, France, 2014, 15min.
In French with English subtitles

Chloe and Louis are deaf and mute. They are secretly in love but they don’t admit it. Their gestures substitute for words. They dance, each word is choreography.

The Sense of Touch

DESTINO
Zangro, France, 2013, 22min.
In French with English subtitles

Two young guys from the neighborhood (Loïc and Mehdi) have set up a little business filming Arabic wedding celebrations and then editing them in their mini van, their ‘audiovisual laboratory’. But when Mehdi starts to film the wedding of Leila, his pretty ex-girlfriend…destiny happens.

Destino de Zangro

TOWARDS TENDERNESS
Alice Diop, France, 2016, 40min.
In French with English subtitles

An intimate exploration of a masculine territory in a French suburb, Towards Tenderness follows a group of vagrant men, while a universe is revealed where female bodies are nothing more than ghostly and virtual silhouettes.

To Tenderness

Saturday, May 7th at 4:00pm (Q&A with Alice Diop and Quartiers Lointains programmer Caire Diao) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


SHORTS PROGRAM #2 – AFRICA IN NEW YORK (total 58min.)

AFRIPEDIA X NEW YORK
Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft, Senay Berhe, Sweden/USA, 2016, 12min.
In English

In the first in a series of short films set in the African diaspora, we meet Ethiopian/Eritrean Missla Libsekal, the founder of online publication Another Africa, as she embraces collaboration to counter the assumed perspectives of Africa and Africans. Senegalese/French photographer Delphine Diallo shares her passion and challenges in mindfully shifting her lens between Dakar and New York, while Somalian/Australian world champion Hula Hoop master Marawa continues to perfect her passion in the face of conventional expectations. Welcome to Afripedia, welcome to creativity.

Ap New York

ANTON
Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, USA/Uganda/Germany, 2016, 5min.
In German with English subtitles

A young German boy longs for his father in Africa.

anton2

CONTAINED
Mamadou Dia, Senegal/USA, 2016, 5min.
In French with English subtitles

A man suspected of having Ebola is quarantined. Contained alone, he starts to question his health and his psychological state.

Screen Shot 2016-02-20 at 2.28.33 PM

OLIVE
Alfonso Johnson, USA, 2016, 6.5min.
In English

Olive is a short film that explores betrayal, heartbreak, and chance encounters. The film was inspired by the song O Mistress Mine written by William Shakespeare and performed by Caleb Eberhardt of the hip hop/jazz duo Quincy Vidal.

olive

RELUCTANTLY QUEER
Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/USA, 2016, 8min.
In English

This epistolary short film invites us into the unsettling life of a young Ghanaian man struggling to reconcile his love for his mother with his love for same-sex desire amid the increased tensions incited by same-sex politics in Ghana. Focused on a letter that is ultimately filled with hesitation and uncertainty, Reluctantly Queer both disrobes and questions what it means to be queer for this man in this time and space.

Reluctantly Queer_KwameOtu

NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU
Iquo B. Essien, USA, 2016, 21min.
In English

Viviane is a neurotic, struggling actress given to childish flights of fancy–like moving to Los Angeles on a whim. But can she leave New York and Kazembe, the love of her life, behind?

nyilu

Tuesday, May 10th at 7:45pm (Q&A with Iquo B. Essien, Alfonso Johnson, Mamadou Dia, Hoji Fortuna) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center


ART SHOW: DIGITAL DIASPORA FAMILY REUNION
May 4 – 10, 2016

Amphitheater at The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center – Free & Open to the Public

Digital Diaspora Family Roadshow

This digital art exhibit features portraits and images from the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow, which enhance and expand the boundaries of the roadshow events to an even larger audience across time and space, creating an inter-generational, cross-cultural experience. The exhibit includes people working together in groups using smartphone photography to record and preserve their family histories.

Sunday, May 1st 2016, 2:00 pm- 4:15 pm

DIGITAL DIASPORA FAMILY REUNION ROADSHOW +  PANEL DISCUSSION – ART & ACTIVISM: PERSONAL JOURNEYS

The Amphitheater at Film Society of Lincoln Center
144 W. 65th Street
New York, NY 10023-6595

The 23rd edition of the New York African Film Festival opens with a special live, interactive town hall event featuring the Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow. People of all background are invited to bring family photos (on phones, Ipads, or traditional print photos) to the event for a chance to be selected to share their family stories, and in the process discover the links that underlie our common humanity. Those who wish to come and simply watch the event as audience members are welcome too. A panel discussion with creatives from the African Diaspora will follow the interactive family reunion roadshow.