In May 2017, the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returns to the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC), Maysles Cinema, Lehman College and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek for its 24th edition.The festival takes on the theme, The Peoples’ Revolution*, to illuminate a new wave of artists throughout Africa and its diaspora seeking reform and taking the sociopolitical actions to do so. These individuals increasingly exist where values of human rights, civic duty, and the democratic, unrestricted nature of technology intersect and become interdependent. Resulting intersections which correlate with artists’ everyday realities, are spaces where ideas of identity, culture, and notions of “home” are rewired and thus, function in ways markedly distinct from previous generations. Within these new arenas, validation is affirmed through self-representation, self-actualization, and importantly, through ascertaining their own voice within the larger world discourse.
*Please note that the s’ in The Peoples’ Revolution is intentional. Our focus is not just on one specific people, but the global family.
The 24th NYAFF is comprised of over 45 films from 25 countries including South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, and Sudan. The festival opens at FSLC on May 3rd at 7:00pm with our Opening Night Film, followed by a post-screening discussion and reception. On the evening of the May 9th, 2017, a NYAFF program titled Activism & Art: Personal Journeys, features artists of various disciplines discussing how their artistic practices serve as forms of activism. From FSLC, we will present an evening of film and discussion at Lehman College on May 10th, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s ‘One Book, One New York’ inaugural program. From Lehman College, the festival caravan travels to Maysles Cinema in Harlem, from May 19th to May 21st, where the focus will be on documentary works. The festival ’s finale will take place at BAMcinématek from May 26th to May 29th in conjunction with DanceAfrica, featuring Guinea as this year’s guest country.
Among the 2017 NYAFF highlights are the internationally acclaimed South African film Vaya by director Akin Omotoso; Ewir Amora Kelabi, from Ethiopia, a poetic film about borders and the people caught between them; and a powerful shorts program that includes the film 80 by Muhannad Iamin, the first animated documentary from Libya. The festival will also highlight short films from Senegal, works by filmmakers of African descent who live in New York City, and will continue our exploration of Ousmane Sembene’s legacy. This year’s NYAFF will also feature a stunning digital art exhibition that explores dance, movement, and virtual reality.
Film Society of Lincoln Center: May 3 – May 9
Lehman College: May 10
Maysles Cinema: May 19 – 21
Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek: May 26 – 29
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