Essays & Articles

Since the first NY African Film Festival in 1993, AFF has cultivated an international network of industry professionals and media scholars to contribute insights to the historical and aesthetic significance of works by filmmakers in Africa and the Diaspora. Our collection of literature complements audience experiences of African cinema with the cultural contexts and production values that inform a finished work. It reflects the aspirations of AFF contributors as well as the directors themselves through interviews, film reviews, essays, and film industry observations.

  • Review: Faat Kine
  • By Samba Gadjigo
  • Like Borom Sarret, Black Girl, The Money Order, and Xala, Ousmane Sembene’s latest release is another chapter in the writer-director’s laser-sharp commentary of post-independence in Senegal. Faat Kine brings the viewer face to face with politically, … read more»

  • Tunde Kelani and His Passion
  • By Tunde Adegbola
  • Because of Tunde Kelani’s first-hand experience of Yoruba traditional culture, his knack for details, the high level of visuality in his perceptive skills and the constant enrichment of his mind with literature from diverse cultures of the world, it is … read more»

  • Reflections on FESPACO 2001
  • By Alite Thijsen
  • The monument, a rather curious construction representing stacked film cans, reflects an element of the humble yet ambitious nature of the African film industry. It is indeed a great achievement that one of the poorest countries in Africa, despite political … read more»

  • FESPACO 17: Cinema and New Technology
  • By AFF
  • The cinema sector and, more generally, the audiovisual must almost permanently be reorganizing its modes and means of production because of the fast and outstanding progress in information, image and sound technologies. In Africa, because the industry is weakened by … read more»

  • Pan African Film Festival II
  • By Fatima Froes

    Ten films, including features and documentaries and eleven videos were screened during the course of the festival. This year’s festival selection highlighted works from Portuguese-speaking African countries and works of established and emerging directors from Brazil. Several of the … read more»

  • Globalizing African Cinema?
  • By Mbye Cham
  • Is it a mere fortuitous coincidence that the last two decades of the twentieth century witnessed the re-emergence of the very same forces and ideologies of expansion, domination and control that burst onto the world scene in the last two … read more»

  • Something Ventured
  • By Doreen Bowens
  • 15 July 2000

    I was on my way home via the A train to Brooklyn feeling kind of drained. Maybe it was from the good cry I had had at Djoniba’s Dance & Drum Centre. My friend Noori had brought … read more»

  • Lumumba: Death of a Prophet, Life of the Image
  • By Prerana Reddy
  • Through the starkness of Peck’s iconic choices and the poetic character of the voiceover, we are moved to a certain comprehension of the incommensurable.

    Raoul Peck occupies a liminal space in filmmaking, blurring the boundaries between documentary and fiction, between … read more»

  • Thoughts on The Daily Nation, A Film
  • By Tom Mshindi
  • I thought the film directors of The Daily Nation did a commendable job in capturing the mood and character of not only life within the Nation Media Group and newspaper industry in Kenya, but also of the country as a … read more»

  • Ramadan Suleman: Fools
  • By Rory Bester
  • In the last decade, anti-apartheid films with South Africa as a backdrop, have generally been English language, Hollywood productions, with white protagonists, often played by big-name Hollywood actors. The narrative of the films usually focuses on the exteriority of the … read more»

  • Excerpt from No Longer Invisible: Afro-Latin Americans Today
  • By Anani Dzidzienyo
  • It is self-evident that specific historical, cultural, socio-economic and political conjunctions result in the emergence of different race relations patterns in the Americas. Brazil and the Caribbean countries, for example, differ significantly from Peru, where people of African descent are … read more»

  • New Wave / Old Wave
  • By Elizabeth Mermin
  • African cinema has been around for forty years now. Most of the early films were either idealized portraits of a pre-colonial Africa, anti-colonial political tracts, or transitional stories about the move between the village and the city or Africa and … read more»