afroMOTIONS highlights the power of movement and rhythm to absorb, unpack, express, and energize! The three-fold installation features a virtual reality zone, Dance Battle 360º created by the Afripedia team Senay Berhe and Teddy Goitom, as well as a looped screening of artist Nora Chipaumire’sAfro Promo #1 (Kinglady), an embodied reworking of gender and superheroes and visual artist Keisha Nicole Knight’s short experimental film Body Mechanics.
In Afro Promo #1 (Kinglady), performance artist and choreographer Nora Chipaumire explores the influence of comic book heroes on the American immigrant experience to unpack aspects of African masculinity and explore the creation of a Black, African, male-female superhero.
Body Mechanics is a short experimental dance film by Brooklyn-based artist Keisha Knight remixing archival films by Thomas Edison to explore early cinema’s fascination with the exotic and the electric.
Afripedia Dance Battle 360° (May 5th – May 9th)
Welcome to the world’s first 360° VR Dance Battle experience from Africa, showcasing some of the best urban street dancers from Dakar, Senegal. Through the Afripedia – Dance Battle 360°, we want to create a immersive experience that allows everyone to take part despite physical borders. The experience is an exclusive insight into contemporary African street dance where you will meet the street dancers Khoudia Toure, Pierre Belleka aka “Dexter”, Ousmane Ndiaye aka “LilSeush”, Xavier Sagna, Kirsner Tsengou Dingha aka “Cortex” and Amadou Lamine Sow aka “Pi”. Professional dancers with moves that make the streets and floor boil!
Production company : Stocktown Films and House Of Real
Directors: Senay Berhe & Marie Skovgaard
Producers: Teddy Goitom & Anna J Ljungmark
*Participants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult
Exhibition runs from May 3 – 9 in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center – Amphitheater
Join us for a panel featuring some of the most dynamic interdisciplinary artists from the international African diaspora, who will discuss the visual and social themes underscoring the festival. Guests include Zimbabwe-born, Brooklyn-based choreographer Nora Chipaumire (via Skype); Ethiopian and Eritrean film producers Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe, who produced Afripedia; Darlene and Lizzy Okpo, designers of William Okpo; and Raquel Cepeda, filmmaker and author of Bird of Paradise; moderated by artist and filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris.
For over two decades, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) and the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) have co-presented the New York African Film Festival, using cinema as a tool to bring African culture, history and politics to thousands of viewers in the United States.
Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 W 65th St, New York, NY 10023
Lehman College, Lovinger Theater May 10, 2017 A special program will take place 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.
For several years, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) and the Maysles Cinema Institute (Maysles) have co-presented this festival, using cinema as a tool to bring African culture, history and politics to thousands of viewers in the United States.
Come celebrate Opening Night of the 24th New York African Film Festival at the Film Society of Lincoln Center!
The screenings of the 2016 New York African Film Festival begin on Wednesday, May 3rd in the Walter Reade Theater of Film Society of Lincoln Center with the U.S. Premiere ofVaya by Akin Omotoso. Following the screening and Q&A, a reception at 9:30pm in support of the programs of African Film Festival, Inc. will be held in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater.
In Vaya, three strangers on a train traveling from the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg are bound by interlocking destinies. Each appointed with their own task to complete, their separate quests intertwine in a series of gripping narratives: Nkulu (Sibusiso Msimang), charged with retrieving his father’s remains from the capital for burial, is unaware that a whole other set of relatives have their own plans. Zanele (Zimkhitha Nyoka), chaperoning a young girl en-route to reuniting with her singer mother, is given an exciting offer to appear on television that may be more than meets the eye. Nhlanhla (Sihle Xaba), excited by the prospect of getting rich quick, gets caught up in criminal activities. As they struggle for survival, they attempt to hold steadfastly to their integrity and dignity in a city in which they hoped to find protection and solace.
Director Akin Omotoso will be in attendance for an audience Q&A following the screening.
The urge to reclaim stolen images and voices has been a motto for African filmmakers and artists since the 60s. Cinema has served as a megaphone for the African people to let the world know about their collective and individual struggles. As Frantz Fanon said: “Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it”.
Today, filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora use creativity in its widest sense to free themselves from historical preconceptions and contemporary economic and sociopolitical constraints. Their films are characterized by formal experimentation while stressing the need to communicate powerful messages to their audiences. They offer us playful narratives where genres mix and dialogue with the arts and non-western filmic traditions subvert and surprise audience expectations. Issues such as human rights and civic duty, ecological concerns, technological interconnectedness, and ethical behavior find representation. These filmmakers show the immense possibilities of engaging in open experimentation with an engaged attitude that flees from univocal stories to map the diversity of the world.
“A hilarious social satire about what it means to be Nigerian today.”
The U.S. premiere of the award-winning South African drama Vaya, by Akin Omotoso, will open the 24th edition of the New York African Film Festival at Film Society of Lincoln Center. The story of three strangers coming from the country to Joburg, Vaya is a portrait of a tough and exciting city in a way never seen before. Kalushi and Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief) demonstrate the vitality of the South African thriller with two true accounts of resilience and heroism in apartheid South Africa; while the documentary Uprize! uses a peaceful student protest violently repressed as an occasion to reflect on the power of education.
Humor is the principal ingredient of the Nigerian film Green White Green by Abba T. Makama – a hilarious social satire and metanarrative about what it means to be Nigerian today. The “dramedy” Zizou, by pioneer filmmaker Férid Boughedir, is a personal take on the outset of the Arab Spring in Tunisia.
Based on real-life events, the poetic and epic journey of emigration, Ewir Amora Kelabi by Ethiopian director Sewmehon Yismaw will be the centerpiece of the program and a worldwide premiere. We recover the jewel Mapantsula from Oliver Schmitz, the first anti-apartheid film, made in 1988, and a rarely screened short by Jamaican filmmaker Lebert Bethune, Malcom X: Struggle for Freedom, about BrotherMalcolm’s take on global issues. Other films touching the revolutionary impulse are the documentary Footprints of Pan-Africanism about the role of intellectuals from Africa and the Diaspora in Black liberation movements since the 50s, with Ghanaian Nkrumah at the center, and the stunning archival work Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta, focusing on the trailblazing scholar of African history.
To underpin the bridges within the Diaspora, the NYAFF will feature two Caribbean films: Play the Devil, from Trinidad, a mesmerizing tale about the loss of innocence, loosely inspired on Black Orpheus; and Ayiti Mon Amour,a lyric reflection on life in post-earthquake Haiti.
“We travel to Senegal to reap the harvest sown by Ousmane Sembène and Djibril Diop Mambéty…”
Three programs show the dynamism of the short film genre. We travel to Senegal to reap the harvest sown by Ousmane Sembène and Djibril Diop Mambéty in a selection of imaginative films including Boxing Girl and Dem! Dem!, which touch on national cinematic history. Quartiers Lointains spans Africa and Europe, revealing how formal experimentation can turn dramatic situations into art in the first animated short from Libya (80) and the fairytale of South African reconciliation in Kanye Kanye. The diverse community of African filmmakers in NYC dives into deep feelings linked to loss and distance (My Third Eye, Farewell Meu Amor, Ududeagu) and the complexities faced by young African-Americans (Rest in Power, Malik Carmichael).
The event “Art & Activism: Personal Journeys” will gather artists of various disciplines at the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center Amphitheater to discuss how their art serves as activism. The festival will also feature a digital art exhibition exploring dance and movement, via virtual reality.
“No dream is impossible when, against all odds, a child from Gabon becomes a master of Wushu in China.”
We will co-host an evening of film and discussion with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s inaugural One Book, One New York program on May 10th at Lehman College in the Bronx. The festival caravan will then move on to Maysles Cinema in Harlem where documentary films will fill the screens for three whole days. The African Who Wanted to Fly, an unforgettable portrait of martial artist and actor Luc Bedza, proves that no dream is impossible when, against all odds, a child from Gabon becomes a master of Wushu in China. The Revolution Won’t Be Televised examines the power of collaboration to effect change through the Senegalese political hip-hop movement Y’en a Marre. In Allen Report, the African Methodist Episcopal Church aids Caribbean black liberation groups and inthe film Naija Beta a group of kids work on an MIT robot competition in Lagos. The murdered dreams for a new Burkina Faso of Captain Thomas Sankara find their intimate counterpart in So Far Away from Vietnam, where Vietnamese-Senegalese families continue to experience the effects of colonialism.
BAMcinématek will close the program with the Tuareg homage to Prince’s Purple Rain, Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai; Martha & Niki, the story of the first female world champions of Hip-Hop dance; and Price of Love, an Ethiopian urban melodrama dealing with sex workersprostitution and , poverty and human trafficking. Paying tribute to the realities of Guinea and its creative drive are Cheick Fantamady Camara’s timeless love story, Clouds Over Conakry, the controversial and humorous Paris Selon Moussa,and a selection of Soviet shorts about Guinean Independence.
Akin Omotoso’s South African drama Vaya selected as Opening Night, Sewmehon Yismaw’s Ewir Amora Kelabi is Centerpiece *Full festival line-up will be announced on Monday, April 9th
Vaya, Akin Omotoso
We have joined forces once again with African Film Festival, Inc., to present the 24th New York African Film Festival, May 3-9. The festival’s theme, “The Peoples’ Revolution,” taps into the pulse of protest and the calls for change bubbling up throughout the peoples of the world, a reform charge championed by a new wave of artists throughout Africa and its diaspora. The festival continues throughout May at Lehman College, Maysles Cinema, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek. Across these venues, the festival will present a total of 25 feature-length films and 36 short films from 25 countries—celebrated African films from the continent and the diaspora.
“In Africa, as in most of the developing world, young people are the majority. These vibrant human beings are the engines driving today’s societal transformations,” said AFF Executive Director and NYAFF Founder Mahen Bonetti. “They believe in traditional African values, African solutions to African problems, and in Africa’s right to the bounty of her own resources. In this year’s films, we see a generation of young people concerned with reclaiming what is rightfully theirs—their cultural identity, their homes, their dignity.”
Opening Night will see the U.S. premiere of award-winning South African director Akin Omotoso’s Vaya, a moving film about three strangers on a train to the city whose lives eventually collide. The film won the Special Jury Prize for Outstanding Film at the 2016 Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) and took the Best Screenplay prize at Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards in 2017. A reception will follow at the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at the Walter Reade Theater. Tickets for the movie and Opening Night Reception are $150 and are available online at africanfilmny.org. Regular festival prices apply to tickets for the screening only and they can be purchased at filmlinc.org.
Ewir Amora Kelabi, Sewmehon Yismaw
Ethiopian filmmaker Sewmehon Yismaw’s drama Ewir Amora Kelabi will have its world premiere as the Centerpiece selection on Friday, May 5. Based on a true story, this remarkable tale is about one’s journey to find a better life and honor one’s family, highlighting the plight of displaced people worldwide.
Other films taking up this theme include the Tunisian dramedy Zizou, set at the outset of the Arab Spring; the South African drama Kalushi, based on a true story during the Soweto uprisings; the South African documentary Uprize!, about a peaceful protest of the apartheid government of South Africa in the 1970s that turned into a slaughter; the documentary Malcolm X: Struggle for Freedom, a rarely screened repertory title chronicling the American leader as he took on global issues; and Footprints of Pan-Africanism, a documentary on the role of Africans in the independence movement.
The FSLC segment concludes with “Art and Activism: Personal Journeys,” a town hall event with artists of various disciplines discussing how their art serves as activism, at the Elinor Bunin Monroe Film Center Amphitheater. It includes a digital art exhibition exploring dance and movement via virtual reality.
Tickets will go on sale Thursday, April 20. A pre-sale to Film Society members will begin Tuesday, April 18. See more and save with the 3+ film discount package.
Following its opening at Film Society of Lincoln Center, the NYAFF heads to other New York City institutions throughout May. On May 10, the festival presents an evening of film and discussion at Lehman College in the Bronx, in conjunction with the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media Entertainment’s inaugural “One Book, One New York” program. On May 19, the festival lands at Maysles Cinema in Harlem for a three-day program of documentaries. As is its tradition, the festival concludes over Memorial Day Weekend (May 26-29) at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAMcinématek) as part of its popular dance and music festival DanceAfrica.
The programs of AFF are made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Bradley Family Foundation, International Organization of La Francophonie, Domenico Paulon Foundation, New York Community Trust, NYC & Company, French Cultural Services, Manhattan Portage Bags, City Bakery, Black Hawk Imports, Voss Water, South African Consulate General, Consulate General of Sweden in New York, Hudson Hotel, and Royal Air Maroc.
Uprize!, Sifiso Khanyile
FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All screenings take place at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center (144 West 65th Street) unless otherwise noted
Opening Night Vaya Akin Omotoso, South Africa, 2016, 115m Zulu with English subtitles Three strangers on a train traveling from the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg are bound by interlocking destinies. Nkulu (Sibusiso Msimang), charged with retrieving his father’s remains from the capital for burial, is unaware that a whole other set of relatives have their own plans. Zanele (Zimkhitha Nyoka), chaperoning a young girl en route to reuniting with her singer mother, is given an exciting offer to appear on television that may be more than meets the eye. Nhlanhla (Sihle Xaba), excited by the prospect of getting rich quick, gets caught up in criminal activities. Imagine a South African spin on Amores Perros and you’re on the right path. U.S. Premiere Wednesday, May 3, 7:00pm* (Q&A with Akin Omotoso) Friday, May 5, 2:00pm *Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th Street
Centerpiece Ewir Amora Kelabi Sewmehon Yismaw, Ethiopia, 2016, 85m Amharic with English subtitles Based on a true story, this film chronicles the life of Major Tibebu Mesfin, who worked for the Dergue Regime in Ethiopia. During this time of ideological struggle and infighting among the regime’s leadership, Tibebu disappears and his wife is captured, imprisoned, and tortured. Years later, fueled by a deep-seated desire to help his ailing mother, Tibebu’s son leaves the town of Gonder to search for work. The result is an unpredictable adventure, the story of how far one man will go to fulfill his destiny, and a tale for the ages about the resilience of the human spirit. World Premiere
Preceded by: Hairat Harari and Oromiffa with English subtitles Jessica Beshir, Ethiopia, 2016, 7m For the past 35 years, Yussuf Mume Saleh journeys at night to the outskirts of the walled city of Harar to bond with his beloved hyenas. New York Premiere Friday, May 5, 6:30pm (Q&A with Sewmehon Yismaw, Zekarias Tibebu Mesfin, and Jessica Beshir) Tuesday, May 9, 1:30pm
Ayiti Mon Amour Guetty Felin, Haiti, 2016, 88m Haitian Creole, French, and Japanese with English subtitles Set in Haiti five years after the devastating 2010 earthquake, Guetty Felin’s magical realist tale avoids the kinds of images of the disaster that saturated screens around the world. In his depiction of young Orphée’s grief over the loss of his father beneath the rubble of decimated buildings (represented in ghostly images that float beneath the ocean’s surface), Felin refuses to tell a story of victimhood. Instead, she gives the narrative back to the Haitian people, whose lives cannot be reduced headlines. And as her characters begin to heal, Felin suggests that the island will too. Co-presented with Cinema Tropical.
Preceded by: Jojolo Lebert Bethune, Jamaica/USA, 1966, 12m A subtle study of cultural identity following a graceful young woman of Haitian descent who works as a fashion model and actress in cosmopolitan Paris. Cool, light, and lyrical in style, Bethune’s portrait has a deft thematic touch. Sunday, May 7, 6:15pm (Q&A with Guetty Felin, Lebert Bethune)
Ayiti Mon Amour, Guetty Felin Footprints of Pan-Africanism Shirikiana Gerima, USA, 2017, 90m The documentary Footprints of Pan-Africanism revisits the era of Ghana’s emergence into independence, when Africans on the continent and in the diaspora participated in building a liberated territory. This movement, rooted in the determination to reassert black people’s humanity and recover from the impact of slavery and colonialism, constituted an essential, indispensable part of the global Pan-African vision for liberation, which in the 1950s, ’60s, and ’70s ushered in no less than a black political and cultural revolution. Footprints ultimately celebrates the challenges young generations continue to pose to those who have yet to pick up the baton of the great Pan-African dreamers. Co-presented with Africa-America Institute. New York Premiere
Preceded by: Accra Power Sandra Krampelhuber, Austria/Ghana, 2016, 49m Accra Power focuses on the creative and artistic strategies of young Ghanaians situated at the crossroads of tradition and various belief systems, high technological and economic growth, infrastructural deficits and current energy crisis. U.S. Premiere Sunday, May 7, 1:30pm (Q&A with Shirikiana Gerima, Sandra Krampelhuber, Andrea Verena Strasser)
Green White Green Abba Makama, Nigeria, 2016, 102m English and Pidgin with English subtitles Shot on location in Lagos, Green White Green humorously explores social and political views commonly held throughout Nigeria, with each character representing one of the country’s three major ethnic groups. A story about classism and how people from different economic and cultural backgrounds think and behave, Green White Green plays with stereotypes to illustrate just how similar we are despite our diversity and prejudices. New York Premiere Friday, May 5, 8:45pm (Q&A with Abba Makama)
Kalushi English, Afrikaans, and Tsotsi-taal with English subtitles Mandla Dube, South Africa, 2016, 110m Kalushi is a true story about Solomon Mahlangu, a 19-year-old hawker from the streets of Mamelodi, a ghetto township outside Pretoria, South Africa. After being brutally beaten by police during the 1976 Soweto uprisings, he goes into exile and joins the liberation movement; a series of violent events lead Mahlangu on a journey that culminates in his being forced to stand trial for his life, using the courtroom as his final battlefield. A hero of the struggle against apartheid, Mahlangu would become an international icon of South Africa’s liberation. New York Premiere Saturday, May 6, 8:30pm (Q&A with Mandla Dube, Pearl Thusi) Tuesday, May 9, 3:30pm
Play the Devil, Maria Govan
Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta Ousmane William Mbaye, Senegal, 2016, 94m In Wolof and French with English subtitles “The Universal Man,” “The Capital Contemporary,” “The Giant of Knowledge,” “The Last Pharaoh”: those were some of the newspaper headlines the day after the death of Senegalese historian, doctor, and politician Cheikh Anta Diop on February 7, 1986. Kemtiyu is a portrait of this trailblazing scholar—venerated by some, derided by others, and unknown to most—an honest, enlightened political figure who had an insatiable thirst for science and knowledge. New York Premiere Thursday, May 4, 6:00pm (Q&A with Ousmane William Mbaye)
Mapantsula Oliver Schmitz, South Africa, 1988, 100m In English, Sotho, Zulu, and Afrikaans with English subtitles Mapantsula was the first anti-apartheid feature film made by, for, and about black South Africans. Filmed inside Soweto, scored to the urban beat of “Township Jive” music, it has been called a South African The Harder They Come. Mapantsula tells the story of Panic, a petty gangster who gets caught up in the growing anti-apartheid struggle and has to choose between individual gain and standing united with others against the system. This film gives viewers an insider’s tour of township life and a taste of the vibrant popular cinema to come promised by the new, democratic South Africa. Monday, May 8, 9:00pm
Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief) Daryne Joshua, South Africa, 2016, 125m Afrikaans with English subtitles Daryne Joshua’s debut feature is a portrait of life on the mean streets of Cape Town’s lawless Cape Flats in the 1960s. Barely into their teens, Abraham and his three friends form a gang, more out of self-preservation than malice. As they grow up, Abraham (now played by the intense Dann-Jacques Mouton) and his gang turn to petty thievery. After he is arrested, Abraham’s storytelling abilities protect him from the worst that prison life has to offer. Once he’s out, he hopes to reunite with his childhood sweetheart and get his stories down on paper—if, that is, his gang friends and society give him a chance. Noem My Skollie is both a tribute to the human need for stories—and storytellers—and a realistic look at youth gang behavior. New York Premiere Thursday, May 4, 8:15pm (Q&A with Daryne Joshua) Monday, May 8, 2:00pm
Play the Devil Maria Govan, Trinidad, 2016, 90m In Play the Devil, the prevailing poverty and lush beauty of Trinidad and the pulsating rhythms of Carnival are backdrop to a story where dreams and obsession collide. Gifted 18-year-old Gregory is his family’s only hope for financial success. When the naive young man meets James, a powerful, affluent businessman offering friendship and guidance, his world spins out of control. As James’s persistent advances become more intrusive and menacing, Gregory’s initial compliance changes to rejection and the fallout threatens to ruin his future and expose his secrets. Gregory and James face each other once again—on Carnival Monday, when young men cover themselves in blue paint, dress as devils, and become lost in the frenzy of drumming and howling. Co-presented with Cinema Tropical. Friday, May 5, 4:30pm Sunday, May 7, 8:45pm (Q&A with Maria Govan)
Kemtiyu, Cheikh Anta
Preceded by: Malcolm X: Struggle for Freedom Lebert Bethune, Jamaica/USA, 1967, 20m Bethune’s film portrays Malcolm X at a time when his views were evolving to include what was going on in the world at large. It features interviews filmed during Malcolm X’s trip to Europe and Africa shortly before his assassination in the United States, interspersed with scenes of African rebellion. Sunday, May 7, 4:15pm (Q&A with Sifiso Khanyile, Lebert Bethune)
Zizou Férid Boughedir, Tunisia/ France, 2016, 99m Arabic and French with English subtitles In Boughedir’s tale of an unlikely hero, young college graduate Aziz, nicknamed “Zizou,” leaves his village on the border of Sahara for the capital in quest of a job. After he becomes a satellite-dish installer, interacting with people from all walks of life, he falls madly in love with a young woman who has ties to a mafia group working closely with the governmental regime. His quest to set her free becomes his reason for living, and he proceeds unconsciously into the growing tide of a revolution about to wash over Tunisia. U.S. Premiere Saturday, May 6, 3:45pm (Q&A with Férid Boughedir) Monday, May 8, 4:30pm
80, Muhannad Lamin
Shorts Program 1: Quartier Lointains: Justice Total runtime: 87m The following selection was curated by the traveling shorts program Quartiers Lointains, which highlights films from distant quarters throughout Africa.
80 Muhannad Lamin, Libya, 2012, 6m Lamin’s 80 depicts a man on the two most important days of his life: the day he gets caught and imprisoned and the day he escapes. U.S. Premiere
The Aftermath of the Inauguration of the Public Toilet at Kilometer 375 Omar El Zohairy, Egypt, 2014, 18m Aftermath is an adaptation of Death of a Government Clerk, a short story by Anton Chekhov that takes a metaphorical approach to the idea of fear. U.S. Premiere
Kanye Kanye Miklas Manneke, South Africa, 2013, 26m In a South African township, where an argument over whether red or green apples are better causes the greatest divide in the town’s history, a young man, Thomas, falls in love with Thandi, who falls into the opposite camp. U.S. Premiere
Madama Esther Luck Razanajaona, Madagascar, 2013, 15m After getting fired, Mrs. Esther, a housekeeper in her fifties, may no longer be able to bring her grandson to the sea. So to make extra money, she agrees to harbor clandestine cockfights in her yard. U.S. Premiere
A Place for Myself Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo, Rwanda, 2016, 22m Five-year-old albino girl Elikia is made to feel unwanted by her classmates and neighbors. But her mother encourages her to embrace her differences. Together, they stand up for themselves and fight back against discrimination. U.S. Premiere Saturday, May 6, 1:00pm
Marabout, Alassane Sy
Shorts Program 2: Shorts from Senegal Total runtime: 101m
Marabout Alassane Sy, Senegal, 2016, 18m Wolof and French with English subtitles Marabout is the story of a police detective in Dakar who pursues a group of street kids after they steal from him, only to learn about the dangers they are exposed to in their daily lives. U.S. Premiere
Boxing Girl Iman Djionne, Senegal, 2016, 26m Wolof and French with English subtitles Boxing Girl is a coming-of-age tale about a bored 17-year-old hairdresser who finds red boxing gloves after getting hit by a motorbike in Dakar. As soon as she puts them on, she gets mysteriously carried all over the city. U.S. Premiere
Dem! Dem! Pape Bouname Lopy, Marc Recchia, Christophe Rolin, Senegal, 2016, 26m Wolof and French with English subtitles A Senegalese fisherman finds a Belgian passport on a beach in Dakar and decides to use it. He soon crosses paths with N’Zibou, a wise man who measures the clouds and questions the man about his search for identity.
Maman(s) Maïmouna Doucouré, Senegal/France, 2016, 20m French with English subtitles The lives of eight-year-old Aida and her family, who live in an apartment in the Parisian suburbs, are turned upside down when the girl’s father returns from their home country of Senegal—and he is not alone.
Samedi Cinema Mamadou Dia, USA, 2017, 11m Wolof and French with English subtitles Two young Senegalese boys’ friendship is tested after they are determined to see one last film at the town movie theater before it closes. Saturday, May 6, 6:15pm (Q&A with Mamadou Dia, Christophe Rolin, Pape Bouname Lopy)
My Third Eye, Nova Scott-James
Shorts Program 3: New York Shorts Total runtime: 89m
Adam & Howa Sarra Idris, Sudan, 2015, 8m A couple’s story becomes a metaphor for the relationship between the Sudanese diaspora who fled the country after political turmoil and those who were left behind. New York Premiere
Farewell Meu Amor Ekwa Msangi, Tanzania/USA, 2016, 10m On the morning of the long-awaited reunion with his exiled family, a man is faced with the heartbreak of a different type—of parting from his lover. U.S. Premiere
My Third Eye Nova Scott-James, USA, 2017, 4m This silent meditation on the relationship between a little girl and the male family member sexually abusing her examines the pain of intergenerational black familial trauma, but also the gift of spiritual independence. U.S. Premiere
Rest in Power, Malik Carmichael Ajay Ram, USA, 2014, 11m In this experimental short, eulogizing the life of 16-year-old Malik, a hypothetical teenager from the west side of Harlem, documentary-style interviews with Malik’s friends and family piece together the exceptional existence and senseless death of a black boy genius. New York Premiere
Sketch Mariama Diallo, USA, 2017, 24m A police sketch artist believes he has stumbled upon the suspect from one of his drawings and that he must do the right thing. New York Premiere
Ududeagu Akwaeke Emezi, Nigeria, 2014, 2m Igbo with English subtitles This contemporary visual folktale is rooted in concepts of loss, leaving, and loneliness. Emezi collaborated with her father to translate the voiceover, originally written in English, into Igbo, and narrated it herself as an exercise in engaging with the lost fluency of her language. New York Premiere
Ṣoju Oluwaseun Babalola, USA/Botswana/Nigeria/Sierra Leone, 2016, 30m In this documentary, surfers, metal heads, and guerilla filmmakers explore their identities and culture in Sierra Leone, Botswana, and Nigeria. New York Premiere Monday, May 8, 6:45pm (Q&A with Sarra Idris, Ekwa Msangi, Nova Scott-James, Mariama Diallo, S. Ajay Ram, Akwaeke Emezi, Oluwaseun Babalola)
Free Exhibition and Town Hall Event
Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater, 144 West 65th Street
Digital Art Exhibition Afro Promo #1 (Kinglady) + Afripedia – Dance Battle 360° + Body Mechanics In Afro Promo #1 (Kinglady), performance artist and choreographer Nora Chipaumire explores the influence of comic book heroes on the American immigrant experience to unpack aspects of African masculinity and explore the creation of a Black, African, male-female superhero. This will be accompanied by a new, interactive piece from the Afripedia collective titled Afripedia – Dance Battle 360°, a virtual reality showcase of contemporary African street dance culture, an immersive experience that allows anyone, anywhere to experience dance from the continent firsthand; and Body Mechanics, a short experimental dance film by Brooklyn-based artist Keisha Knight remixing archival films by Thomas Edison to explore early cinema’s fascination with the exotic and the electric. May 3-9
Town Hall Event Art and Activism: Personal Journeys Join us for a panel featuring the most illustrious interdisciplinary artists from the international African diaspora, who will discuss the visual and social themes underscoring the festival. Guests include Zimbabwe-born, Brooklyn-based choreographer Nora Chipaumire (via Skype); Ethiopian and Eritrean film producers Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe, who produced Afripedia; Darlene and Lizzy Okpo, designers of William Okpo; and Raquel Cepeda, filmmaker and author of Bird of Paradise. Tuesday, May 9, 7:00pm
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.
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..
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.
BLACK JEWS: THE ROOTS OF THE OLIVE TREEN.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)
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
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)
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.
THE CURSED ONESN.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.
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)
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’!
FAAJI AGBAU.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.
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!)
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.
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)
IN THE EYE OF THE SPIRALN.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)
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)
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.
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)
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.
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?
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.
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.
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)
Marcia Juzga, Senegal, 2015, 20min. French and Wolofwith 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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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.
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
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)
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.
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.
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)
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, USA/Uganda/Germany, 2016, 5min.
In German with English subtitles
A young German boy longs for his father in Africa.
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.
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.
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.
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?
ART SHOW: DIGITAL DIASPORA FAMILY REUNION May 4 – 10, 2016
Amphitheater at The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center – Free & Open to the Public
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.
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.
The 23rd New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) opens with a special live, interactive town hall meeting featuring theDigital Diaspora Family Reunion(DDFR) on Sunday, May 1st at the Amphitheater of Film Society of Lincoln Center. Developed by artist-filmmakerThomas Allen Harris, Digital Diaspora Family Reunion Roadshow is a powerful program that helps bridge perceived differences between people and transforms strangers into family.
People of all backgrounds are invited to bring family photos (on phones, Ipads or traditional prints) to the event for a chance to be one of the selected individuals asked to share their family stories, and in the process discover the links that underlie our common humanity as their photos are projected on a large screen for the audience. Those who want to come and simply watch the event as audience members are welcome too.
A specialArt & Activism: Personal Journeyspanel discussion with creatives from the African Diaspora including Thomas Allen Harris, photographer Delphine Fawundu, musician Ayoinmotion and actress-educator Malika Lee Whitney will follow the interactive family reunion.
The 2016 New York African Film Festival Town Hall Meeting The Amphitheater at Film Society of Lincoln Center (in the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center)
Sunday, May 1, 2016, 2:00pm – 4:30pm 144 West 65th Street
New York, NY 10023
This event is free, but registration is requested. Seating is on a first come, first seated basis.
Presented under the theme Modern Days, Ancient Nights: 50 Years of African Film Filmmaking –marking the 50th anniversary of the 1966 Cannes Film Festival debut of Ousmane Sembene’s Black Girl (La Noire de…)— the 2016 New York African Film Festival will present film screenings, artist Q&As, a digital art exhibit, and other ancillary programs. NYAFF is a month- long, multi-venue event taking place at Film Society of Lincoln Center (May 1 and 4—10, 2016); Maysles Cinema (May 13– 15, 2016); and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinematek (May 26 – 30, 2016).
Click here for tickets to the Opening Night Screening + Reception
The 23rd New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returns to Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) this May. Under the banner Modern Days, Ancient Nights: 50 Years of African Filmmaking, marking the 50th anniversary of Ousmane Sembène’s celebrated first feature, Black Girl (La Noire de…), the 2016 festival will present films from countries throughout Africa and the diaspora. The NYAFF continues throughout May at Maysles Cinema (May 13-15) and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek (May 26-30).
The screenings of the 2016 New York African Film Festival begin on Wednesday, May 4th in the Walter Reade Theater of Film Society of Lincoln Center with the New York premiere of Tannaby Bentley Dean and Martin Butler. Following the screening and Q&A, a reception in support of the programs of African Film Festival, Inc. will be held in the Furman Gallery of the Walter Reade Theater.
For general admission tickets to the screening only, visit www.filmlinc.org or click here.
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. Soon after, the young lovers run away, but are pursued by enemy warriors intent on killing them. Dain and Wawa must choose between their hearts and the future of their people, while the villagers wrestle with preserving their culture and adapting to the increasing outside demands for individual freedom. Bentley Dean and Martin Butler’s feature debut is based on a true story and its cast features members of the Yakel tribe in Vanuatu.
Director Bentley Dean, Jimmy Joseph Nako, the film’s cultural director, and distributor Arnie Holland will be in attendance for an audience Q&A following the screening.
The screening of Tanna begins at 7:00pm followed by a 9:15pm Opening Night Reception to support the programs of African Film Festival, Inc.
‘Modern Days, Ancient Nights: 50 Years of African Filmmaking’
When Senegalese pioneer Ousmane Sembène premiered his masterpiece Black Girl at Cannes in 1966, it was the first time a Sub-Saharan feature film was accepted in the European cinema mecca. The international film world turned its head to Africa, and Sembène, “the father of African cinema” brought the highly regarded “Prix Jean Vigo” home to Dakar. The first generation of pan-African artists and activists used cinema as a platform to comment on and fight for their people’s rights. The world these men and women envisioned was composed of free, independent, equal, and solidary nations and individuals, and the universal language of cinema was a perfect means to inform, educate, and entertain both local and international audiences. 50 years later, historical and contemporary events make their dreams seem further away. Nevertheless, their personal and artistic commitment is a living model for the youth, who honor their legacy in the field of art and creation in our interconnected digital era.
Armed with their imagination, these fearless men and women continue the struggle of their ancestors, transforming film language in innovative and unexpected ways to forge new identities, find their way back home, and create new spaces to incite dialogue against injustice. Wars, migration and forced displacement are salient factors reshaping the face of the earth, concealing dramatic individual and collective stories. New languages, styles, genres, and narratives, stitched together with the richness of international references, pop culture, and vernacular traditions, bring to light an African-inflected world in constant change and mutation.
Under the banner Modern Days, Ancient Nights: 50 Years of African Filmmaking the 23rd edition of the New York African Film Festival honors the legacy of Sembène. The festival returns to New York to show film-lovers the most fascinating selection of narrative features, documentaries, and shorts from the African continent and the Diaspora. More than 50 works from over 25 countries display the exhilarating labor of a new generation of filmmakers working from the four corners of the world, enriching the growing patrimony of African cinema.
To celebrate the International Decade of People of African Descent, a carefully chosen group of feature films and documentaries emphasize the encounter and interchange between cultures, spaces and human beings. Centerpieces of the program are the enigmatic Tanna, a timeless epic fable set in the South Pacific, based on real events, with breathtaking cinematography; Price of Love by Hermon Hailay, an Ethiopian melodrama dealing with prostitution, poverty, and human trafficking; and Rain the Color Blue with a Little Red in it, an homage to Prince’s Purple Rain and the first-ever fiction film in the language of the Tuareg people. Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria complete the feature film section with the absorbing historical and allegorical narratives 76 and The Cursed Ones; While You Weren’t Looking, a melodramatic take on new queer identities; the one-man thriller Cuckold; and Pastor Paul, a surrealist and hilarious ghostly encounter between Nollywood and the West. We pay tribute to the explosion of a new wave of original documentaries in the FSLC program with several present-day gems about the role of art as a revolutionary, healing, and social tool in Martha & Niki, an account of the friendship of the first female couple to become World Champions of Hip Hop; Intore (The Chosen) introduces us to prominent Rwandan artists who played a fundamental part after the genocide. As shown in Some Bright Morning: The Art of Melvin Edwards, the life and work of African-American sculptor M. Edwards has been uncompromised for five decades. The historical significance and current decline of cinema theaters in Kinshasa is the core of La Belle at the Movies. Finally, Manthia Diawara stages a conversation between Wole Soyinka and L. Sédar Senghor to reflect on the achievements and limitations of Négritude.
The need for old African practices, religions, and people to adapt once they touched the other side of the Atlantic is a sub-theme of the documentary section. Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess goes deep into the legend and reality of Jamaica’s sole national heroine; we penetrate into Candomblé’s female rituals in Brazil in Yemanjá. Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil; and In the Eye of the Spiral, the Haitian philosophy and aesthetics of spiralism will leave no one indifferent. In the meanwhile back on the continent, the constant quest for spirituality leads to an upsurge of newly created African Jewish communities in Black Jews: The Root of the Olive Tree.
We reach the heights of innovation in the short format. French-based African filmmakers cope with love through animation (The Sense of Touch), bold interviews (Towards Tenderness), and melodrama and comedy (Destino). Their peers based in New York offer a fluid emotional map of our adopted city. Both the indigenous Nigerian horror film Hex by Clarence Peters and Cédric Ido’s super hero revolutionary tale Twaaga (Invincible) from Burkina Faso, are not-to-miss experiences.
At Maysles Cinema, a handful of the newest African documentaries about hidden artistic traditions and silenced truths correct the official historical narrative of Africa. Too Black to be French? by Isabelle Boni-Claverie, examines structural racism in the cradle of humanism, while The Pharaohs of Modern Day Egypt by Jihan El-Tahri, gives us an exhaustive panorama of the land of the pyramids since independence. In our last stop at BAM Cinématek, stories of displacement, exile, and human contacts, as well as a series of films about the creative process of contemporary African artists, will be screened along with the thorough “authorized” biography Sembene! by Samba Gadjigo and the mesmerizing TGV by Moussa Touré, an unexpected train trip to the rhythm of Wasis Diop’s unforgettable soundtrack.
It’s almost that time of year again! The 2016 New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) will be back with new and exciting films (and some classics too!). Under the banner of Modern Days, Ancient Nights: 50 Years of African Filmmaking, the NYAFF will be celebrating the 50 year anniversary of Black Girl by Ousmane Sembene, which screened at Cannes Film Festival in 1966. We’ve got an amazing lineup of narrative, documentary, animation and short films.
In collaboration with Film Society of Lincoln Center, BAMcinématek and Maysles Cinema, this year’s festival will kick off with a special town hall event at Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Amphitheater on Sunday, May 1.
From Film Society of Lincoln Center (May 1 and May 4 – 10), the festival will continue on to Maysles Cinema (May 13 – 15) in Harlem and conclude at Brooklyn Academy of Music (May 26 – 30) in conjunction with DanceAfrica.
Stay tuned for more details on the film line-up, events, screening times, and director/artist appearances and much more!
Without the generous contributions of our supporters, the New York African Film Festival and the other programs of AFF would not be possible! Please consider making a donation today.
Alternatively, films can be submitted as DVD screeners via traditional mail to:
154 West 18th St., Suite 2A
New York, New York 10011
Please include the following information with all submissions:
Film title Director’s name and brief bio Film synopsis – 2 versions: 1 long, 1 short Runtime Country of production Year of production Language Subtitle information (if any) – All non-English language film submissions MUST contain English subtitles Filmmaker/distributor/producer contact information
The 22nd New York African Film Festival opened with a special Town Hall event called Activism and Art: Personal Journeys in the Diaspora. Moderated by international journalist Femi Oke, it featured artists including the socially conscious wordsmith Blitz the Ambassador, the illustrious duo Les Nubians and author of the innovative novel, Powder Necklace, Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond.
The 22nd New York African Film Festival’s main venues are Film Society of Lincoln Center, Maysles Cinema Institute, and BAMcinématek. The following information will direct you to the relevant sales portal for every venue and its address. We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s festival!
For more information on the films scheduled at the 2015 New York African Film Festival, check out our program guide by clicking here.
LIVE PERFORMANCE AND PANEL DISCUSSION – ACTIVISM AND ART: PERSONAL JOURNEYS IN THE DIASPORA
Friday, May 1st @ 7:00 pm
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space 44 Charlton Street New York, NY 10013
The 22nd New York African Film Festival opens with a special preview program honoring the International Decade of People of African Descent. Join us as we celebrate an exchange between the crème de la crème of interdisciplinary artists from the Diaspora who are lending their voices and insights to the evening. Guests include the socially-conscious wordsmith Blitz the Ambassador, the illustrious duo Les Nubians, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, Andrew Dosunmu, representing an exciting generation of diasporan and transnational filmmakers, and Nana Brew-Hammond, author of the innovative novel Powder Necklace. This event is moderated by international journalist Femi Oke. To get your free tickets,click here!
OPENING NIGHT AND CENTERPIECE FILM RECEPTIONS:
NYAFF Tickets for the Opening Night Reception and Film on May 6th are $75.00 each. You can buy your Opening Night Reception and Screening tickets by clicking here. The film will begin at 7:00pm and the reception will follow at 8:30pm.
NYAFF Tickets for the Centerpiece Night Reception and Film on May 8th are $75.00 each. You can buy your Centerpiece Night Reception and Screening tickets by clicking here. The film will be begin at 6:45pm and the reception will follow at 9:00pm.
*For information on purchasing tickets to the films only, see below.*
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER:
General Admission $14, Students & Seniors (62+) $11, FSLC members $9.
Tickets are available to purchase through Film Society of Lincoln Center. Click here!
In Person: Film Society box offices.
Discount packages start at $30 for the General Public; $24 for students and seniors (62+); 3+ films packages start at $21 for Film Society members.
Address(es): Walter Reade Theater, 165 West 65th St., and the Elinor Bunin
Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th St., between Broadway and Amsterdam Ave., upper level.
Suggested donation: $10. Visit www.maysles.org or call 212 537 6843 for tickets.
Address: 343 Lenox Avenue, between 127th & 128th Streets.
Tickets: $14 per screening for adults; $10 for seniors 65 and over, children under twelve, and students 25 and under with valid I.D. Monday–Thursday, except holidays; $9 for BAM Cinema Club members.
Tickets are available to purchase through BAM. Click here!
By phone at 718-777-FILM
Address: BAM Rose Cinemas, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11217
For more information please e-mail AFF at firstname.lastname@example.org call 212-352-1720
“International Decade of People of African Descent”
Displacement, emigration, and personal journeys rooted in economic and sociopolitical upheavals have shaped African cinema since its inception. The burgeoning mobility of African men and women across the globe is the inspiration for a myriad of films from a brave new generation of transnational creators. Celebrating the infinite possibilities of digital media and scrupulous reworking of Africa’s long cinematic legacy, their works appeal to an international audience while opening dialogue with other cinema traditions. Their breathtaking movies invite us to embark on a journey where imagination, shared dreams and possibilities direct our gaze to an ever-changing and complex future.
Commemorating the ‘International Decade of People of African Descent,’ we pay tribute to these African men and women and reflect on the ways they have broken through borders with films and narratives that form part of the global imagination in the 21st century. This year, for its 25th anniversary, African Film Festival, Inc. brings audiences the most thrilling and varied annual selection of African films with 50 narrative features and documentaries from 25 countries.
The 22nd edition of the New York African Film Festival places special emphasis on the achievements of the short format and digital technology, which have become a conduit for new stories, sounds and images by freeing their creators from budgetary and technical limitations. One of the jewels of the series, Stories of Our Lives from the Nairobi-based Nest collective, dramatizes LGBTQ life in Kenya in five brief tales, while Women in the Media and Afripedia hone in on the growing creativity of women and urban youth. In Africa, more than half of the population is under 25 years old. Blossoming art centers like Dakar are becoming meccas for fashion designers, hip-hop musicians, graffiti artists, bloggers, and dancers. All get their due in the documentary 100% Dakar – More than Art and The Prophecy by photographer Fabrice Monteiro and designer “Jah Gal”.
The mesmerizing thriller Run by Phillippe Lacôte (Ivory Coast), the docudrama National Diploma by Dieudo Hamaadi (DRC), and the comedy of errors Head Gone from one of Nigeria’s finest entertainers –Dare Fasasi- reveal the vitality of popular cinematic genres, while Ethiopian-Israeli Bazi Gete’s autobiographical Red Leaves, based loosely on Shakespeare’s King Lear, is an insightful and poetic look at the internal migration of an aging Ethiopian man living in Israel. To stress the importance of documentaries for revealing truths suppressed by the media, we present Melillenses (Melillans) by Moisés Salama, a broad-minded portrait of the inhabitants of Melilla -a Spanish border-city on Moroccan soil- and Ziara. Over the Threshold by Sonia Gámez, which examines the Marabouts, important sites of religious pilgrimage located in northern Morocco.
Along with such contemporary fare, we will feature the enduring classic Mossane by Senegalese pioneer, Safi Faye. This milestone of African cinema paved the way for the recognition of female voices in the international scene. Their growing prominence is visible in the broad range of women’s works this year spanning north and south. A shining example is The Narrow Frame of Midnight, where Tala Hadid takes us on a voyage through the violence and desolation of Morocco with the interwoven stories of three people.
50 years have passed since Mandela was sent to Robben Island, and post-apartheid South Africa, with one of the strongest film industries on the continent, has become a reference point for artistic creativity. With the fresh and exciting neo-noir Cold Harbour by Carey McKenzie and Love the One You Love, Jenna Bass’s multi-award winning first feature about love and anxieties in the digital era, audiences can catch a glimpse of Cape Town in its multiple facets through the lenses of two of the most promising women filmmakers in the country. Aiming to illuminate the ways official history molds the lives of contemporary South Africans, a pair of documentaries – Sobukwe: A Great Soul and Plot for Peace – rewrite the narrative of apartheid South Africa, helping to show a nuanced past and its effect on the country’s realities. Focusing on the leading figure of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, the intentionally forgotten founder of the Pan Africanist Congress, along with controversial French commodities trader Jean-Yves Ollivier, we witness the multitude of factors that make up historical turning points as well as the undeniable power of a single human will.
A wide-ranging group of the latest and most salient African documentaries, coping with long-lasting misunderstandings about African history and its people, will be showing at the Maysles Cinema, while BAMcinématek will close our festival with AFF’s Travelling Series, a group of carefully selected Brazilian movies, the vibrant South African documentary about art and revolution Shield and Spear, and a screening of the Oscar-nominated film Timbuktu by Abderrahmane Sissako (Mauritania).
The following program guide lists the features and shorts scheduled to screen at the 2015 New York African Film Festival. This guide begins with information on our Opening Night Reception Exhibition. 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.
LIVE PERFORMANCE AND PANEL DISCUSSION – ACTIVISM AND ART: PERSONAL JOURNEYS IN THE DIASPORA
Friday, May 1st @ 7:00 pm
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space
44 Charlton Street
New York, NY 10013
The 22nd New York African Film Festival opens with a special preview program honoring the International Decade of People of African Descent. Join us as we celebrate an exchange between the crème de la crème of interdisciplinary artists from the Diaspora who are lending their voices and insights to the evening. Guests include the socially-conscious wordsmith Blitz the Ambassador, the illustrious duo Les Nubians, who are celebrating their 20th anniversary, Andrew Dosunmu, representing an exciting generation of diasporan and transnational filmmakers, and Nana Brew-Hammond, author of the innovative novel Powder Necklace. This event is moderated by international journalist Femi Oke.
ART SHOW: THE PROPHECY, WEDNESDAY, MAY 6th – TUESDAY, MAY 17th
Amphitheater at The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center – Free & Open to the Public
This year, the art show at the New York African Film Festival will feature the work of Beninese-Belgian photographer Fabrice Monteiro and will be on display in the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center at Film Society of Lincoln Center from May 6th through May 17th. Based in Dakar, the acclaimed photographer is responsible for some of the most breathtaking and innovative images in recent years. On display will be a digital exhibition of his series “The Prophecy,” environmental-themed photographs that represent the intersection of art, fashion, mythology, and nature. Working with a collective of other young artists, in “The Prophecy” Monteiro has created searing and imaginative images depicting some of Senegal’s worst-hit areas in order to raise awareness of environmental concerns.
2015 NYAFF FILMS
100% DAKAR – MORE THAN ART(U.S. PREMIERE)
Sandra Krampelhuber, Austria/Senegal, 2014, 62min. French and Wolof with English subtitles
This documentary offers a vibrant portrait of the youthful and creative arts scene in Dakar, Senegal. The city has long been seen as hub for the arts and 100% Dakar follows many of the creative forces responsible for the current cultural and artistic boom there. Featuring fashion designers, hip-hop musicians, graffiti artists, a photographer, an arts blogger, dancers, and many others, the film reveals a world of people who stand for a passionate, collective, and creative fight against all economic and political burdens in Senegal’s buzzing capital city.
Saturday, May 9th at 4:15pm (Q&A with Sandra Krampelhuber); Tuesday, May 12th at 4pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
THE ART OF AMA ATA AIDOO Yaba Badoe, Ghana, 2014, 78min. English
The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo explores the artistic contribution of one of Africa’s foremost female writers. Director Badoe charts Aidoo’s creative journey over seven decades, from colonial Ghana, through the tumultuous era of independence, to a more sober present day Africa.
Sunday, May 17, 2:00pm – Maysles Cinema
AUGUST WINDS (VENTOS DE AGOSTO)
Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil, 2014, 77min. Portuguese with English Subtitles
In a small seaside village, Shirley cares for her ailing grandmother while working on a coconut farm and longing to become a tattoo artist. She passes her time with her boyfriend, Jeison, who works as a diver off the coast of their village. When one of Jeison’s dives turns up a human skull, the duo embarks on a quest to identify the remains while confronting their own ideas about desire, love, life, death, and destiny.
Monday, May 25th, 2:00pm & 6:30pm – BAM Rose Cinemas
Marcel Camus, Brazil, 1958, 106min. Portuguese with English subtitles
Black Orpheus is the retelling of the Orpheus and Eurydice Greek legend set in Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. Orpheus (Breno Mello), a trolley car conductor, is engaged to Mira (Lourdes de Oliveira) but in love with Eurydice (Marpessa Dawn). A vengeful Mira and Eurydice’s ex-lover, costumed as Death, pursue Orpheus and Eurydice through the intense Carnival night.
Sunday, May 24th, 4:00pm, 6:30pm & 9:00pm – BAM Rose Cinemas
COLD HARBOUR (NY PREMIERE) – Opening Night Film
Carey McKenzie, South Africa, 2014, 73min. English and Xhosa, Sotho and Mandarin with English subtitles
While investigating a smugglers’ turf war in Cape Town, township cop Sizwe stumbles upon police corruption. His boss and mentor, Venske, gives Sizwe the case but assigns a rookie, Legama, to keep an eye on him. After Sizwe discovers that a homicide is linked to Triad (Chinese mafia) through abalone smuggling, a tip from a former comrade leads to a major bust. Despite the seized contraband being stolen within hours, Sizwe is still promoted to detective. It’s a bitter triumph though—he’s being played, and he knows it. In a world where self-interest and corruption have overtaken loyalty and honor, Sizwe is left with no one to trust and integrity demands that he take the law into his own hands.
Wednesday, May 6th, 7pm (Q&A with Carey McKenzie and Tendeka Matatu) – Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Monday, May 11th, 2pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
FLYING STARS (U.S. PREMIERE) Ngardy Conteh George & Allan Tong, Canada, 2014, 50min. English and Pidgin English with English subtitles
During Sierra Leone’s civil war, rebels amputated countless limbs. Most of the victims are orphans and outcasts in a society that has yet to face its past. For some of them, only the amputee soccer league offers a chance at a better life. (Screening with Ghosts of Amistad)
Saturday, May 16th, 5:30pm (Q&A with Ngardy Conteh George) – Maysles Cinema
GHOSTS OF AMISTAD English Tony Buba, USA, 2014, 57min.
Ghosts of Amistad follows a group of historians and a film crew to Sierra Leone, as they attempt to interview elders about surviving local memory of the Amistad case. (Screening with Flying Stars).
Saturday, May 16th, 5:30pm (Q&A with filmmakers) – Maysles Cinema
Dare Fasasi, Nigeria /Sweden, 2014, 111 min. 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.
Saturday, May 9th, 9:45pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Gabriel Mascaro, Brazil, 2013, 76min Portuguese with English Subtitles
Director Gabriel Mascaro’s engrossing documentary is told in the form of seven vignettes exploring the unique relationships between housemaids and the families they work for in Brazil. Mascaro provided seven teenagers with cameras and asked them to capture the daily routines of their family’s housemaid. From the mundane to the profound, from the humorous to the tragic, the results provide audiences with a glimpse at the complexity of the relationships found between the domestic workers and the families they care for as well as the complex legacy of race and class in modern Brazil.
Saturday, May 23rd, 4:30pm & 9:00pm – BAM Rose Cinemas
KIRIKOU AND THE SORCERESS (GKIDS Screening)
Michel Ocelot, Senegal/France, 1998, 74min. French with English Subtitles
The tiny Kirikou is born into an African village upon which a sorceress called Karaba has cast a terrible spell: the spring has dried up, the villagers are being blackmailed, the men of the village have either been kidnapped or have mysteriously disappeared. Karaba is a stunning and cruel woman, surrounded by fearless and servile fetishes. But no sooner has Kirikou delivered himself from his mother’s womb than he wants to rid the village of Karaba’s curse and understand the cause of her wickedness. His adventure-filled voyage leads Kirikou to the Forbidden Mountain, where the Wise Man of the Mountain, who knows of Karaba and her secrets, awaits him.
Sunday, May 24th, 2:00pm – BAM Rose Cinemas
LOVE THE ONE YOU LOVE (U.S. PREMIERE)
Jenna Bass, South Africa, 2014, 105min. English and Xhosa with English subtitles
Across the city of Cape Town, a sex-line operator, a dog handler, and an IT technician begin to suspect that their romantic relationships are the subject of a bizarre conspiracy, involving their friends, family, and possibly even greater forces. Love the One You Love’s parallel stories question the ideals we hold too sacred: love, happiness, and the New South Africa.
Friday, May 8th, 9:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
MAYBE DREAMS CAN COME TRUE
Electra Weston, France/Germany/USA, 2014, 100min. English, French, German with English subtitles
In this contemporary mix of narrative, experimental and documentary filmmaking, Chocolat is torn between nurturing her love relationship in the USA and maintaining a booming entertainment career in Europe. Looking for answers to her deepest questions, she uses a small video camera to explore and question her life by interviewing her friends abroad.
Saturday, May 16th, 8:00pm (Q&A with Electra Weston) – Maysles Cinema
MELILLENSES (U.S. PREMIERE)
Moisés Salama, Spain, 2004, 76min. Spanish with English subtitles
A detailed look at the denizens of Melillenses, a border city whose people both bridge and personify the immense gaps between Europe and Africa.
Sunday, May 10th, 1:00pm (Introduction by Beatriz Leal-Riesco) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
MIND OF A CHEF: SENEGAL Claudia Woloshin, USA/Senegal, 2013, 23min. English and Wolof with English subtitles
Travel to Senegal with Chef Sean Brock to understand how West Africa influenced the ingredients of America. (Screening with Networks of Hate).
Sunday, May 17th, 4:00pm – Maysles Cinema
Safi Faye, Senegal, 1996, 105min. Wolof with English subtitles
Mossane (Magou Seck), a beautiful 14-year-old girl from a rural Senegalese village, is the object of affection to many, including Fara, a poor university student—and even her own brother, Ngor. Although she has long been promised as a bride to the wealthy Diogaye, Mossane falls in love with Fara and on her wedding day, she defies her parents’ wishes and refuses to go through with it.
Tuesday, May 12th, 9:00pm (Introduction by Mamadou Niang) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
THE NARROW FRAME OF MIDNIGHT (NY PREMIERE)
Tala Hadid, Morocco/France/UK, 2014, 93min. Arabic and French with English subtitles
Aïcha, a young orphan, is found alone in the forests of central Morocco, after being taken from her home and sold to a petty criminal. Soon after escaping, she crosses paths with Zacaria, a Moroccan/Iraqi writer, who has left everything behind—including a passionate relationship with a teacher, Judith—to search for his missing brother. The trio’s intersecting journeys lead audiences across Morocco, to Istanbul, the plains of Kurdistan, and beyond.
Monday, May 11th, 6:30pm (Q&A with Tala Hadid and Danny Glover) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Dieudo Hamadi, Democratic Republic of the Congo/France, 2014, 92min. French and Lingala with English subtitles
National Diploma follows a group of Congolese high-school students about to take the state exam in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dieudo Hamadi’s documentary closely follows them as they prepare for the test, from the benches of the school they are regularly ejected from because they haven’t paid the fees the teachers unfairly inflict upon their students, to the communal house where they gather to study, and the chaotic city streets of Kisangani they walk trying to find a living.
Sunday, May 10th, 9:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
NETWORKS OF HATE (U.S. PREMIERE) Rokhaya Diallo, France, 2014, 52min. French with English subtitles
Key areas of expression, today’s social and internet networks have become an outlet through which the most racist, homophobic, and sexist ideas are expressed.
Sunday, May 17th, 4:00pm (Q&A with Rokhaya Diallo) – Maysles Cinema
PIRATING PIRATES David Čálek, Czech Republic/Kenya/Somalia, 2014, 85min. Czech, English, Somali with English subtitles
Intending to make a film about piracy in Somalia, the filmmakers of Pirating Pirates had no idea that they’d have to lay their original plans aside. The film takes a surprising turn as they become entangled in a web of lies and deception.
Thursday, May 14th, 7:00pm (Q&A with the producer) – Maysles Cinema
PLOT FOR PEACE
Carlos Agulló and Mandy Jacobson, South Africa, 2014, 84min. English, French, Portuguese, Afrikaans, Spanish with English subtitles
A fascinating account of off-the-books diplomacy in the 1980s, Plot for Peace is that rare documentary that both augments the historical record and is paced like a thriller. “Plot” tells the little-known tale of Jean-Yves Ollivier, a French commodities trader who made his fortune doing business, he says, in “difficult countries” — including the internationally shunned South Africa. In 1981 he concluded that apartheid was unsustainable and began to use his contacts to help make sure its end came peacefully.
Thursday, May 7th, 6:30pm (Q&A with Jean-Yves Ollivier and Mandy Jacobson) – Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center
PORTRAIT OF A LONE FARMER Jide Tom Akinleminu, Denmark/Germany, 2013, 75min. Danish, English, Yoruba with English subtitles
Portrait of a Lone Farmer is a feature documentary about a Danish-Nigerian family torn apart by geography. When Jide, for the first time in five years, visits his father’s poultry farm, we see through his camera the unfolding of a story about family, love, and legacy. It is a quiet and stunning portrait of a broken family trying to heal.
Saturday, May 16th, 4:00pm (Q&A with Jide Tom Akinleminu) – Maysles Cinema
THE PROPHECY (U.S. PREMIERE)
Marcia Juzga, Senegal, 2015, 20min. French and Wolofwith English subtitles
Concerned about the environmental issues facing Senegal, photographer Fabrice Monteiro, in collaboration with the designer Jah Gal, created “The Prophecy,” a project with the objective of raising awareness among the Senegalese population and the rest of the world. The project’s series of surrealist photographs detail the sites most representative of Senegal’s environmental destruction. The essence of each site is characterized by a jinn—a supernatural genie omnipresent in African cultures—merging with its environment. The documentary The Prophecy details the creative and technical process behind the making of the photographs. (Screening with 100% Dakar – More Than Art)
Saturday, May 9th at 4:15pm; Tuesday, May 12th at 4pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
RED LEAVES (U.S. PREMIERE) – Centerpiece Film
Bazi Gete, Israel, 2014, 80min. Amharic and Hebrew 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.
Friday, May 8th, 6:45pm (Q&A with Bazi Gete); Sunday, May 10th, 4:15pm (Q&A with Bazi Gete) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
THE ROAD WE TRAVEL (NY PREMIERE)
Aidan Belizaire, Uganda/UK, 2014, 38min. English and Swahili with English subtitles
After arriving in Uganda without any money, a downtrodden photographer befriends a local taxi driver who offers him a place to stay, forcing him to embrace a culture very different to his own. (Screening with National Diploma)
Sunday, May 10th, 9:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
RUN (NY PREMIERE)
Philippe Lacôte, France/Ivory Coast, 2014, 100min. French with English subtitles
Run finds shelter with fellow dissident Assa (Isaach de Bankolé) after assassinating the Prime Minister of the Ivory Coast. While in hiding, Run’s story is revealed in three separate flashbacks—his childhood with Tourou, when his dream was to become a rainmaker; his adventures with Gladys, the competitive eater; and his past as a young member of a militia, amid conflict in the Ivory Coast—which together speak volumes about contemporary life in the troubled country. Philippe Lacôte’s feature-film debut is a mesmerizing coming-of-age tale, alternately dreamlike and ultra-realistic.
Monday, May 11th, 9:00pm (Q&A with Isaach de Bankolé and Philippe Lacote) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
SHIELD AND SPEAR
Petter Ringbom, South Africa, 89min. English, Afrikaans, and Zulu with English subtitles
This documentary spotlights the changing political climate of South Africa, where a revolution is taking place as artists, musicians and designers tackle issues of politics, race and history. This newest film by director Petter Ringbom follows some of the most recognized artists in South Africa today, exploring what it means to live and work in the new democracy. Artist Brett Murray’s painted caricature of South African president Jacob Zuma results in a lawsuit and death threats. Photographer and activist Zanele Muholi’s work exposes hate crimes in the LGBT community. The Smarteez design collective creates international styles while running a free after-school program for kids. Musician Xander Ferreira of Gazelle parades on stage as a character based on an archetypal African dictator. Shield and Spear presents intimate stories about the artists, art, music, identity, race and freedom of expression in South Africa 20 years into democracy.
Friday, May 22nd, 7:00pm (Q&A with Petter Ringbom) – BAM Rose Cinemas
SOBUKWE: A GREAT SOUL (U.S. PREMIERE)
Mickey Madoda Dube, South Africa, 2011, 100min. English
This film celebrates the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, restoring him to his rightful place as a leading figure in South African history. Despite his pivotal role in the struggle for liberation (and as the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress), there isn’t a single piece of archive of the man who was once one of the most watched, recorded, and popular political prisoners in the world. Even the current South African government has failed to recognize his place in history and the relevance of his message today. Mickey Madoda Dube’s film seeks to fill that gap, standing as a monument to a great man, a global visionary, teacher, political leader, philosopher, and humanist who was well ahead of his time, declaring his commitment to a “non-racial” society in a racist world by asserting that “there is only one race, the human race.”
Wednesday, May 6th, 9:00pm (Introduction and Q&A by Micky Madoda Dube) – Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Friday, May 8th, 4:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
“SPECIAL Work-in-Progress Screening” French with English subtitles
Senegalese political documentary
Sunday, May 10th, 6:30pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
STORIES OF OUR LIVES
Jim Chuchu, Kenya, 2014, 62min. English and Swahili with English subtitles
Created by the members of The Nest Collective, a Nairobi-based arts collective, the film is an anthology of five shorts dramatizing true stories of LGBT life in Kenya.
Thursday, May 7th, 9:00pm – Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Monday, May 11th, 4:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Celine Gilbert, Tanzania, 2000, 30min. Swahili with English subtitles
In the tranquil setting of a small fishing community on the east coast of Zanzibar, a fire is raging in the hearts of three young individuals and the entire community feels the heat. Surrender is a story about Amri, a man trapped between the traditional role of the family man his father expects him to fulfill, and his personal desire for Mashua, a local fisherman. (Screening with Stories of Our Lives)
Thursday, May 7th, 9:00pm – Walter Reade Theater, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Monday, May 11th, 4:00pm – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
Abderrahmane Sissako, Mauritania, 2014, 97min. Arabic, Bambara, French, Songhay, and Tamashek with English subtitles
Not far from Timbuktu, now ruled by the religious fundamentalists, Kidane lives peacefully in the dunes with his wife Satima, his daughter Toya, and Issan, their twelve-year-old shepherd. In town, the people suffer, powerless, from the regime of terror imposed by the Jihadists determined to control their faith. Music, laughter, cigarettes, even soccer have been banned. The women have become shadows but resist with dignity. Every day, the new improvised courts issue tragic and absurd sentences. Kidane and his family are being spared the chaos that prevails in Timbuktu. But their destiny changes when Kidane accidentally kills Amadou, the fisherman who slaughtered “GPS,” his beloved cow. He now has to face the new laws of the foreign occupants.
Saturday, May 23rd, 2:00pm & 6:45pm – BAM Rose Cinemas
WINTER OF DISCONTENT
Ibrahim El Batout, Egypt, 2012, 96min. Arabic with English and French subtitles
Set against the momentous backdrop of the whirlwind protests of Cairo’s Tahrir Square that began on January 25th, 2011, this film by independent director Ibrahim El Batout takes us on a compellingly raw, starkly moving journey into the lives of activist Amr (Amr Waked), journalist Farah (Farah Youssef) and State Security officer Adel (Salah AlHanafy) as they experience a shifting reality in the days and nights leading up to the resignation of President Mubarak. Winter of Discontent poetically evokes the pivotal events that changed the face of Egypt forever. As the stories of these characters unfold, we are propelled into the heady, often surreal atmosphere of terror, uncertainty and mass euphoria that surrounded those days that shaped history, and that continue to do so. It exposes the anger, the deceits and the lies that people faced every day during the years of Moubarak’s rule.
Monday, May 25th, 4:00pm & 8:45pm – BAM Rose Cinemas
YOU LAUGH BUT IT’S TRUE David Paul Meyer, South Africa/USA, 2011, 84min. English
The Daily Show’s new host, Trevor Noah, was born to an interracial couple in South Africa, at a time when such a union was illegal. You Laugh But It’s True reveals the story of an outsider who has somehow figured out a way to relate to everyone through his comedy.
Friday, May 15th, 7:30pm – Maysles Cinema
ZIARA. BEYOND THE THRESHOLD (ZIARA. MÁS ALLÁ DEL UMBRAL) (NY PREMIERE)
Sonia Gámez, Spain, 2013, 54min. Spanish with English subtitles
A documentary focusing on the Morabitos, or Marabouts, important sites of religious pilgrimage in northern Morocco, and the precarious situation they are now in due to repression from Islamic radicals. (Screening with Melillenses)
Sunday, May 10th, 1:00pm (Introduction by Beatriz Leal-Riesco) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
SHORTS PROGRAM #1: AFRIPEDIA SERIES
AFRIPEDIA (U.S. PREMIERE)
Teddy Goitum, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe, Kenya/Angola/Senegal/Ghana/South Africa/Sweden, 2015, 140min (28min x 5 episodes). English, French and Portuguese with English subtitles
Afripedia is a five-part short documentary series produced by the Swedish collective Stocktown. Shot in Kenya, Ghana, Angola, Senegal, and South Africa, each of the five episodes focus on a different group of artists and creators in their respective country.
Through the stories of its key talents, Afripedia, Kenya takes 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, while visual artist, Cyrus introduces us to his remarkable collection of “Boobs,” created solely with found materials.
Welcome to Angola, home of heavy electro music known as kuduro. Follow us across the pulsating city of Luanda, as we delve into the kuduro revolution and meet the people charting its course. Afripedia, Angola portrays a city bursting with creativity and discovers the capital from an alternative viewpoint. Get swept away by a line-up of emerging talents such as transsexual superstar Titica, wordsmith genius artist Nástio Mosquito, producer MC Sacerdote, and more.
In Afripedia, Senegal, we meet fashion designer Selly Raby Kane, who sculpts the digital image of a future alien city in an old railway station. Photographer Omar Victor Diop playfully reimagines Hollywood’s most iconic images with a Senegalese twist, while dancer Khoudia Roodia is organizing and building for a future where Africa dominates street dance. Beatmaker Fanny from the Ivory Coast is defying society’s boundaries to create a future for female artists and organizers.
The whispers among those in the know are saying that Accra is the next big hotspot for African cultural production and Afripedia, Ghana suggests they’re not wrong. Meet outspoken and androgynous music star Wiyaala, as well as exciting trick-bikers whose BMX skills and flamboyant style have taken neighborhoods by storm. Visual artist Afrogallonism puts on extraordinary outdoor performances to highlight environmental issues. Welcome to Creativity!
Twenty years after liberation, Afripedia, South Africa portrays a diverse new generation. Starting out in in Cape Town, we meet up with the video game label 2bop and the inventor of the new limpop music genre, Gazelle. Continuing on to Johannesburg, we join heavy metal band Ree-burth for a block party and take a tour around Soweto with the local style-setters Smarteez and their colorful street-savvy fashion.
Saturday, May 9th, 6:3opm (Q&A with Teddy Goitom) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
SHORTS PROGRAM #2: WOMEN IN THE MEDIA (total 113min.)
THE SUMMER OF GODS Eliciana Nascimento, Brazil, 2014, 20min. Portuguese with English subtitles
A young girl named Lili connects with her Afro-Brazilian religious heritage on a summer visit with family to their ancestral village in rural Brazil. During her stay, she encounters orishas (African gods) who help her find peace with a gift that had previously vexed her.
BURKINA, ALL ABOUT WOMEN (U.S. PREMIERE) Nicole Mackinlay Hahn, USA/Burkina Faso, 2015, 11min. French and Mooré with English subtitles
Seeking to undo stereotypes about African women by looking at the professional lives of women in Burkina Faso, the film talks to a firefighter, a swimmer, a mushroom biologist, a mechanic, an astrophysicist, a rapper, and more—allowing women (all inspired by the legendary Princess Yennenga) to give voice to their own unique experience.
HANDMADE IN THAMAGA (NY PREMIERE) Nova Scott-James, USA/Botswana, 2014, 5min. English and Setswana with English subtitles
Handmade in Thamaga chronicles the founding and work of Bothlalo Centre, a women’s pottery collective and business in the small rural village of Thamaga, Botswana.
Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghana/USA, 2014, 7min. English
Bus Nut rearticulates the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, a political and social protest against U.S. racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama, and its relationship to an educational video on school-bus safety. Actress MaameYaa Boafo restages a vintage video while reciting press-conference audio of Rosa Parks on a re-created set in New York City.
SISTER OYO (SOEUR OYO)
Monique Mbeka Phoba, Belgium/Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2014, 24min. French with English subtitles
Set in the Belgian Congo in the 1950s, Sister Oyo tells the story of Godelive, a schoolgirl at the Catholic boarding school Mbanza-Mboma, the premier French-language school for Congolese girls. She is to be westernized, following the will of her parents, but the memory of her grandmother intervenes…
CHOLO (NY PREMIERE)
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.
PANIC BUTTON (NY PREMIERE)
Libby Dougherty, South Africa, 2014, 25min. English and Zulu with English subtitles
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.
Tuesday, May 12th, 6:00pm (Introduction by MaameYaa Boafo and Nova Scott-James) – Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center
SHORTS PROGRAM #3: FILMAFRICA (total 96min.)
Eka Christa Assam, Cameroon, 2013, 26min. Pidgin with English subtitles
Set in a small village at the foot of Mount Fako in Cameroon, Beleh examines the relationship between Ekema and his heavily pregnant wife, Joffi. The difficulty she faces in her first pregnancy is made worse by the petulant and selfish demands of her irate and uncompromising husband. Things come to a head when one morning, the situation mysteriously changes in the village and there’s a total role reversal between the sexes. Ekema (who’s the only one who seems to be aware of the change) gets to experience a day as a pregnant man and his experiences throw a whole new light on his view of Joffi’s feelings.
CURSE OF AN ADDICT
Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar / Tanzania, 2013, 25min. Swahili with English subtitles
In Zanzibar, Seif, a 28-year-old heroin addict believes he is cursed. In a battle to be free from a life where he contracted HIV, Seif seeks help from a Shiek. In a spiritual exorcism, the curse from his past is conjured up. Having confronted his demons, only time will tell whether Seif can lead a clean life as a true Muslim.
Ekwa Msangi, Kenya/USA, 2014, 22min. Kiswahili and Sheng with English subtitles
When her mom gets sick, Kibibi’s dad must take her to the market to get her hair braided before school begins. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish-out-of-water roller-coaster of a journey, about a well-intended dad who goes where no man has gone before… because only women have been there.
Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia/France, 2013, 23min. Arabic with English subtitles
Five-year-old Amira lives with her mother in a small apartment in Tunis. On the day that she’s supposed to return to the Koranic school, Amira was dearly wishing to enjoy the few remaining hours of her holiday. She managed to find nothing better to do than to attach her hand to the chair with super glue…
The following program guide lists the features and shorts scheduled to screen at the 2014 New York African Film Festival. This guide begins with information on our Opening Night Reception Exhibition and on our special co-presentation of “Coeur de Lion” with the United Nations’ Department of Public Information. 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).
ART SHOW: DIGITAL AFRICA WEDNESDAY, MAY 7 – TUESDAY, MAY 13
Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery – Free & Open to the Public
Digital Africa features the works of Congolese and American photographers. The first portion, Congolese Dreams, showcases the works of acclaimed photographer Baudouin Mouanda and a collective of artists, acting as a companion to Philippe Cordey’s short film of the same name, which will screen during the festival. The exhibition will also feature Adama Delphine Fawundu’s stunning portraits capturing the residents of Tivoli Towers in Crown Heights, Brooklyn – home to more than 350 families, who are mostly of African descent – as well as portraits of young musician-activists from Nigeria and the U.S.
SPECIAL SCREENING AT THE UNITED NATIONS (WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 6:30PM):
LION HEART (COEUR DE LION)
Boubacar Diallo, Burkina Faso, 2007, 90min.
A lion wreaks havoc when it attacks the village livestock. Several people disappear. Samba manages to kill the lion and discovers that the chief’s advisor is involved in slave-trafficking.
RSVP required before May 12: http://bit.ly/1hwFBxx; Info: email@example.com
Co-presented by the UN Remembrance program of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade and the International Organization of La Francophonie.
2014 NYAFF FILMS
A LOT LIKE YOU
Eliaichi Kimaro, Tanzania/USA, 2011, 80min.
Eliaichi Kimaro is a mixed-race, first-generation American with a Tanzanian father and Korean mother. When her retired father moves back to Tanzania, Eliaichi begins to examine the intricate fabric of her multi-racial identity.
May 18, 4:00pm
César Paes & Marie Clémence Paes, Madagascar/France, 1989, 64min.
This pioneering work of ethnographic filmmaking takes oral tradition itself as its central character. Passing down the wisdom of the ancestors through myths and folktales, venerable storytellers recount the founding myths of Malagasy culture.
May 24 at 2:00pm, 7:00pm
AYA OF YOP CITY (Animation)
Marguerite Abouet & Clement Oubrerie,
Côte d’Ivoire/France, 2013, 85min.
Tracking the adventures of a 19-year-old girl living in in the neighborhood of Yopougon, a working-class suburb of Abidjan, the film offers up an intriguing snapshot of West African life in the 1970s, with a fanciful vintage soundtrack to boot.
May 8, 4:30pm; May 11, 9:00pm
B FOR BOY (NY PREMIERE)
Chika Anadu, Nigeria, 2013, 118min.
A contemporary drama set in Nigeria about one woman’s desperate need for a male child. The film explores the discrimination of women in the name of culture and religion.
May 18, 7:00 PM
BASTARDS (US PREMIERE)
Deborah Perkin, Morocco/UK, 2013, 93min.
At 14, Rabha El Haimer was an illiterate child bride. Ten years later, she is a single mother, fighting to legalize her sham marriage and secure a future for her illegitimate daughter. Bastards follows Rabha’s fight from the slums to the high courts.
May 9, 4:00pm; May 12, 6:00pm (Q&A with Deborah Perkin)
BELEH (NY PREMIERE)
Eka Christa Assam, Cameroon, 2013, 30min.
Ekema’s hard and uncompromising attitude toward his very pregnant wife, Joffi, is quickly revised when he has to spend an entire day in her shoes..
May 9, 4:00pm; May 12, 6:00pm (Q&A with Deborah Perkin)
Frances Bodomo, Ghana/USA, 2012, 12min.
Boneshaker follows a Ghanaian immigrant family taking a road trip to a Pentecostal church in Louisiana to cure their problem child. Starring Oscar-nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.
May 24, 4:30pm, 9pm
BURN IT UP DJASSA
Lonesome Solo, Côte d’Ivoire, 2012, 70min.
After the deaths of his parents, Tony makes a living selling cigarettes. Looking for easy money, he turns to gambling and is dragged further into the seedy underworld of Wassakara.
May 26, 4:30pm, 9:00pm
CASSA, CASSA (US PREMIERE)
Elodie Lefebvre, Senegal, 2013, 51min.
Germaine Acogny, a leading figure in contemporary African dance and the founder of the Ecole des Sables in Senegal, brings together 35 choreographers of African descent for two weeks of invigorating creative exchange.
May 24, 4:30pm, 9pm
THE CHILD OF THE SUN (US PREMIERE)
Taieb Louhichi, Tunisia, 2014, 78min.
After an evening at a nightclub and an early morning swim, three young people sneak into a villa, where they unexpectedly meet the mysterious owner.
May 23, 4:30pm, 9:15pm
COLUMBITE TANTALITE (NY PREMIERE)
Chiwetel Ejiofor, UK, 2013, 12min.
Chiwetel Ejiofor’s short film explores the western exploitation of Africa’s most coveted minerals as well as the DRC’s reconciliation process with its history and identity.
CONFUSION NA WA (NY PREMIERE)
Kenneth Gyang, Nigeria, 2013, 105min.
When a cellphone is found by two opportunists, they decide to blackmail the owner. Their scheme sets in motion an unintended chain of events.
May 7, 7:30pm (Q&A with Kenneth Gyang); May 10, 9:15pm (Q&A with Kenneth Gyang)
CULTURAL HEALING COMMUNITY CINEMA PROJECT – SUDAN (US PREMIERE)
The Cultural Healing project trained Sudanese journalism students, civil society representatives and young people to make short documentary films that expressed their cultures and traditions.
May 17th, 4:00pm
Mudzamil, Sudan, 2013, 11min.
A touching tribute to Ami Abdalseed, the caretaker and cook for the Red Sea High-School for Boys. A generation of students fondly recollect their memories of Abdalseed.
Mustafa Jawhar & Hind Elsheikh,
Sudan, 2013, 16min.
The film tells the story of an abandoned cinema in Kosti, a town in the White Nile State. The filmmakers and the whole town pay tribute to the cinema they remember.
THE CRYING SEA
Aladin Reyhan & Hashim Fath Alrahman,
Sudan, 2013, 12min.
The Crying Sea celebrates the gift of the Red Sea to the city of Port Sudan and makes an urgent plea to its citizens to wake up to the consequences of sea pollution.
Mohamed Abdalaziem, (aka Fox),
Sudan, 2013, 14min.
This film follows a Southern Sudanese musician as he bids a prolonged and bittersweet farewell to Khartoum, the city in which he grew up, before his repatriation to South Sudan.
ONLY A CHILD
Eltahir Daoud, Sudan, 2013, 10min.
The story of a young boy who has given up his schooling so his brothers can continue with their education.
Maha Abdalmoniem, Sudan, 2013, 11min.
An intimate portrait of the filmmaker’s aunt as she, from the repose of old age, recollects how she overcame the stigma of divorce and forged life on her own.
TRAIN OF LONGING
Najwa Yassin, Sudan, 2013, 11min.
Atbara was once known as the city of iron and steel, with a railway that made it one of the most cosmopolitan and prosperous corners of Sudan. This film tells the tale of how the coming of railway changed a city and its population.
CURSE OF AN ADDICT (US PREMIERE)
Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar/Tanzania, 2013, 25min.
Seif, a young Muslim heroin addict, believes he is cursed. In a battle to be freed from his addiction, Seif seeks help from a sheikh.
May 18, 4:00pm
FAISAL GOES WEST (NY PREMIERE)
Bentley Brown, Sudan/USA, 2013, 34min.
A family moves from Sudan to the U.S. in search of a better life, but they soon discover they must weather the economic crisis.
May 24, 4:30pm, 9pm
FELIX (NY PREMIERE)
Roberta Durrant, South Africa, 2013, 97min.
The young Felix Xaba dreams of becoming a saxophonist like his late father, but his mother thinks jazz is the devil’s music. When Felix gets a scholarship to an elite private school, he defies his mother and begins preparations for the school jazz concert.
May 25, 2:00pm
Ishaya Bako, Nigeria, 2012, 28min.
An artistic depiction of the failings of fuel subsidy management in Nigeria, Fuelling Poverty graphically captures the various contours of the fuel subsidy debate and offers a rallying cry for change in Nigeria by the Occupy Nigeria movement.
May 26, 4:30pm, 9:00pm
GRIGRIS (NY PREMIERE)
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Chad/France, 2013, 101min.
Despite a bum leg, Grigris has hopes of becoming a professional dancer. His dreams are tested when his stepfather falls critically ill and he’s forced to risk his future by smuggling oil to pay the hospital bills.
May 8, 8:45pm; May 12, 3:45pm
HALF OF A YELLOW SUN (NY PREMIERE)
Biyi Bandele, Nigeria/UK, 2013, 111min.
Based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel, Half of a Yellow Sun is set during the Nigerian-Biafran war in the 1960s, and follows two middle class Nigerian twins as their settled lives are torn apart by the conflict.
May 9, 7:00pm (Q&A with Biyi Bandele and some cast members)
IT’S US (NI SI SI) (US PREMIERE)
Nick Reding, Kenya, 2013, 88min.
It’s Us portrays a typical Kenyan community: a harmonious muddle of tribes, intermarriages, and extended families who place no stock in which tribe their neighbor comes from. Then one day, rumors begin to spread and suddenly mistrust takes hold.
May 8, 6:00pm (Q&A with Nick Reding); May 12, 1:45pm
THE LAST SONG BEFORE THE WAR
Kiley Kraskouskas, Mali/USA, 2012, 90min.
Last Song Before the War captures the inspiring rise and uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert and subtly reveals the challenges and triumphs of creating an artistic event under such challenging economic and political circumstances.
Jim and his friends Bob and Dylan, travel to see Jim’s father, who is seriously ill. Charu, a young woman, joins them, awakening the interest of the three boys and converting the trip into a kind of initiatory journey showing the challenges faced by Madagascar’s youth.
May 23 at 2:00pm, 7:00pm
LIVING FUNERAL (ΝΥ PREMIERE)
Udoka Oyeka, Nigeria, 2013, 21min.
Set against the backdrop of delusional stability, a young girl in the last days of her life battling with breast cancer, arranges a farewell for her family to help ease their pain; a celebration of life… A living funeral.
MINERS SHOT DOWN (US PREMIERE)
Rehad Desai, South Africa, 2014, 85min.
In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. What emerges is the country’s first post-colonial massacre.
May 15, 7:00pm (Q&A via Skype with Rehad Desai)
MUGABE: VILLAIN OR HERO?
Roy Agyemang, Zimbabwe/UK, 2012, 116min.
Mugabe: Villain or Hero? explores the reality behind the headlines with unprecedented access to Mugabe and his entourage. This film raises serious issues about the relationship between African leaders and the West in the fight for African resources.
May 7, 2:00pm; May 11, 6:15pm
NAIROBI HALF LIFE
David Tosh Gitonga, Kenya, 2012, 96min.
Mwas is a young aspiring actor who moves from his home village to Nairobi to make it big. But as he moves toward his dream of taking center stage, he finds himself drawn into a world of small-time crooks and deceit.
May 25, 4:30, 9:00pm
NEW AFRICAN SHORTS:
May 8, 2:00pm; May 11, 3:30pm (Q&A with Iquo B. Essien, Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ekwa Msangi-Omari, Kenya, Frances Bodomo and Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine)
Frances Bodomo, Ghana/USA, 2014, 15min.
On July 16 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon.
AISSA’S STORY (US PREMIERE)
Iquo B. Essien, Nigeria/USA, 2013, 15min.
An African immigrant housekeeper and single mother must decide whether to move on with her life or fight when the case against her assaulter is dismissed.
BAUDOUIN MOUANDA: CONGOLESE DREAMS (US PREMIERE)
Philippe Cordey, Congo, 2012, 25min.
Photographer Baudouin Mouanda explores beauty in unlikely places – by asking women to pose in the same white wedding dress in different locations – from rubbish dumps to crowded trains.
KUHANI (NY PREMIERE)
Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, Uganda, 2013, 7min.
An experimental short inspired by a Ugandan priest’s open letter to the Church in response to the country’s recently passed Anti Homosexuality Act.
The traditional West African fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father’s funeral. Overwhelmed by the procession, she escapes into the spirit world in search of her father.
SOKO SONKO (THE MARKET KING) (US PREMIERE)
Ekwa Msangi-Omari, Kenya/USA, 2014, 22min.
When her mom gets sick, Kibibi’s dad takes her to the market to get her hair braided before school. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish-out-of-water journey, about a well-intentioned dad who goes where no man has gone before…
NINAH’S DOWRY (ΝΥ PREMIERE)
Victor Viyuoh, Cameron, 2012, 95min.
Co-presented by Human Rights Watch Film Festival
Ninah, a mother of three, is stuck in an abusive relationship with no hope of change. Her family lives off her meager earnings, but she decides to run away.
May 9, 2:00pm; May 13, 6:30pm
OF GOOD REPORT (ΝΥ PREMIERE)
Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, South Africa, 2013, 109min.
Schoolteacher Parker Sithole arrives in a rural village with no local connections. He begins an illicit affair with one of his new pupils, 16-year-old Nolitha, which proves to be a disastrous development for both.
May 10, 6:30pm (Q&A with Jahmil XT Qubeka); May 12, 9:00pm (Q&A with Jahmil XT Qubeka)
Akin Okunrinboye, Nigeria/USA, 2013, 6min.
Kemi has been with Femi for five years now. She is tired of waiting, especially since the relationship does not seem to be going anywhere. It’s the New Year, and it is time for progress.
Ever since Serge Kakudji heard the sounds of opera for the first time as a young boy on Congolese television, he has dreamt to make it to the top of the classical opera world.
May 17, 7:30 PM
Med Hondo, Burkina Faso/Mauritania/France, 1986, 120min.
A young warrior queen of the Azna tribe uses her mastery of traditional martial arts and pharmacology to defend her people from an attack by a neighbouring tribe. But the real trial of strength comes when she is faced with the conquering French army.
May 13, 9:00pm
SODIQ (NY PREMIERE)
Adeyemi Michael, Nigeria/ UK, 2013, 44min.
How does a boy with the aspirations of becoming a doctor find himself on trial for murder?
May 17, 7:30pm
SOMETHING NECESSARY (NY PREMIERE)
Judy Kibinge, Kenya/Germany, 2013, 85min.
An intimate moment in the life of Anne, a woman struggling to rebuild her life after Kenya’s post-election violence of 2008 which claimed the life of her husband, the health of her son, and left her isolated farm in ruins.
May 25, 7:00pm
WHEN THE STARS MEET THE SEA
Raymond Rajaonarivelo, Madagascar, 1996, 85min.
A poetic exploration of traditional and modern concepts of freedom set within the landscapes of Madagascar.
May 26, 2:00pm, 7:00pm
WINTER OF DISCONTENT (US PREMIERE)
Ibrahim El Batout, Egypt, 2012, 96min.
Co-presented by 3rd i NY and Alwan for the Arts
Set against the backdrop of the 2011 protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, director Ibrahim El Batout takes us on a raw, moving journey into the lives of an activist, a journalist, and a state security officer.
May 7, 4:30pm; May 11, 1:00pm
WOODEN HANDS (US PREMIERE)
Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia, 2013, 23min.
Co-presented by 3rd i NY and Alwan for the Arts
Five-year-old Amira lives with her mother in a small apartment in Tunis. On the day that she’s supposed to return to school, Amira finds nothing better to do than to attach her hand to a chair with superglue…
The 21st New York African Film Festival’s main venues are Film Society of Lincoln Center, Maysles Cinema Institute, and BAMcinématek. The following information will direct you to the relevant sales portal for every venue and its address. We look forward to welcoming you to this year’s festival!
For more information on the films scheduled at the 2014 New York African Film Festival, check out our program guide by clicking here.
OPENING NIGHT RECEPTION AND FESTIVAL CELEBRATION:
NYAFF Tickets for the Opening Night Reception and Film on May 7 are $50.00. You can buy your Opening Night Reception and Screening tickets by clicking here.
Please note that the “Half of a Yellow Sun” tickets have SOLD OUT until further notice. At this time, we invite you to sign up on the waiting list for our May 9 Festival Celebration Party and Film by clickinghere.
We will update our patrons on Thursday, April 24th, 2014.Thank you for your support!
FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER:
General Admission $13, Students & Seniors (62+) $9, FSLC members $8.
In Africa and its diaspora, revolution is not always synonymous with the overthrowing of a government or a head of state. It is also the relentless search for liberation of the body and the mind that has characterized the history of African people through the years. Arising as a chain of movements led mostly by the youth and women, revolution is a force against unfair systems, an impulse for the people to follow their own dreams, and a shared experience of empowerment. In the Digital Age, the struggle for liberation has found a resilient ally in technology, which has exerted multiplier effects in and outside the continent.
This is the core of the 21st New York African Film Festival: the experience of revolution and liberation in and from Africa in the twenty-first century. All of the films featured will tackle the path to liberation or the feeling of freedom itself: its impact, its agents, but first and foremost its visual splendor.
Under this heading, this month-long multi-venue event will present a unique selection of contemporary and classic African films, running the gamut from features, shorts, and documentaries to experimental films, along with supplementary educational programs. Filmmakers and actors will also attend the screenings and Q&A sessions.
LINCOLN CENTER (MAY 7 – 13)
This year, Nigeria celebrates the centenary of its unification. To mark this special occasion, the 2014 NYAFF will highlight films that have been produced, inspired by, and made in Nollywood, Africa’s largest movie industry. We are proud to present our NYC audience with the winners of last year’s “African Oscars” (AMAA); Kenneth Niang’s frenetic dark comedy Confusion Na Wa and the poetical short Kwaku Ananse by Akosua Adoma Owusu, an adaptation of a mythological tale from Ghana about wisdom and belonging. We will also premiere Biyi Bandele’s highly anticipated film Half of a Yellow Sun, a rendition of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling book about the Biafran war, a movie that glows thanks to the leading performances of Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose and Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor.
The animated film adaptation of the acclaimed comic series Aya of Yop City by Marguerite Abouet & Clement Oubrerie is not just an ode to young romance in West African cultures, but a nod to animation is at its golden age, encompassing every region of the world, including Africa. Victor Viyouh, Ninah’s Dowry carries in its poignant story of women empowerment the elements of a revolution. Cannes award-winner Mahamat-Saleh Haroun comes back to NYC with his latest movie Grigris, a story of love and solidarity between two outcasts in the backdrop of present-day Chad. Narratives of struggles and liberation from all around Africa and the diaspora round out the program, expanding the festival’s human scope: the incisive documentary Mugabe: Villain or Hero? by Roy Agyemang; Ibrahim El Batout’s feature Winter of Discontent,about the traumatic emotional and physical wounds of Egypt’s repressive system; and the Kenyan moral fable It’s Us (Ni Si Si), which stresses the need of forgiveness and comprehension of the other, complete the program.
Our shorts program is a fresh selection devoted to the richness and experimental elements of the genre and its special ability to convey this year’s festival theme. Young filmmakers use a wide range of approaches from sci-fi (Afronauts) to social melodrama (Aissa’s Story and Kuhani), with a special focus on comedy (Soko Sonko, Wooden Hands and Beleh) to reflect upon a wide spectrum of pressing contemporary issues.
To honor the 20th anniversary of South Africa’s independence, we will feature the controversial neo-noir Of Good Report by Jahmil XT Qubeka, which is exemplary of the vigor of South Africa’s present-day film industry. One of the most poignant epics of revolution and liberation ever filmed on the continent, Med Hondo’s masterpiece Sarraounia, winner of the first prize at FESPACO, will be the crowning jewel to close the festival.
MAYSLES CINEMA (MAY 15 – 18)
We have put together this wide-ranging and penetrating program as an audiovisual allegory of the power and relentless effort of African people to overcome crisis and oppression. Built around the embodiment of the male figure as a vivid force to overcome crisis, we are delighted to introduce Rehad Desai’s striking new work Miners Shot Down to NYC audiences. Recent winner of the Camera Justitia Award at the Movies that Matter Festival, Desai’s documentary follows the developments that lead to the biggest use of force by security forces of post-colonial South Africa: the Marikana Massacre of a group of striking miners in August 2012.
The session devoted to the Cultural Healing Project Short Documentary Films gathers seven shorts reflecting on the challenges and opportunities faced by Sudan. This creative peace-building project sprouts from British-Sudanese filmmaker Taghreed Elsanhouri’s proposal that a group of auteurs film the story that mattered most to them in their communities, encouraging them to express through film their cultures and traditions.
Shorts and documentaries about men and women confronting personal, social, economic, and political limitations compose this compelling selection: the struggles of an addict in Zanzibar to defeat his dependence in the short Curse of an Addict; the desperation of a woman unable to conceive a male heir in chauvinistic present-day Nigeria in the feature film B for Boy by Chika Anadu; Eliaichi Kimaro’s quest to understand his complex identity as a young Tanzanian-Korean in the US in A Lot Like You; and the different hurdles standing between a young Congolese tenor and his dream (Rêve Kakudji); a child aspiring to be a doctor subjected to a trial for murder (Sodiq); and a heterogeneous group of people plunging into the uncertain future of Mali’s annual Festival in the Desert in The Last Song Before the War.
BAM Cinématek (MAY 23 – 26)
Madagascar will be in the spotlight of the festival’s BAM run, with a carefully selected
group of movies that best represent the history of the country. Angano, Angano (1989) by the tandem César Paes & Marie Clémence, and When the Stars Meet the Sea (1996) by pioneer Raymond Rajaonarivelo will be screened alongside the recent road movie Legends of Madagascar (2012) by Haminiaina Ratovoarivony.
Beyond Madagascar, we will screen other films from across the continent. From Kenya we have Something Necessary, Judy Kibinge’s insightful reflection on the effects of the war in Kenya, as well as the tragicomedy Nairobi Half Life (2012) by David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga’. Based in Ivory Coast, Lonesome Solo’s Burn It Up Djassa (2012, Ivory Coast) blends together action and music in one of the most successful examples of contemporary African noir, and acclaimed Tunisian filmmaker Taieb Louhichi presents a touching story of love and longing in The Child of the Sun (2013).
Cassa, Cassa (2013), a revealing documentary about contemporary African dance by Elodie Lefebvre, and the fast-paced Fuelling Poverty (2012) by Ishaya Baku, which exposes gasoline fraud in Nigeria, show how documentary can serve as an X-ray of present-day realities in Africa.