Celebrate Black History Month– AFRIPEDIA Screening at The Schomburg

 

Afripedia_Creatives_ promo_APlogo_Copyright StocktownFilms

Afripedia Screening & Discussion

Thursday, February 18th, 2016, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037

Join us at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as we celebrate Black History Month with a screening of the Ghana and Senegal episodes from the Afripedia series. Directors Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe will be present for a post-screening talkback.

Afripedia— a documentary series by Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft, and Senay Berhe — is dedicated to showcasing artists, musicians, filmmakers, and other creatives from Africa and its Diaspora. Spend an evening with AFF and the Schomburg Center as we co-present a screening of this engrossing visual guide to the cultural movements taking place in African metropolises and the young artists on the continent who are making Black History now!

This event is FREE and open to the public, but registration is required. Please click here to reserve your seats now. All attendees are advised to arrive early as registered seats will be released 15-30 minutes before the start of the program. Click here for more details on the Schomburg Center’s registration/admission policy.

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20TH NATIONAL TRAVELING SERIES

In 2015, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) celebrates the 20th anniversary of our National Traveling Series. Due to the demand for African films across the country, in 1995 AFF launched the series, which travels to cultural institutions, museums, and universities in ten to thirteen cities in the U.S. and in some Caribbean nations, in order to make the unique experience of watching African cinema available to a wider audience. The Traveling Series program consists of several feature and short films, including promotional and educational materials.

The 20th edition of the National Traveling Series is comprised of eight films presented under the theme of “International Decade of People of African Descent.” The films represent a unique opportunity to examine the ways in which people of African descent have broken through borders with films and narratives, that form part of the global imagination. Likewise, the use of technology to help usher in the many cultural and social movements taking place on the continent is spotlighted in this edition of the National Traveling Series.

If you have an interest in bringing the films of the 2015-2016 National Traveling Series to your community, please contact the African Film Festival office at 212.352.1720 or by email at nyaff@erols.com for full details. Our team will be happy to work with you in order help bring African cinema to your community.

FEATURE FILMS

HEAD GONE
DARE FASASI, NIGERIA/SWEDEN, 2014, 111min.
In English & Pidgin 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 and 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. This allegorical comedy of errors features some of Nigeria’s biggest names  including Innocent “2Face” Idibia, Alleluya “Alibaba” Akporobomerere, Bright “Basketmouth” Okpoucha, and more.

 

THE LONGEST KISS (A jamais, pour toujours)
ALEXANDRA SICOTTE-LEVESQUE, SUDAN, 2013, 72min
In English & Arabic with English subtitles

The meeting of the Blue and White Nile in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, is referred to as ‘the longest kiss in history.’ As the Arab Spring was in full bloom, Sudan, straddling between the Middle East and Africa, was about to split in two. The film follows six young Sudanese searching for a place to call ‘home’ as their journeys take us up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, ahead of the south’s secession. Facing conflicting identities, youth in north Sudan grapple with a stale dictatorship while others in south Sudan hope to start over—but at what costs? For the first time a film gives a voice to Sudanese youth from different origins, Muslims and Christians. It is an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation.

 

RED LEAVES (Alim Adumim)
BAZI GETE, ISRAEL, 2014, 80min.
In Hebrew and Amharic 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.

 

SHORT FILMS

AFRIPEDIA: GHANA
TEDDY GOITOM, BENJAMIN TAFT AND SENAY BERHE, GHANA/KENYA/SWEDEN, 2014, 28min.
In English

The whispers among connoisseurs talk about Accra as the next big hotspot for African cultural production, and Afripedia: Ghana suggests they’re not wrong. Meet outspoken and androgynous music star Wiyaala and exciting trick-bikers Bikelordz whose BMX skills and flamboyant style have taken neighborhoods by storm. Visual artist Afrogallonism puts on extraordinary outdoor performances to highlight environmental issues.

AFRIPEDIA: KENYA
TEDDY GOITOM, BENJAMIN TAFT AND SENAY BERHE, GHANA/KENYA/SWEDEN, 2014, 28min.
In English

Take 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, and visual artist Cyrus introduces us to his remarkable collection created solely with found materials.

 

CHOLO
MUZNA ALMUSAFER, OMAN, 2014 21min.
In Swahili with English subtitles

The dark-skinned, 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother, Abdullah for the first time when their father Said arrives in Muscat. Although strikingly different, the boys have great chemistry. Cholo is a young boy full of imagination and a great love for nature and life. However, jealousy, competitiveness, and curiosity arise between the two, as they go through a journey of self-discovery.

 

PANIC BUTTON
LIBBY DOUGHERTY, SOUTH AFRICA, 2014, 25min.
In English

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.

 

THE PROPHECY
MARCIA JUZGA, SENEGAL, 2015, 20min.
In French & Wolof with English subtitles

Concerned about the environmental issues that Senegal is facing, photographer Fabrice Monteiro, in collaboration with the designer “Jah Gal,” created The Prophecy. The objective of this photographic project is to raise global awareness of the environment by combining art, culture, fashion, and tradition. The essence of each site photographed is characterized by a Jinn — supernatural genies omnipresent in African cultures — merging with its environment. Marcia Juzga’s film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Monteiro’s project.

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A Message from Abderrahmane Sissako…

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“My first encounter with NYAFF took place twenty-two years ago, and though I am far from being its progenitor, I was there to witness its birth.  This encounter, which would mark my first voyage to New York, took place in Africa, at the Panafrican Film and Television Festival in Ouagadougou. The better part of the participants had met up after the screening in La Forêt, the mythic restaurant of the day, to dine together and to share our hopes for our cinema’s eventual emancipation. I was one of the novices joining the family of African cinema with their early efforts. A woman approached me and said, with her now-legendary determination, like that of a soldier, a warrior for good causes, “My name is Mahen,” and she spoke to me of her festival and of her wish for me to attend its first edition. “Yes,” I replied, without having understood everything. She wanted to bring little-known images to New York, to spure a meeting between meaning and desire.”

                                                                                                             – Abderrahmane Sissako

Founded in 1990 by Mahen Bonetti, African Film Festival, Inc. continues to introduce the best in cinema and culture from Africa and its Diaspora. AFF has exposed audiences to veteran and emerging filmmakers and multidisciplinary artists through the New York African Film Fesitval (NYAFF) and its other year-round programs.

Please consider making a donation today. Through your generosity, AFF will be able to bring the next generation of African and Diasporan artists, directors, and tastemakers to the forefront.

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AFF is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. All donations are tax-deductible.

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Support AFF This #GivingTuesday

#givingtuesday3

Shopping #Black Friday or #Cyber Monday? What are you doing on #Giving Tuesday?

#GivingTuesday –which was established as a way to help people give back after Black Friday and Cyber Monday– is a great way to give help your favorite charities.

This year #GivingTuesday will take place on Tuesday, December 1st. We hope that you will take a moment to help African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) on #GivingTuesday by making a donation to support our programs. Your donation will help us continue to present AFF programs such as the New York African Film Festival, Young Adults Education Program, Community Engagement Programs, National Traveling Series, and the Summer Outdoor Series-many of which are free to the public!

AFF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization so a portion of your donation is tax deductible!

Please click below to make a donation:

Thank you for your contribution! Please help us spread the word by sharing, re-tweeting, and re-posting on social media!

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Nov. 19 screening of Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?

 

am i the film_image

What does it mean to be an African born in America? AFF and DocWatchers invite you to join us for a screening of Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African? by Nadia Sasso at Maysles Cinema on Thursday, November 19th at 7:00pm. The film features interviews with a number of prominent first generation Americans of African descent, including Issa Rae of Awkward Black Girl fame. The filmmaker, Nadia Sasso, will be in attendance.

Maysles Cinema
343 Lenox Avenue,
New York, NY 10027
Between 127th and 128th Street

Film Synopsis:
Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African? is a documentary film that explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally. It specifically looks at how they wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.

Click here for tickets.

A reception will follow the screening.

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SEMBENE! NYC RUN EXTENDED!

sembene poster- his image

In 1952, Ousmane Sembene, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa.

SEMBENE! tells the unbelievable true story of the father of African cinema, the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a 50-year battle to return African stories to Africans. SEMBENE! is told through the experiences of the man who knew him best, colleague and biographer Samba Gadjigo, using rare archival footage and more than 100 hours of exclusive materials. A true-life epic, SEMBENE! follows an ordinary man who transforms himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions.

SEMBENE! will be shown at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas beginning Friday, November 6th. Directors Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman will be in attendance for Q&As for select screenings on Friday, November 6th, Saturday, November 7th, and Sunday, November 8th. Click here for tickets and show times.

Lincoln Plaza Cinemas is located at 1886 Broadway, New York, NY 10023 (between 63rd and 62nd Streets).

SEMBENE! directed by Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman, USA/Senegal, 2015, 82min

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Upcoming NYC Screenings: Miners Shot Down & Crumbs

 

The Coalition of Peace Organizations of the U.N. is presenting a screening of Miners Shot Down on Friday, October 16th at 7:30. This FREE event will take place at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

Presented in Association with The Source Magazine and AFF.

MINERS SHOT DOWN Trailer from Icarus Films on Vimeo.

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. Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers against the combined forces of a mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.

Director Rehad Desai will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Free admission. Donations will be accepted.

The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center is located at:

3940 Broadway
(between W. 165th & 166th streets)
New York, NY 10032


The Ethiopian surrealist sci-fi, Crumbs will be opening in New York on Friday, October 23rd at Cinema Village.

Crumbs is set against the background of spectacular post-apocalyptic Ethiopian landscapes, where the film finds a strange-looking scrap collector, Gagano. Alternately gripped by daydreams and constant fears, the diminutive Gagano has had enough of collecting the priceless crumbs of decayed civilization, including the most valuable: merchandise from Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. When a spaceship that has been hovering high in the sky for years starts showing signs of activity, Gagano has to overcome his fears – as well as a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis — to discover things aren’t quite the way he thought.

Click here for showtimes and tickets! The filmmaker, Miguel Llanso, will be in attendance at the 7:15pm and 9:15pm shows on Friday and Saturday!

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15TH: AFF and Doc Watchers Present Cuba: An African Odyssey at Maysles Cinema

 

Doc Watchers & African Film Festival, Inc. are proud to present a screening of Cuba: An African Odyssey at Maysles Cinema in Harlem on Thursday, October 15th at 7:00 pm.

Cuba: An African Odyssey
Directed by Jihan El-Tahri
2006 | 118 mins | Egypt/South Africa/France

cuba_an_african_odyssey-04-press

The Previously Untold  Story of Cuba’s Support for African Revolutions

From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. Cuba: An African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for various African revolutions, one of the Cold War’s most vigorous contests over resources and ideology. This film attempts to understand the world today through the saga of these Cuban internationalists who won every battle but ultimately lost the war.

The film screening will start at 7:00 pm and will be followed by a reception.

Price: $10 suggested donation fee

Location: Maysles Cinema at 343 Malcolm X Blvd. (Lenox Blvd) between 127th & 128th Streets, Harlem, NY 10027

For more details, please fee free to visit the Facebook event page

https://www.facebook.com/events/535167943303549/

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AFF Co-Presenting Films at 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival

 

African Film Festival, Inc. is proud to be co-presenting a collection of amazing films related to the African experience at the American Museum of Natural History’s annual documentary festival, the Margaret Mead Film Festival later this month: Circus Without Borders, The Shore Break and The Tentmakers of Cairo.

The 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival runs from October 22-25 at the American Museum of Natural History. This annual documentary film festival, founded in honor of anthropologist Margaret Mead, hosts movie screenings, video installations, conversations, and events that increase our understanding of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.

Use the discount code MEAD10 and get 10% off of your ticket purchase for any film in the festival. 

In an era defined by mobility and transformation, the artists and filmmakers of this year’s festival explore thresholds and boundaries of all kinds—geographic, cultural, personal, and metaphysical—that define contemporary life across Earth. They bring diverse worlds to the screen while highlighting the essential qualities that connect us all.

AFF Co-Presentations at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

Circus Without Borders
Susan Gray, Linda Matchan, and Northern Light Productions
2015 | 70 minutes | Canada, Guinea, U.S.A.
New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance
Showing Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm

World-class acrobats and good friends Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura come from very different corners of the globe—the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa. Despite the distance, they share the same vision: to bring hope and change to their struggling communities through circus. Seven years in the making, this riveting and uplifting story of their two circus companies—Artcirq and Kalabanté—and  the culture-crossing collaborative performance that unites them has the propulsive drama of a gripping work of fiction. Wrapped up in the narrative swirling around these two driven, charismatic men are the parallel plights of the Inuit and Guinean youth they’re committed to helping—the suicide, poverty, and despair that haunts their isolated communities, and the resilience and joy that characterize the tenacity of their collective dream.

The Tentmakers of Cairo
Kim Beamish
2015 | 98 minutes | Australia, Egypt
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance
Showing Friday, October 23 at 9:30pm

Amid the tumult of the Arab Spring in Cairo, vendors in a small souk observe the political upheaval while seeking to preserve an ancient tradition of fabric making. The result is a fascinating microcosm of a transitioning nation. In the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, street celebrations turn to conflict—shops burn to the ground, propaganda spreads, and the fraternal spirit of the marketplace is shattered. The Tentmakers of Cairo traces this story from the beginning and follows each character as they develop with the times. Filmmaker Kim Beamish captures some of the most remarkable close-up footage of one of the defining political crises of the decade.

The Shore Break
Ryley Grunenwald
2015 | 90 minutes | South Africa, Pondo
U.S. Premiere | Director(s) in Attendance
Showing Saturday, October 24 at 7:30pm

Pondoland’s Wild Coast provides a dramatic setting for a high-stakes saga that casts a new light, and accompanying shadows, across the landscape of South Africa. Spurred by an Australian mining company’s plan to exploit local titanium deposits, two cousins—one a tour guide committed to protecting the environment and culture of her home, the other an entrepreneur eager to usher in modernity and profit it will bring—clash in a vicious battle for the hearts and minds of their neighbors. As the national government intervenes with a plot to oust Pondoland’s eco-friendly royal family, tensions between the cousins and their supporters in the split community reach a fever pitch. Featuring an arresting score by a local musician, exquisite footage of Pondoland’s natural wonders, and ingenious interludes of sand animation that focus and amplify the drama, The Shore Break is a skillfully realized story that poses difficult questions about morality, idealism, and opportunism in the global economy.

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2015 Lagos, Nigeria: Lights, Camera, Africa!

LCA 2015

AFF is proud to again partner with The Light House for the 5th Lights Camera Africa!!! Film Festival taking place in bustling Lagos, Nigeria from September 30th through October 4th! This year’s theme, “Future Forward,” presents an assembly of bold and energetic pieces of African and independent cinema that portray the intrepid spirit that characterizes the the force that propels us and feeds our imperative to go forth, with certainty and to succeed.

The festival will showcase tons of great films such as Abderrahmane Sissako’s Timbuktu, Baba Dee Dara Fasasi’s Head Gone, Ben Zeitlan’s Beasts of the Southern Wild, and Mahamat-Seleh Haroun’s Sex, Okra and Salted Butter.

Abderrahmane Sissako's award-winning "Timbuktu" screens Sunday, October 4th at 7pm.

Abderrahmane Sissako’s award-winning “Timbuktu” screens Sunday, October 4th at 7pm.

If you are in Lagos, stop by for a wonderful screening program dedicated to the best of independent African film, as well as family and educational offerings of workshops, panel discussions, talks and family-friendly programming. Plus, you can expect visual, literary and musical showcases, fun after-parties and the very popular Festival Souk during this 5-day fiesta. And best of all, it’s FREE!

Baba Dee Dare Fasasi’s hilarious comedy of errors, “Head Gone,” screens on Saturday, October 3rd at 3pm.

Visit the official Lights Camera Africa!!! website for more information and click here for the complete festival program.

 

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8th Annual Family Day Celebration- Now on Sunday, September 20th, 2015

AFF Family Day 2015 Poster-edit

Due to inclement weather this weekend, the 8th Annual Family Day Celebration on Governors Island has been postponed until Sunday, September 20th!

A fun and engaging cultural experience awaits New Yorkers of all backgrounds as the 8th edition of African Film Festival Inc.’s Family Day Celebration returns to Governors Island on Sunday, September 20th, 2015. Fun-seeking individuals of all ages are invited to join African Film Festival, Inc. and the Trust for Governors Island for this exciting and entertaining day-long celebration of African and African diaspora arts and culture. A one-of-a kind, kid-friendly event, Family Day will feature FREE activities including story-telling, double-dutch, dance and drum, and needlepoint. Free dance classes with esteemed instructors from USA, Senegal, Brazil and Guinea will also take place during the celebration topped off with a selection of short films highlighting the best talent from Africa and its diaspora. Vendors offering the tastiest selections of African food and beverages will be on-site for interested customers. Join us for an enchanting day of music, film and dance!

AFFFamilyDayCelebration_Storytelling_Credit MelissaBunniElian

WHEN: Sunday, September 13th, 2015; 

Now scheduled for Sunday, September 20th, 2015

TIME: 11:00am -5:00pm

WHERE: Colonels Row on Governors Island, Manhattan

Schedule of Family Day Classes:

Please note that there has been a program change. The first class will begin 

at 12:oo pm. The 11:00 am Zumba Dance Class will not be held.

schedule of events 2015

Selected Short Films:

The Prophecy

Marcia Juzga, Senegal, 2015, 20 min.

The Prophecy is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Fabrice Monteiro’s photographic project whose objective is to raise the awareness of the Senegalese population and the rest of the world about the environmental issues Senegal is facing by combining art, culture and tradition. The series of surreal photographs details the most representative sites 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.

prophecy

 

Cholo

Muzna Almusafer, Oman, 2014, 21 min.

The dark-skinned 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother Abdullah for the first time when their father Said arrives in Muscat. Although strikingly different, the boys have great chemistry. Cholo is a 10-year-old boy full of imagination and a great love for nature and life. But jealousy, competitiveness and curiosity arise between the two, as they go through a journey of self-discovery.

cholo

 

Bus Nut

Akosua Adoma Owusu, USA, 2014, 7 min.

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.

bus nut

 

The Road We Travel

Aidan Belizaire, Uganda/UK, 2014, 38 min.

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. Through an unlikely friendship, both men realize that despite differences in culture, religion and race, meeting a particular person (either by fate or coincidence) can change your life for the better.

roadwetravel

 

LOCATION: Governors Island-

Please note that this weekend there is a service change on the 1 train line. To get to Governors Island from Manhattan this Sunday, instead of the 1 train visitors can take the 2 or 3 to Chambers Street and then connect to free shuttle buses to South Ferry. Likewise, visitors can take the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green or the R train to Whitehall Street. Then take the Governors Island Ferry- for a $2 round trip fee- located in the Battery Maritime Building, Slip #7, to the Island and follow the signs to the Family Day festivities. Ferry service from Brooklyn is also available on weekends. Ferries leave from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, at the foot of Atlantic Avenue. Ferry service from Brooklyn to Governors Island is also $2 for the round trip. Please click HERE for the detailed ferry schedule and directions. Visitors can also visit www.mta.info for complete details on the MTA’s planned service change for the 1 train this weekend.

 

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International Partnerships

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AFF contributes to many cross-cultural projects and has become a resource for programmers worldwide. The AFF Network reflects this unique perspective on the film industry. AFF has been to Burkina Faso to scout FESPACO since 1993. In the mid-1990s the Bob Marley Foundation hosted the African Film Festival at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica. In 1996, AFF curated the film program of Africa: Art of a Continent, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and, in 1997, went on to co-curate the African and African Diaspora Film Series for the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale. AFF has partnered with the Celebration of African Heritage to co-curate a pan-African film festival in Brazil as well as Africala in Mexico. As our reputation for quality programming grows, so does the community of individuals and organizations committed to cultural understanding. In 2007 AFF met with partners in Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Sudan, Brazil, St. Kitts and Nevins, as well as organizers from North Africa and the Middle East. In 2010, AFF curated a program of shorts in St. Petersburg, Russia, in collaboration with Message to Man Festival and with Imagem dos Povos in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. In September 2011, AFF forged an ongoing partnership with Lights, Camera, AFRICA!!! Film Festival in Lagos, Nigeria. This festival shares the best and most exciting of African cinema, to stimulate discourse on issues rooted in the African experience.

 

Current and Recent Partnerships

Docubox  Nairobi, Kenya

DOCUBOX exists to enable talented, driven, focused and accountable East African artists to produce unique films that unearth new realities and cross trans-national boundaries. Through training, development and production grants, screenings for people who love documentary films, they promote East African filmmakers and share their unique stories with the world through creative documentary.

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Docubox, Nairobi, Kenya. 2015

 

Lights, Camera, AFRICA!!! Film Festival – Lagos, Nigeria

Lights, Camera, Africa!!! film festival showcases the brightest ideas in African cinema. It promotes filmmaking talent from within Africa—especially works from Nigerian filmmakers.

Lights, Camera, Africa!!! Film Festival, Lagos, Nigeria. 2011

Lights, Camera, Africa!!! Film Festival, Lagos, Nigeria. 2011

 

Message to Man Festival – St. Petersburg, Russia

Message to Man Festival was founded to emphasize the important role of non-feature films in the cultural life of Russia and to allow national documentary filmmakers to become more familiar with the world of international cinema.

 

Imagem dos Povos – Belo Horizonte, Brazil

Imagem dos Povos is an iternational festival focused on cultural diversity and strengthening production networks and audiovisual distribution.

 

Africala – Mexico

AFRICALA (Africa in Latin America) was born as the first African film festival in Latin America in Mexico City in 2007, with the intention of promoting contemporary cinema of the African continent in all Spanish-speaking countries. While Latin America has a large African descent and a large diaspora, little is known of the continent’s culture and even less about her films. Like Latin America, the African continent has the need to break the stereotypes that were created throughout history and cinema is a great tool to achieve it.

 

Past Partnerships

Semana Boabab – Mexico City, Mexico

The Baobab Week is a festival of African culture that seeks to celebrate our mother land Africa through different artistic expressions and contemporary photojournalism, painting, music, cinema, food tasting, among other activities, to break with the false stereotypes of Africa and its people.

 

Semana Boabab (Boabab Week), Mexico City, Mexico. 2008

Semana Boabab (Boabab Week), Mexico City, Mexico. 2008

 

Bob Marley Foundation (now the Rita Marley Foundation) – Kingston, Jamaica

The aim of the Bob Marley Foundation in Jamaica is to support local communities where the need for charitable assistance is greatest. The Foundation, founded in 1986, has contributed financial, cultural and other resources to various communities and organizations in Jamaica. Our intent and motivation is to fulfill the vision of the Honorable Robert Nesta Marley O.M. while reaching those in need through love and brotherhood.

 

Lights on Africa: A Program of African Film – New York, USA

Supplementing the exhibitions Africa: The Art of a Continent and In/sight: African Photographers, 1940 to the Present, the series focused on contemporary African issues and their treatment in the medium of film. Lights on Africa: A Program of African Film was organized by Manon Slome of the Guggenheim Museum in consultation with Mahen Bonetti of African Film Festival Inc. and with the support of Manthia Diawara, Chairman of the Department of African Studies, New York University.

 

African Diaspora Film Series – 2nd Johannesburg Biennale – Johannesburg, South Africa

After the years of isolation as a consequence of the apartheid system, the Biennale of Johannesburg was meant to restore the dialog between South Africa and the international art scene.

 

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2015 AFF SUMMER SERIES SCHEDULE

Movies? Check! Live Music? Check! Free? Check! The Summer Series is back and we at AFF cannot wait to welcome you and yours to various NYC venues, as we celebrate the summertime with wonderful programs like “CINEMA UNDER THE STARS” set throughout various NYC Parks, and our “FAMILY DAY CELEBRATION” on the beautiful Governor’s Island.

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Sunday, July 12th: NY Premiere of THE AMAZING NINA SIMONE with Maysles Cinema and REEL Harlem

 

 

amazing nina simone

AFF’s Summer Series “Cinema Under the Stars” moves to Harlem’s Jackie Robinson Park on Sunday, July 12th at 6:30 pm as we partner with Maysles Cinema and REEL Harlem: The Historic Harlem Parks Film Festival to present the New York premiere of The Amazing Nina Simone.  Bring a lawn chair to this outdoor event which is free and open to the public! The evening will also feature a special performance by DJ Reborn showcasing selected songs of Nina Simone.

The Amazing Nina Simone reveals the real Nina Simone through over 50 intimate interviews with those who best knew the artistry and intentions of one of America’s true musical geniuses. The documentary film traces Nina’s roots from her upbringing in segregated North Carolina and follows her journey all the way to the South of France and the place where she finally found freedom.

The film will be introduced by its director, Jeff L. Lieberman, and Nina Simone’s brother, Sam Waymon.

Music performance begins at 6:30 pm and film screening begins at sunset (approximately 8:30 pm).

Location: Jackie Robinson Park, 148th Street & Bradhurst Avenue, Harlem, New York

Rain location: Maysles Cinema at 343 Malcolm X Blvd. (Lenox Blvd) between 127th & 128th streets, New York, NY 10027

About the Performer:

DJ Reborn is a trailblazing international DJ, sound collage artist, hip hop theater musical director and arts educator. She has spent the last two decades utilizing her passion for music and her skills as a DJ to traverse within these worlds and make an impact. Reborn has a myriad of impressive credits to her career including working as the touring DJ for Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam and opening for The Roots and John Legend. She has also deejayed live on BET and for the live telecast of the NAACP Image Awards as well as the MSNBC telecast of the One Nation Rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. She lives and works bi-coastally between NYC and LA.

 

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Friday, July 3rd: Summer Series Screening of WHITE WEDDING with The Bronx Museum

white wedding

Our annual Summer Series continues on Friday, July 3rd from 6-10pm at Joyce Kilmer Park in the Bronx with a screening of the endearing South African comedy, White Wedding! AFF will be co-presenting the screening with the Bronx Museum of the Arts as part of their First Fridays series. The evening will also feature a special performance by Tuelo & Her Cousins, as well as music from DJ Asho.

So grab a blanket and join us for a free outdoor screening of White Wedding. Devoted groom-to-be Elvis sets out on a 1,800-kilometer South African road trip in order to give his fiancée, Ayanda, a European-style dream wedding, but finds that getting there won’t be easy thanks to his best friend Tumi and a wandering English doctor named Rose.

Meanwhile, as Ayanda begins to question Elvis’ commitment, her opinionated mother weighs in with her own thoughts about choosing European tradition over African tradition, and a handsome old boyfriend shows up with a suspicious agenda.

Check out the trailer:

Location: Joyce Kilmer Park, Grand Concourse between E 161st Street and E 164th Street
Rain Location: The Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, Bronx, NY 10456

About the performers:
Tuelo & Her Cousins are a New York City based band who share a kindred love for music that rocks the soul. Formed by singer/songwriter Tuelo Minah in 2013, the band continually play to packed houses at some of New York’s most famed institutions including Rockwood, The Apollo Music Cafe, and Lincoln Center. Their unique take on rock and roll combines driving beats and catchy hooks with Tswana-Bushmen rhythms to tell dreamlike tales of struggle and triumph.
Tuelo Minah is Tswana from the countryside of South Africa where she grew up singing in the fields of her family’s farm. Minah’s voice has graced Central Park SummerStage, Carnegie Hall, Late Night with David Letterman, the Blue Note, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, to name a few. She was the music director for Ndebele Funeral which won the Overall Excellence Award – Best Play at the 2013 Fringe Festival NYC. Tuelo & Her Cousins, her most meaningful project to date, is her musical family that explores and brings to life her original songs.

Presented in collaboration with:

Bronx Museum Logo

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This Wednesday AFF Screens BRONX PRINCESS in Nairobi, Kenya!

This Wednesday, June 24 AFF partners with DOCUBOX to present BRONX PRINCESS in Nairobi, Kenya.

Film lovers in Nairobi are invited to come see this free screening of the spirited coming-of-age story of Rocky Otoo.  A teen raised in the Bronx, New York, Rocky’s ideas of life and independence often conflict with the more traditional viewpoints of her Ghanaian mother. During the summer between her high school graduation and the start of college, Rocky journeys to Africa to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana. While there Rocky must reconcile her African heritage with her ideas of independence.  BRONX PRINCESS will be screened with A GOAT FOR A VOTE, an intriguing look at three students competing to be the next school president.

The event is free and open to the public. Movie fans can reserve their free tickets by clicking here!

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Bronx Princess, Yoni Brook & Musa Syeed, Ghana/USA, 2008, 38min

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Summer Series: AFRICA 411 – An Evening of Short Films

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We’re kicking off our annual Summer Series this year on Staten Island! This coming Wednesday, June 17th at 7:00pm we’re co-hosting AFRICA 411 – An Evening of Shorts with Staten Island Arts at the Culture Lounge! This is a FREE EVENT, you just have to register online here!

Get the 411 on African cultural realities through the eyes of several emerging film directors from the continent. Staten Island Arts Folklife is proud to partner with the African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) of New York to produce this special evening in honor of the Cultural Feedback Project Community Archive. AFF is dedicated to advancing an enhanced understanding of African culture through the moving image. It offers diverse platforms for the wide distribution of African media through its flagship annual film festival and complementary year-round programming. The Cultural Feedback Project is thrilled to host a specially curated series that pays homage to “traditional culture and contemporary struggles” facing the African continent, as part of the exhibit’s programming. As a living and community-driven digital folklife archive, the Cultural Feedback Project seeks to tell the stories and showcase the cultural heritage of Staten Island’s three largest West African communities (Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia) from the inside out, in their own words and on their own terms. It also documents West African traditional arts for future generations. The films that make up Africa 411 each address ways in which traditional knowledge found in story telling and religious practice as well as daily life can be used to better understand and combat contemporary issues such as evolving gender roles, drug addiction, mental health, and the aftermath of political violence. A short Q & A with festival directors will follow the showing.

Featured Films Include:

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Beleh
Ekah Christa Assam, Cameroon, 2013, 26min
Set in a small village in Cameroon, Beleh examines the relationship between Ekema and his heavily pregnant wife, Joffi. The difficulty she faces in her pregnancy is made worse by demands of her selfish husband. One day there’s a mysterious role reversal between the sexes and Ekema gains a whole new perspective on his wife’s situation.

 

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Soko Sonko
Ekwa Msangi, Kenya/USA, 2014, 22min.
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…

 

curseofaddict

Curse of an Addict (Documentary Short)
Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar / Tanzania / 2013, 25min.
Seif a young Muslim and heroin addict believes he is cursed. In a battle to be free, Seif seeks help from a Shiek-a spiritual leader who conducts an exorcism and summons the curse on stage. She, arrives in the form of a spirit to confront Seif. She says he is a free man but there are conditions he must abide to in order to maintain his freedom from life of drugs.

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Screening & Discussion – An African City

African City

AN AFRICAN CITY SCREENING & DISCUSSION

Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 6:30pm – 8:45pm
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Click here for more information. Please note that the Schomburg Center is no longer accepting RSVPs for this event. All attendees are advised to arrive early as registered seats will be released 15 to 30 minutes before the start of the program. Click here for more information on the Schomburg Center’s registration and admission policy.

Celebrate Black History Month with AFF and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as we co-host a special screening and discussion with guests from An African City.

Join us on Thursday, February 19th for a screening of select episodes from the popular web series, An African City. Immediately following the screening will be a discussion with the series’ star Nana Mensah and executive producer Millie Monyo.

This entertaining series has transfixed online audiences with its honest and humorous depiction of five young and modern African women. With their arrival in Accra, Ghana from abroad, the women of An African City take viewers along as they search for independence, career fulfillment, love, and everything in between.

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19th National Traveling Series

ABOUT THE SERIES

Since 1995, African Film Festival, Inc. has worked to increase access to African cinema by expanding its channels of distribution. In order to make the unique experience of watching African cinema available to a wider audience, AFF programs the annual National Traveling Series that travels to cultural institutions, museums, and universities in ten to thirteen cities in the U.S. including Puerto Rico. This package consists of several feature and short films, including promotional and educational materials.

FEATURED FILMS

BELEH
Eka Christa Assam, Cameroon, 2013, 26min. 

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.

Click on the picture below to be redirected to trailer:

Beleh still

 

WOODEN HANDS
Kaouther Ben Hania, Tunisia/France, 2013, 23min.

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…

 

SOKO SONKO
Ekwa Msangi, Kenya/USA, 2014, 22min.

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.

 

CURSE OF AN ADDICT (docu-drama)
Lovinsa Kavuma, Zanzibar/Tanzania, 2013, 25min.

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.

 

CASSA, CASSA (documentary)
Elodie Lefebvre, Senegal, 2013, 51min.

In 2007, Germaine Acogny, a leading figure in contemporary African dance and the founder of the École des Sables in Senegal, invited thirty-five choreographers and musicians of African origin for an inaugural Dance project. In the remote village where the exceptional exchange took place, each artist brings his or her own personal universe. They unfold it under the others’ gaze, in a quest for the nature of the links that unite them with Africa. It is with a desire for communion and sharing that these unique trajectories meet at the École des Sables, where they reunite with their collective history.

 

SOMETHING NECESSARY
Judy Kibinge, Kenya/Germany, 2013, 85min. 

Something Necessary is an intimate moment in the life of Anne, a woman struggling to rebuild her life after the civil unrest that swept Kenya during the 2008 elections, which claimed the life of her husband, the health of her son and left her isolated farm in ruins. Joseph, a troubled young gang member who participated in the countrywide violence is drawn to Anne and her farm seemingly in search of redemption. Both he and Anne need something that only the other can give to allow them to shed the painful memories of their past and move on – but will either of them find it?

 

WINTER OF DISCONTENT
Ibrahim El Batout, Egypt, 2012, 96min. 

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.

 

 

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Happy Thanksgiving from the African Film Festival!

A SPECIAL NOTE OF GRATITUDE FROM AFF!

With 2014 rapidly coming to a close, we wish to thank you all for the immense support you’ve shown to African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF)! From your attendance at our various events, to the donations you give, the re-tweets, the re-posts, the word of mouth, we know we couldn’t have had such a spectacular year without your dedication to what we do.

In 2015, AFF will turn 25! That’s more than two decades of memorable flagship festivals, countless education programs, impactful community programs, national film series touring across the country, summer film screenings under the stars and cultural activity workshops across the five boroughs of New York City, and international programs focused on the expansion and significance of African arts and culture!

AFF has introduced and shaped the role of two generations of African filmmakers, performers, and visual artists to American and international audiences. The voices of these artists have been captured and brought to life through their celebrated film works available in AFF’s DVD store as well as three comprehensive anthology books published by AFF. We also continue work on and improve our ever-growing online directory that offers unparalleled resources that serve as a reference for students, scholars and anyone interested in African and African diaspora arts and culture.

As we commemorate our silver anniversary in 2015, AFF will present year-round programs dedicated to tracing the ‘Footprints of Africa’– the impact made on cultures throughout the world by Africans and their descendants. In addition, next year, the 22nd edition of the New York Film Festival will also look at the strides made by women as we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the 2000 program ‘Women in Media.’

We hope to continue serving New York and the world with the best films and visual arts genres from Africa and its diaspora. At the end of the day, AFF is a community-oriented entity that cannot prosper without the continued support of those who believe in our mission!

In the spirit of the holiday season, please consider making a gift to AFF today. Your help can pave the way for the organization to continue its mission of bringing you the best of African and African diasporan arts and culture, by making a tax-deductible donation:

Thank you!

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