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.
EKAH CHRISTA ESSAM, 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.
KAOUTHER BEN HANIA, TUNISIA/FRANCE, 2013, 23min.
Arabic (Tunisian) 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…
EKWA MSANGI-OMARI, 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.
CURSE OF AN ADDICT (docu-drama)
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.
CASSA, CASSA (documentary)
ELODIE LEFEBVRE, SENEGAL, 2013, 51min.
English and French with English subtitles
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.
JUDY KIBINGE, KENYA/GERMANY, 2013, 85min.
Swahili with English subtitles
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.
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.
Ishaya Bayoko, Nigeria, 2012, 30min.
The oil subsidy placed on petroleum products in 2012 by the Nigerian government was meant to provide a much-needed relief on the cost of living for its citizens. However it was revealed that about seven billion dollars was stolen from the Nigerian people in one year from the same program that was meant to provide relief for them. It is quite possibly one of the most daring frauds in history. FUELLING POVERTY is a documentary that expresses and articulates this fraud. With music from Femi Kuti and Asa, FUELLING POVERTY is another collaboration between the award-winning team of writer/ director, Ishaya Bako and producer, Oliver Aleogena; a joint production between The Allied Film Company and Amateur Heads Media.
FAISAL GOES WEST
Bentley Brown, USA/Sudan, 2013, 34min.
Faisal and his family join the millions who have come to America in search of a better life. Too bad they chose to do so in the midst of an economic crisis, along with cultural and linguistic barriers. It also doesn’t help when Faisal puts the family in a tough spot, when he loses the family car. In a crunch for money, Tahir (the father, who was once a lawyer in Sudan), takes up work at a local auto shop. Faisal facing the reality that he is not prepared for his dream of attending an American University, begins looking for work. His Kenyan-raised, Sudanese-American friend Adil, promises to find Faisal a job. After a journey by bus and train, the two arrive at a chicken farm. Only through trials and hardship, can Faisal learn the tough lessons necessary to gain ground in his new homeland.
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. She loves Femi, but she feels he is playing games. It’s the New Year, and it is time for progress. She must have progress in the relationship arena. She thinks she is going to get what she wants, but little does she know that Femi has different plans.
Sunny King, Nigeria/UK, 2013, 10min.
Two days before Lola’s dream wedding, her maid of honor Sandra stumbles on a secret that could change all of their lives forever. UNSPOKEN is a story of commitment to love and friendship in the face of societal taboos we dare not confront or speak of.
Frances Bodomo, Ghana/USA, 2013, 13min.
An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for their troubled child.
BURN IT UP DJASSA
Lonesome Solo, Ivory Coast, 2012, 70min.
After his parents passed away, Tony made his way by selling cigarettes on Princess Street, famous in Abidjan for its bars, dance clubs and exciting nightlife. Now 21 years old he is desperate for a way out of the ghetto. His older brother Mike has found a job on the police force, while Ange their younger sister, is learning to become a hairdresser – but she secretly moonlights as a prostitute in order make ends meet. Looking for easy money, Tony eventually turns to gambling and is dragged further down into the seedy underworld of Wassakara – until he commits a shocking crime that irrevocably changes his life. Now an outlaw, he goes on the run and is relentlessly pursued by the police, his own brother among them.
Chinonye Chukwu, USA/Nigeria, 2012, 75min.
ALASKALAND tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggling to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown. Although their time apart has created new frictions, they find their reconciliation bringing them closer to each other and to their roots in this gorgeous, knowing debut film.
NAIROBI HALF LIFE
David ‘Tosh’ Gitonga, Kenya, 2012, 96min.
A young aspiring actor from upcountry Kenya dreams of becoming success in the big city. In pursuit of this and to the chagrin of his brother and parents, he makes his way to Nairobi: the city of opportunity. He quickly understands why Nairobi is nicknamed Nairobbery as he is robbed of all his money and belongings and left alone in a city where he doesn’t know a soul. Luck, or the lack of it, brings him face to face with two groups of downtown crooks and he forms a friendship with a young small time gang leader who takes him in. He is quickly drawn into a new world of theft and violence, even as he still tries to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Keeping the two worlds separate proves to be a contest for him as he struggles to survive in this unknown world called Nairobi.