Biography: Marguerite Abouet was born in 1971 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in Western Africa. She grew up during a time of great prosperity in the Ivory Coast. At the age of twelve, she and her old brother went to stay with a great-uncle in Paris, where they further pursued their education. Years later, after becoming a novelist for young adults, Abouet was drawn to telling the story of the world she remembered from her youth. The result was the graphic novel Aya de Yopougon, published in North America as Aya, illustrated by Clemént Oubrerie, that recalls Abouet’s Ivory Coast childhood in the 1970s, and tells the humorous, engaging stories of her friends and family as they navigate a happy and prosperous time in that country’s history.
Director: Samantha Biffot Country: Belgium/China/Gabon/France Year: 2016 Running Time: 70 min. Language: French withEnglish subtitles
First discovering Kung Fu after watching the film Big Boss, a young Gabonese child sets off for China at the age of just 15. Under the tutelage of Grand Master Meng Huifang, this child would eventually become number one in an artform which had previously never counted an African in its midst. Based on the incredible true story of Luc Bendza, this film follows his journey from a tiny Gabonese village all the way to China, where he would eventually become a world Kung Fu champion.
Director: Marie-Clémentine Dusabejambo Country: Rwanda Year: 2016 Running Time: 22 min. Language: Kinyarwanda with English subtitles
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.
Director: Alanna Lockward Country: Dominican Republic Year: 2016 Running Time: 76 min. Language: English, Frenchand Spanish with English subtitles
As the first Dominican-Haitian documentary co-production, this film retraces the liberation legacy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Namibia and the United States, its place of origin. These common narratives on struggles against enslavement and apartheid is told in three different languages (English, French, Spanish) in the voices of 19 interviewees.
Director: Sandra Krampelhuber and Andrea Verena Strasser Country: Austria/Ghana Year: 2016 Running Time: 49 min. Language: English
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.
Director:Guetty Felin Country: Haiti Year: 2016 Running Time: 88 min. Language: 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.
Biography: is an American film director, screenwriter, storyboard artist, animator and playwright. He is most well known for co-directing the highest-grossing 2D animated film of all time, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ The Lion King, and for writing the Broadway adaptation, The Lion King.
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.
Biography: Seyi Adebanjo is a Queer gender-non-conforming Nigerian MFA artist. Seyi is a media artist who raises awareness around social issues through digital video, multimedia photography and writings. Seyi’s work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual and politics. Seyi has been an artist in resident with Allgo and is exhibiting at the Longwood Art Gallery and previously at the Skylight Gallery -Restoration Plaza Corporation, BAAD!, MCNY, the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art & Waterloo Arts Gallery. Seyi is currently a fellow with AIM at the Bronx Museum and has been a fellow with The Laundromat Project, Queer/Art/Mentorship, Maysles Institute, IFP and City Lore Documentary Institute.
Biography: Roy T. Anderson is writer, director and producer of the award-winning film Akwantu: the Journey (Action 4 Reel Flimworks, 2012), on the history of the Jamaican Maroons. Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess, Roy’s sophomore film, expands on the story of the New World’s first successful freedom fighters by shedding light on one of the leading figures in that struggle. Roy is a veteran movie and television stuntman/stunt coordinator and world record holder. He’s doubled for such Hollywood stars as Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Jamie Foxx, and Morgan Freeman; accumulating more than 400 production credits in the process, working on such hits as: Men in Black 3, The Dark Knight Rises, Spiderman 2, Bourne Ultimatum, American Gangster, the Oscar-nominated Wolf of Wall Street; and top rated TV series BlueBloods, Person of Interest, Elementary, and Gotham. While continuing his stunt work, Anderson has flipped the script to direct his second film project; a one-hour documentary on Jamaica’s only female National Heroine – Nanny of the Maroons.
Director:Christopher Kirkley in collaboration with Mdou Moctar and Jerome Fino Countries: Niger Year: 2015 Running Time: 75min. Language: 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.
Directors:Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft and Senay Berhe Countries: Angola, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Sweden Year: 2014 Running Time: 140 min. Language: English, Portuguese, French and Wolof with English subtitles
Angola welcomes us to the 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.
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.
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.
In Afripedia, Senegal, we meet fashion designer Selly Raby Kane. 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.
Twenty years after liberation, Afripedia, South Africa portrays a diverse new generation in which fashion designers, animators, cultural entrepreneurs, music producers and guerilla filmmakers redefine what it means to be young, talented and passionate in South Africa today.
Director:Nadia Sasso Countries: Ghana/Sierra Leone/USA Year: 2015 Running Time: 43 min. Language: English
What does it mean to be an African born in America? Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African 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 the concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.
Director: Alexandra Sicotte-Levesque Countries: Canada Year: 2013 Running Time: 74 min. Language: English and 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
Biography: Muzna Almusafer was born in Madinat Sultan Qaboos in Muscat, Oman. Her admiration for images started at an early age through her father, who is a painter and a photographer. She graduated from Kuwait University majoring in mass communication with a minor in political science and took courses in Swedish cinema and Television culture at Stockholm University. Her first film Niqab was the winner of a student short film competition at the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai. Her second short film Cholo, which won Best Script at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival premiered at the Dubai Film Festival in 2013, and also screened at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Arts in Washington D.C. It also screened at Institute de Monde Arabe in Paris, showed on TV5 Monde and on Voice of America Persia.
Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs: Cholo(2015, 2016).