The African Who Wanted to Fly

Director: Samantha Biffot
Country: Belgium/China/Gabon/France
Year: 2016
Running Time: 70 min.
Language: French with English 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.

Allen Report: Retracing Transnational African Methodism

Director: Alanna Lockward
Country: Dominican Republic
Year: 2016
Running Time: 76 min.
Language: English, French and 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.

Adam & Howa

Director: Sarra Idris
Country: Sudan
Year: 2015
Running Time: 8 min.
Language: Arabic with English subtitles

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.

A Place for Myself

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.

Accra Power

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.

Ayiti Mon Amour

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.

 

 

Anton

Director: Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine
Country: Uganda/Germany/USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 5 min.
Language: German with English subtitles

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A young German boy longs for his father in Africa.

Afripedia x New York

Director: Senay Berhe, Teddy Goitom and Benjamin Taft
Country: USA
Year: 2016
Running Time: 12 min.
Language: English

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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.

About a Mother

Director: Dina Velikovskaya
Country: Russia
Year: 2015
Running Time: 8 min.
Language: N/A

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Dina Velikovskaya’s animated short is about a mother who has given so much that it seems as if she has nothing left…until life opens up new opportunities.

Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai

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.

AFRIPEDIA Series

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

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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.

Ghana

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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.

Kenya

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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.

Senegal

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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.

South Africa

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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.

Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?

 

Director: Nadia Sasso
Countries: Ghana/Sierra Leone/USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 43 min.
Language: English

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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.

The Longest Kiss (A jamais, pour toujours)

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

Muzna Almusafer

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).

Filmography:
Niqab (2010);
Cholo (2014).

Annie

Director: Will Gluck
Country: USA
Year: 2014
Running Time: 118 min.
Language: English

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Ever since her parents left her as a baby, little Annie (Quvenzhané Wallis) has led a hard-knock life with her calculating foster mother, Miss Hannigan. However, all that changes when hard-nosed billionaire and mayoral candidate Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx) takes her in on the recommendation of his advisers (Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale). Stacks believes that he’s Annie’s guardian angel, but the plucky youngster’s confidence and sunny outlook may mean that Annie will save Will instead.

Jide Akinleminu

Also Known As: Jide Tom Akinleminu

Biography: Jide Akinleminu grew up in the town of Ikorodu, Nigeria as the son of a Nigerian farmer and a Danish librarian. His family relocated in 1991 to Denmark. He attended the acclaimed Fatamorgana – Danish School of Art Photography, completed several documentary projects and exhibitions. His films have been screened at major film festivals such as Locarno, Oberhausen, Berlinale, Hofer Filmtage, FID Marseilles and his short film Kokon was awarded with the German Shortfilm Prize in 2009. Portrait of a Lone Farmer was his first feature length film as a director and won the Cipputi Award at the Torino Film Festival in 2013 and in 2014 the African Movie Academy Award in Nigeria and also won “Best Documentary” in the Duisburger Filmwoche, Germany.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Portrait of a Lone Farmer (2015).

Filmography:
Portrait of a Lone Farmer (2013).

Carlos Agullo and Mandy Jacobson

Biography: Carlos Agullo worked as an assistant editor on The Sea Inside by Alejandro Amenábar, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and later as film editor for other award winning Spanish directors such as Mateo Gil, Oskar Santos, Jorge Blanco and Jorge Sánchez’ Cabezudo (Crematorium). He has also directed several of his own award-winning short films.

Biography: Mandy Jacobson serves as the Executive Producer of the African Oral History Archive. She is a multiple award winning filmmaker, who won two Emmy Awards for her documentary Calling the Ghosts: A Film about Rape, War and Women in Bosnia and with the Bill Moyers team won the Peabody for PBS feature, Facing the Truth. She heads up Indelible Media, a multi-media production company dedicated to showcasing African cinema and television for international broadcast and theatrical release.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Plot for Peace (2015).

Filmography:
Calling the Ghosts (1996 – Mandy Jacobson);
Locked Up (TV Series – 2001 – Mandy Jacobson);
Wide Angle [Road to Riches Episode] (TV Series – 2003 – Mandy Jacobson);
El Regalo [The Gift] (2006 – Carlos Agullo)
La Espera [The Wait] (2008 – Carlos Agullo);
Ana Cronia (2008 – Carlos Agullo);
Pizza Eli (2008 – Carlos Agullo);
Próxima Estación [Next Station] (2011 – Carlos Agullo);
Plot for Peace (2013);
A Tribute to the Frontline States (2014 – Mandy Jacobson);
Ten Year Tightrope: Rebels with a Cause (2014 – Mandy Jacobson);
The Foreign Minister (2014 – Mandy Jacobson).

Carlos Agullo

Biography: Carlos Agullo worked as an assistant editor on The Sea Inside by Alejandro Amenábar, which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and later as film editor for other award winning Spanish directors such as Mateo Gil, Oskar Santos, Jorge Blanco and Jorge Sánchez’ Cabezudo (Crematorium). He has also directed several of his own award-winning short films.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Plot for Peace (2015).

Filmography:
El Regalo [The Gift] (2006)
La Espera [The Wait] (2008);
Ana Cronia (2008);
Pizza Eli (2008);
Próxima Estación [Next Station] (2011);
Plot for Peace (2013).

 

The Amazing Nina Simone

Director: Jeff L. Lieberman
Country: USA
Year: 2015
Running Time: 110 min.
Language: English

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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. Through Nina’s friends, family, band members, lovers and fellow activists, we learn the true Nina, and the inspiration behind the songs that for 60 years have moved people to both tears and elation. The film traces her roots from her upbringing in segregated North Carolina and follows Nina’s journey all the way to the South of France and the place where she finally found freedom.