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: Raquel Cepeda Country: Dominican Republic/USA Year: 2017 Running Time: 50 min. Language: English
Some Girls explores the intersection of Latina-American identity by focusing on a group of troubled teenage girls—including two main protagonists—from a Bronx-based suicide prevention program who feel rejected and shackled by binary Black and white constructs but are transformed through an exploration of their roots. In the course of the film, shot over four years, they use ancestral DNA testing to discover their roots, learning more about themselves and, by extension, Latinxs New World history. On a sojourn to Dominican Republic, they explore issues of social justice, ethnic studies, history, and identity.
Director: Beatrice Soule Country: France/Senegal Year: 1996 Running Time: 26 min. Language: French with English subtitles
Soule’s film is a love story between a man and his sculpture, between a man and a woman, between a man and humanity. The film highlights the four series of sculptures by Ousmane Sow, Masai, Noubas, Zulus and Fulani.
Director: Rama Thiaw Country: Senegal Year: 2016 Running Time: 110 min. Language: Wolof and French with English subtitles
In 2012, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade began a highly controversial run for a third term, in violation of the nation’s constitution. Among the forces that rose up in protest was a peaceful political movement, Y’en a Marre (literally “we’re fed up”), an alliance of hip-hop artists and journalists. Rama Thiaw shadows rappers Thiat and Kilifeu and their manager Gadiaga as they crisscross Dakar to rock the youth vote.
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: Arthur Musah Country: Ghana/Nigeria/USA Year: 2016 Running Time: 50 min. Language: English
Dreaming of shaking up education in Nigeria, a team of Nigerian and Nigerian-American MIT students heads home one summer to teach technology to high-schoolers through a competitive robotics camp in Lagos. As they seek to contribute to a new and better Nigeria, their ideals are tested by reality.
Director: Idriss Gabel Country: Belgium Year: 2016 Running Time: 72 min. Language: Wolof and French with English subtitles
In the Democratic Republic of Congo—a central African country of vast natural resources and a brutal history of conflict—independent local television stations embody the spirit of journalism, struggling courageously to document the difficulties of the country’s citizens. Nowhere is this altruistic drive to inform more pronounced than in Kolwezi, a wealthy mining city and the capital of the Lualaba Province of South Congo. There, reporters from RTMA, the largest local television channel, pursue stories with unbridled vigor and often at great personal risk. This fast-paced film mirrors the work of its subjects, encompassing hard-hitting political exposé, engrossing human interest, and crime drama.
Director: Christophe Cupelin Country: Switzerland Year: 2012 Running Time: 90 min. Language: French with English subtitles
“I therefore want to speak in the name of all abandoned people because I am a man and nothing of what is human is foreign to me”. Cupelin’s film is a portrait composed of archival footage of Thomas Sankara, President of Burkina Faso between 1983 and his murder in 1987. Ready to liberate his country and transform the mentalities of his fellow citizens, contesting the world’s political order and challenging the powers of his time, Sankara stands out strongly in the history both of Africa and of the world.
Director: Laurence Gavron Country: France Year: 2016 Running Time: 60 min. Language: French with English subtitles
The fall of Dien Bien Phu and the Geneva Agreements in 1954 signaled the end of a century of France’s presence in Indochina. In the French army, large numbers of soldiers from the colonies, particularly North Africa and Black Africa, were repatriated to their home countries. Many of the African soldiers had taken Vietnamese wives.
Director: Lebert Bethune Country: Jamaica/USA Year: 1967 Running Time: 20 min. Language: English
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.
Director: Sifiso Khanyile Country: South Africa Year: 2017 Running Time: 58 min. Language: English
On the morning of June 16, 1976, students gathered to protest the use of the Afrikaans language in schools. What started out as a planned peaceful march turned into a bloody confrontation with the police. The student protests spread to other parts of South Africa, causing an economic instability that rapidly plunged the country into crisis. Uprize! looks at the political, social, and cultural conditions that shaped the uprising, how those ideas we transformed into liberatory action, and how those actions helped shape the democratic society we live in today.
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: Shirikiana Gerima Country: USA Year: 2017 Running Time: 90 min. Language: English
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.
Director:Bill Siegel Country: USA Year: 2014 Running Time: 6 min. Language: English
The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers the explosive crossroads of Ali’s life. When Cassius Clay becomes Muhammad Ali, his conversion to Islam and refusal to serve in the Vietnam War leave him banned from boxing and facing a five-year prison sentence. Ali’s choice of belief and conscience over fame and fortune resonates far beyond the boxing ring, striking issues of race, faith and identity that continue to confront us all today.
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.
Director: Seyi Adebanjo Country: Nigeria Year: 2015 Running Time: 30 min. Language: 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.
Director:Tora Mkandawire Mårtens Countries: Sweden Year: 2015 Running Time: 93min. Language: 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?
Director: Donna C. Roberts Countries: Brazil/USA Year: 2015 Running Time: 52min. Language: English and Portuguese with English subtitles
A documentary film about the Candomblé spiritual tradition in Bahia, Brazil, a vibrant African-derived culture which evolved from slavery’s brutal past. Elder women leaders tell stories of Candomblé’s history, social challenges and triumphs, grounded in strong community, and Earth-based wisdom and practice.