Ṣoju

Director: Oluwaseun Babalola
Country: USA/Botswana/Nigeria/Sierra Leone
Year: 2016
Running Time: 30 min.
Language: English

In this documentary, surfers, metal heads, and guerilla filmmakers explore their identities and culture in Sierra Leone, Botswana, and Nigeria.

Kewulay Kamara

Biography: Kewulay Kamara, poet-storyteller, multi-media artist and lecturer from Sierra Leone living in York. He is subject of articles in The New York Times and has appeared on A&E Television, PBS, and other outlets. Kewulay has performed at St. John the Divine, Symphony Space, City Center, Oxford University, and the Dodge Poetry Festival. He narrated the TBS documentary, Legends of the Bushmen. He directed In Search Finah Misa Kule: the story of a people who live by the word, a documentary of epic poetry, history and music Mr. Kamara has served as a senior consultant, expert facilitator, for UNESCO. He was recently featured in TEDx, A Foresight Storytelling Experience and in Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting (AIB)’ s Sacred Sounds. His book of epic narrative poetry: Word In the Belly of the Word is due in 2016. Mr. Kamara is a founder and executive Director of Badenya, Inc., a not for profit arts presenting organization in New York, and Dankawalie Secondary School in sierra Leone

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
In Search Finah Misa Kule: the story of a people who live by the word (2016)

Filmography:
In Search Finah Misa Kule: the story of a people who live by the word (2015)

In Search of Finah Misa Kule

Director: Kewulay Kamara
Country: Sierra Leone
Year: 2015
Running Time: 42 min.
Language: English, Mandeng, and Kuranko with English subtitles

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In Search of Finah Misa Kule: The Story of a People who Live by the Word chronicles the quest of poet Kewulay Kamara to reconstitute an ancient epic handed down in his family. Kamara takes us back to his native Village of Dankawali in northeast Sierra Leone where the epic was written out by his father in the 1960s only to be destroyed when the village was razed during the recent Civil War in Sierra Leone.

Nadia Sasso

Biography: Born in America to parents who emigrated from Sierra Leone, Nadia Sasso believes in the potential for collaboration to inspire innovation. She spearheaded the corporate social responsibility initiative at Royal Dynamite so that the company donates an educational care package to children around the world when a t-shirt is purchased from the company. In 2010 she co-founded Yehri Wi Cry (YWC), an organization that distributes birthing kits in Sierra Leone to increase the successful birth and delivery rates for women. Named among Katie Couric’s “Next Generation of Female Leaders,” Sasso received the “Young African Committed to Excellence Award” by Face2Face Africa magazine. She is also the 2013 recipient of the Posse Foundation’s Ainslie Alumni Achievement Award where she was honored for her commitment to social responsibility. Nadia holdsa dual B.A. degree in English and Sociology from Bucknell University and an M.A. in American Studies with a certification in Documentary Film from Lehigh University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Africana Studies at Cornell University.

(Source: http://africana.cornell.edu/graduate/nadia-sasso.cfm)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African (2015).

Filmography:
Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African (2015).

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.

Ghosts of Amistad

Director: Tony Buba
Countries: USA
Year: 2014
Running Time: 57mins
Language: English and Mende with English subtitles

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In 1839, a small group of enslaved Africans rose up and seized their ship (the Amistad), and sailed it from the north coast of Cuba to Long Island, where they were captured by the American navy, charged with “piracy and murder,” and jailed in Connecticut. American abolitionists flocked to the jail, where they formed an alliance with the Africans. The rebels returned home to their native Sierra Leone in triumph in 1842.

Ghosts of Amistad chronicles a journey to Sierra Leone in 2013 to interview village elders about local memory of the Amistad rebellion (1839), to search for the long-lost ruins of the slave-trading factory Lomboko, and to recover a lost history from below in the struggle against slavery.

Ngardy Conteh George and Allan Tong

Biography: As a Sierra Leonean-Canadian, Ngardy Conteh George always wants to tell stories of the African Diaspora. As a director she has achieved this with Soldiers for the Streets, a short documentary for the NFB, broadcast on CBC Television and Literature Alive, a documentary series featuring Caribbean-Canadian authors broadcast on Bravo!. She is also an accomplished video editor working on various documentaries and television shows including I Want to Be a Desi 2 (documentary short, Dir. Allan Tong), Something Beautiful (half-hour documentary on development in Kenya), Cypher for AUX TV, Arts & Minds for Bravo!, The Rhyming Chef Barbuda, Food & Drink TV and The Marilyn Denis Show for CTV.  She is a former scholarship athlete and graduate of the University of New Orleans.

Biography: Allan is a Toronto filmmaker who wrote and directed the shorts Little Mao and I Want To Be a Desi, which Bravo aired after enjoying award-winning festival runs. His short drama, Grange Avenue (2008) also played festivals and was broadcast on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Previously, Allan apprenticed as a documentary director and producer at the National Film Board of Canada. He has served as an office manager, post-production manager and associate producer at documentary production companies. His articles about cinema regularly appear in the IFP’s Filmmaker magazine, and he has programmed for several film festivals. Allan is writing scripted television after recently completing the WGC-Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program.

(Source: http://www.flyingstarsdoc.com/filmmakers/)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Flying Stars (2015).

Filmography:
Literature Alive (2005 – Ngardy Conteh George)
The Rhyming Chef Barbuda (2009 – Ngardy Conteh George)
The Flying Stars (2014).

Ngardy Conteh George

Biography: As a Sierra Leonean-Canadian, Ngardy Conteh George always wants to tell stories of the African Diaspora. As a director she has achieved this with Soldiers for the Streets, a short documentary for the NFB, broadcast on CBC Television and Literature Alive, a documentary series featuring Caribbean-Canadian authors broadcast on Bravo!. She is also an accomplished video editor working on various documentaries and television shows including I Want to Be a Desi 2 (documentary short, Dir. Allan Tong), Something Beautiful (half-hour documentary on development in Kenya), Cypher for AUX TV, Arts & Minds for Bravo!, The Rhyming Chef Barbuda, Food & Drink TV and The Marilyn Denis Show for CTV.  She is a former scholarship athlete and graduate of the University of New Orleans.

(Source: http://www.flyingstarsdoc.com/filmmakers/)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Flying Stars (2015).

Filmography:
Literature Alive (2005)
The Rhyming Chef Barbuda (2009)
The Flying Stars (2014).

The Flying Stars

Director: Ngardy Conteh George & Allan Tong
Countries: Canada
Year: 2014
Running Time: 50min
Language: English and Pidgin English with English subtitles

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Team captain Bornor and midfielder Census are amputees who play organized soccer in Sierra Leone to cope with the horrors of war they suffered a decade ago. As they dream of playing internationally, they wrestle with nightmares that haunt their daily lives and threaten the very families they are trying to feed. Can Bornor and Census overcome their postwar trauma and score a victory for their children off the soccer pitch?

Language You Cry In

Director: Alvaro Toepke and Angel Serrano
Countries: Sierra Leone and Spain
Year: 1998
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: English and Mende

The Language You Cry In tells an amazing scholarly detective story reaching across hundreds of years and thousands of miles from 18th century Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of present-day Georgia. It recounts the even more remarkable saga of how African Americans retained links with their African past through the horrors of the Middle Passage, slavery and segregation. The film dramatically demonstrates the contribution of contemporary scholarship to restoring what narrator Vertamae Grosvenor calls the “non-history” imposed on African Americans.

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They Are We

Directors: Emma Christopher
Country: Australia, Cuba, Liberia and Sierra Leone
Year: 2013
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: English

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Josefa held her village’s songs and dances in her heart. Captured in Africa, she treasured them as she was loaded into the gruesome hold of a slave ship and then sold as a beast of burden in Cuba. Toiling on a plantation, she taught the songs and dances to her children and grandchildren, words and rhythms that lost their original meanings but still resonated with the cadences of their stolen identity. Now, 160 years later, might those same songs and dances enable her descendants to make their way home?

They Are We tells the story of how Josefa’s descendants have kept some of their origins alive. It shows the incredible search for their African roots and then follows the two halves of the family as they try to overcome their problems—the Africans’ extreme poverty and the Cubans’ lack of freedom to travel—to meet again. It is a story of surviving the worst of human experience and how family ties can outlast just about anything.

Language You Cry In

Director: Alvaro Toepke and Angel Serrano
Countries: Sierra Leone and Spain
Year: 1998
Running Time: 52 min.
Language: English and Mende

The Language You Cry In tells an amazing scholarly detective story reaching across hundreds of years and thousands of miles from 18th century Sierra Leone to the Gullah people of present-day Georgia. It recounts the even more remarkable saga of how African Americans retained links with their African past through the horrors of the Middle Passage, slavery and segregation. The film dramatically demonstrates the contribution of contemporary scholarship to restoring what narrator Vertamae Grosvenor calls the “non-history” imposed on African Americans.

Nikyatu Jusu

Biography: Writer/Director Nikyatu Jusu was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1982 to Sierra Leonean immigrant parents. She attended Duke University with plans of becoming a biomedical engineer. A chance meeting with a screenwriting professor introduced her to the world of filmmaking. Nikyatu was from then on obsessed, consumed by, and addicted to the art form, and eventually graduated from Duke University having earned the Most Promising Filmmaker Award. New York University-Tisch School of the Arts’ prestigious M.F.A. film program was kind enough to further fuel her addiction. Nikyatu’s short film, African Booty Scratcher, earned her myriad festival acceptances and awards, including a Director’s Guild Honorable Mention, HBO Short Film Award and JT3 Artist Award. The screenplay of her thesis film alone, Say Grace Before Drowning (2010), earned her a Spike Lee Scholarship and a Princess Grace Foundation-US Graduate Film Scholarship. Jusu is also a Panavision Equipment Grant recipient. HBO acquired both of her short films.

(Sources:
– AFF, Inc.
http://www.rockstone.org/resume6.htm
http://nikyatu.mvmt.com/about/
http://www.africultures.com/php/index.php?nav=personne&no=27186
http://cargocollective.com/nikyatu/BIO-CV)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
African Booty Scratcher (2009);
Say Grace Before Drowning (2011).

Filmography:
African Booty Scratcher (2008);
Say Grace Before Drowning (2010);
Black Swan Theory (2011).

Sunju Ahmadu

Biography: Sunju Ahmadu is a filmmaker who directed her first documentary film, Bondo, A Journey Into Kono Womanhood, as part of the requirement of her MA in Documentary Film at Brunel University in the U.K. Sunju’s interests include directing and producing video documentaries on the experiences of African immigrant groups in the United States particularly youth populations and issues of acculturation. She completed her Bachelor’s in international relations at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

[Source: http://vimeo.com/user6374230]

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Bondo: a Journey into Kono Womanhood (2011).

Filmography:
Heal Our Nation (Date unknown);
Yaa Mihn (Date unknown);
Bondo: a Journey into Kono Womanhood (2006).

Sierra Leone Independence

Director: Archival Footage
Countries: UK / Sierra Leone
Year: 1961
Running Time: 7 min.
Language: English

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At the dawn of independence, Freetown is the site of celebration as the Milton Margai administration is ushered in under the patronage of the Duke of Kent.

The Queen in Sierra Leone

Director: Archival Newsreel
Country: UK / Sierra Leone
Year: 1961
Running Time: 3 min.
Language: English

After 150 years of British rule, the Queen arrives in Sierra Leone to an enthusiastic reception.

Bling: A Planet Rock

Director: Raquel Cepeda
Country: Sierra Leone and USA
Year: 2007
Running Time: 85 min.
Language: English and Krio

In Bling, three hip-hop celebrities, Raekwon, Paul Wall and reggaetun king Tego Calderon, visit the capital of Freetown to survey the community as a whole. These hip-hop superstars meet the hip-hop community, refugees and former child soldiers living in Sierra Leone. They hear first-hand accounts of the atrocities suffered at the hands of the rebels that included rape, torture and amputation. Capturing hip-hop’s reaction to the human violations, this film shows the complexities that still exist in Sierra Leone and bring global awareness via the dominant voice of youth all over the world of hip-hop.

African Booty Scratcher

Director: Nikyatu Jusu
Country: USA and Sierra Leone
Year: 2008
Running Time: 13 min.
Language: English and Krio

A fashionable New York City teenager must decide whether to follow family tradition or conform to her peer’s values when choosing her prom dress. This is a crisp and fresh retelling of the story of young Africans living in the Diaspora.

Brownstone to Red Dirt

Director: Dave LaMattina
Country: Sierra Leone and USA
Year: 2010
Running Time: 85 min.
Language: English

Kids from Boroklyn’s Bed-Stuy projects and orphans from Sierra Leone’s brutal civil war have one thing in common—no one gives them a chance. These ‘lost’ groups find one another through a pen pal program that not only shapes their lives, but also shows them that even if they can’t count on the world, they can count on each other. Their inspirational growth shows that no child’s future is predestined.

Driving with Fanon

Director: Steve Kwena Mokwena
Country: South Africa and Sierra Leone
Year: 2010
Running Time: 70 min
Language: English and Krio

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Avant-garde filmmaker, Kwena Mokwena travels through Freetown, Sierra Leone with the ghost of Frantz Fanon, engaging a new generation into conversation about the radical black scholar, psychiatrist and revolutionary thinker.