Vaya

Director: Akin Omotoso
Country: South Africa
Year: 2016
Running Time: 115 min.
Language: Zulu with English subtitles

Three strangers on a train traveling from the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg are bound by interlocking destinies. Each appointed with their own task to complete, their separate quests intertwine in a series of gripping narratives: Nkulu (Sibusiso Msimang), charged with retrieving his father’s remains from the capital for burial, is unaware that a whole other set of relatives have their own plans. Zanele (Zimkhitha Nyoka), chaperoning a young girl en-route to reuniting with her singer mother, is given an exciting offer to appear on television that may be more than meets the eye. Nhlanhla (Sihle Xaba), excited by the prospect of getting rich quick, gets caught up in criminal activities. As they struggle for survival, they attempt to hold steadfastly to their integrity and dignity in a city in which they hoped to find protection and solace.

Kanye Kanye

Director: Miklas Manneke
Country: South Africa
Year: 2013
Running Time: 26 min.
Language: Zulu with English subtitles

In a South African township, where an argument over whether red or green apples are better causes the greatest divide in the town’s history, a young man, Thomas, falls in love with Thandi, who falls into the opposite camp.

Uprize!

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.

 

Noem My Skollie (Call Me Thief)

Director: Daryne Joshua
Country: South Africa
Year: 2016
Running Time: 125 min.
Language: Afrikaans with English subtitles

Daryne Joshua’s debut feature is a portrait of life on the mean streets of Cape Town’s lawless Cape Flats in the 1960s. Barely into their teens, Abraham and his three friends form a gang, more out of self-preservation than malice. As they grow up, Abraham (now played by the intense Dann-Jacques Mouton) and his gang turn to petty thievery. After he is arrested, Abraham’s storytelling abilities protect him from the worst that prison life has to offer. Once he’s out, he hopes to reunite with his childhood sweetheart and get his stories down on paper—if, that is, his gang friends and society give him a chance. Noem My Skollie is both a tribute to the human need for stories—and storytellers—and a realistic look at youth gang behavior.

Kalushi

Director: Mandla Dube
Country: South Africa
Year: 2016
Running Time: 110 min.
Language: English, Afrikaans, and Tsotsi-taal with English subtitles

Kalushi is a true story about Solomon Mahlangu, a 19-year-old hawker from the streets of Mamelodi, a ghetto township outside Pretoria, South Africa. After being brutally beaten by police during the 1976 Soweto uprisings, he goes into exile and joins the liberation movement; a series of violent events lead Mahlangu on a journey that culminates in his being forced to stand trial for his life, using the courtroom as his final battlefield. A hero of the struggle against apartheid, Mahlangu would become an international icon of South Africa’s liberation.

While You Weren’t Looking

Director: Catherine Stewart
Country: South Africa
Year: 2015
Running Time: 104 min.
Language: English, Xhosa and Afrikans with English subtitles

whileyouwerentlooking1

The changing landscape of post-Apartheid South African politics and lifestyles is portrayed through two central relationships: a successful black real estate woman who is cheating on her white wife, and their bohemian daughter dating a gender non-confirming woman in the Khayelitsha township.

Cuckold

Director: Charlie Vundla
Countries: South Africa
Year: 2015
Running Time: 95min.
Language: English

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A young professor in Johannesburg falls apart after his wife leaves him, becoming stuck in an alcohol, drug and sex fueled depression, but is rescued from self-destruction by a mysterious stranger.

Tora Mkandawire Mårtens

Biography: Tora Mkandawire Mårtens was born in Stockholm, but is now based in South Africa working as a director and a producer. Tora directed and produced the short film Tommy in Cuba, which was competing for a Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2008. Her first feature documentary Colombianos has been awarded and shown at Film Festivals around the world. Her feature documentary Martha & Niki was the opening film at Nordic Panorama, and had its international premiere at IDFA 2015. The film received a special mention award for best Nordic documentary 2015.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Martha & Niki (2016).

Filmography:
Martha & Niki (2015).

Akin Omotoso

Akin OmotosoBiography: Akin Omotoso is a writer, actor, and director. He was born in 1974 in Nigeria and grew up in the university town of Ife where he found his first love- writing. In 1992, his family moved to South Africa after his father accepted a lectureship at the University of the Western Cape. Omotoso enrolled for the only course at the University of Cape Town that did not require a matric exemption, the Performers Diploma in Speech and Drama. He originally intended to do drama for a year, but continued with the course before launching into the acting profession. His career plans were turned around after he was cast in Sunjata, a play directed by Mark Fleishman. He won The Fleur du Cap Award for Most Promising Student in 1995 for his role in the play and decided to pursue a career in the performing arts. Using money he made from acting to subsidize his directorial feats, he completed three short films: The Kiss of Milk, The Nightwalkers, and The Caretaker. In 1999 he wrote his first feature film, God is African. When God is African premiered in 2003, Omotoso was struggling with personal loss after his mother died from cancer. He decided to reprioritize his life and started a production company, T.O.M Pictures with Robbie Thorpe and Kgomotso Matsunyane. Omotoso and his production company went on to win Best South African Film at the New York Independent Film Festival in 2004.

(Source: http://www.tvsa.co.za/actors/viewactor.aspx?actorid=9413)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
God is African ().

Filmography:
Soul City (1994);
God is African (2002);
Gathering the Scattered Cousins (2006);
A Place Called Home (2006);
Soul Buddyz (2007);
Jesus and the Giant (2008);
Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest (2009);
Man on Ground (2011);
End Game (2013);
Tell Me Sweet Something (2015);
Vaya (2016).

Okepne Ojang and Kyle O’Donoghue

Biogokepneojangraphy: Okepne Ojang was born in Cameroon in 1978 and moved to South Africa in 1998. Ojang was introduced to film informally and after a number of years learning the ropes, he acquired a solid understanding of the production of documentaries and short films. With a home video camera, he decided to start filming the members of a Congolese band (Tino La Musica) with the intention of making a short film about their success. Shortly after he began filming, xenophobic violence erupted and his film about a band became a film about much more.

Biogkyle odonogueraphy: Kyle O’Donoghue is a South African born documentary filmmaker. His work has taken him to every continent and he has a particular interest in telling stories which reflect strong environmental messages. As an expedition cameraman he has kayaked a first descent of a tributary of the Amazon and filmed a 70 day ski expedition in the Canadian Arctic. He has also spent 10 seasons in the Antarctic with polar explorer Robert Swan. He believes that telling personal, well crafted stories is one of the best ways to leverage and create real change.

(Source: http://www.pfchange.org/2015/04/13/kyle-odonogue-filmaker/)

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Congo My Foot (2009).

Filmography:
Brass Boys (2007- Kyle O’Donoghue);
Congo My Foot (2008);
Wellbodi Bizness (2011- Kyle O’Donoghue).

Celebrate Black History Month– AFRIPEDIA Screening at The Schomburg

 

Afripedia_Creatives_ promo_APlogo_Copyright StocktownFilms

Afripedia Screening & Discussion

Thursday, February 18th, 2016, 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
515 Malcolm X Boulevard
New York, NY 10037

Join us at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture as we celebrate Black History Month with a screening of the Ghana and Senegal episodes from the Afripedia series. Directors Teddy Goitom and Senay Berhe will be present for a post-screening talkback.

Afripedia— a documentary series by Teddy Goitom, Benjamin Taft, and Senay Berhe — is dedicated to showcasing artists, musicians, filmmakers, and other creatives from Africa and its Diaspora. Spend an evening with AFF and the Schomburg Center as we co-present a screening of this engrossing visual guide to the cultural movements taking place in African metropolises and the young artists on the continent who are making Black History now!

This event is FREE and open to the public, but registration is required. Please click here to reserve your seats now. All attendees are advised to arrive early as registered seats will be released 15-30 minutes before the start of the program. Click here for more details on the Schomburg Center’s registration/admission policy.

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

Senegal _ Omar Victor Diop Copyright_StocktownFilms

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.

Upcoming NYC Screenings: Miners Shot Down & Crumbs

 

The Coalition of Peace Organizations of the U.N. is presenting a screening of Miners Shot Down on Friday, October 16th at 7:30. This FREE event will take place at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center.

Presented in Association with The Source Magazine and AFF.

MINERS SHOT DOWN Trailer from Icarus Films on Vimeo.

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. What emerges is the country’s first post-colonial massacre. Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers against the combined forces of a mining company, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.

Director Rehad Desai will be present for a post-screening discussion.

Free admission. Donations will be accepted.

The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center is located at:

3940 Broadway
(between W. 165th & 166th streets)
New York, NY 10032


The Ethiopian surrealist sci-fi, Crumbs will be opening in New York on Friday, October 23rd at Cinema Village.

Crumbs is set against the background of spectacular post-apocalyptic Ethiopian landscapes, where the film finds a strange-looking scrap collector, Gagano. Alternately gripped by daydreams and constant fears, the diminutive Gagano has had enough of collecting the priceless crumbs of decayed civilization, including the most valuable: merchandise from Michael Jackson and Michael Jordan. When a spaceship that has been hovering high in the sky for years starts showing signs of activity, Gagano has to overcome his fears – as well as a witch, Santa Claus and second-generation Nazis — to discover things aren’t quite the way he thought.

Click here for showtimes and tickets! The filmmaker, Miguel Llanso, will be in attendance at the 7:15pm and 9:15pm shows on Friday and Saturday!

Miners Shot Down

Director: Rehad Desai
Countries: South Africa
Year: 2014
Running Time: 86 min.
Language: English

In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa’s biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days later, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. Miners Shot Down follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, Lonmin, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers.

Cuba: An African Odyssey

Director: Jihan El-Tahri
Country: Egypt, South Africa, and France
Year: 2006-2007
Running Time: 118 min.
Language: French, English, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish

Cuba: An African Odyssey, Jihan El Tahir, France, 2006-2007, 118 min.

From Che Guevara’s military campaign to avenge Lumumba in the Congo up to the fall of apartheid in South Africa, 300,000 Cubans fought alongside African revolutionaries. Cuba: An African Odyssey is the previously untold story of Cuba’s support for various African revolutions, one of the Cold War’s most vigorous contests over resources and ideology. This film attempts to understand the world today through the saga of these Cuban internationalists who won every battle but ultimately lost the war.

The Shore Break

Director: Ryley Grunenwald
Country:  South Africa/Pondo
Year: 2015
Running Time: 90 min.
Language: English and Xhosa

shorebreak

Amid the tumult of the Arab Spring in Cairo, vendors in a small souk observe the political upheaval while seeking to preserve an ancient tradition of fabric making. The result is a fascinating microcosm of a transitioning nation. In the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, street celebrations turn to conflict—shops burn to the ground, propaganda spreads, and the fraternal spirit of the marketplace is shattered. The Tentmakers of Cairo traces this story from the beginning and follows each character as they develop with the times. Filmmaker Kim Beamish captures some of the most remarkable close-up footage of one of the defining political crises of the decade.

Ryley Grunenwald

rygrunBiography: Ryley Grunenwald’s directorial and producing debut, The Dawn of a New Day (2011), won Best Director and Best Cinematographer of a Documentary at the 2012 South African Film and Television Awards. She participated in the 2013 IDFA Worldview Summer School, the 2013 Hot Docs Dealmaker, the 2012 Berlinale Talent Campus and pitched at the 2012 Hot Docs Forum. She holds an MA in Film and Television, is owner of Marie-Vérité Films and also directs and shoots on a freelance basis.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
The Shore Break (2015).

Filmography: 
The Dawn of a New Day (2011);
The Shore Break (2014).

AFF Co-Presenting Films at 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival

 

African Film Festival, Inc. is proud to be co-presenting a collection of amazing films related to the African experience at the American Museum of Natural History’s annual documentary festival, the Margaret Mead Film Festival later this month: Circus Without Borders, The Shore Break and The Tentmakers of Cairo.

The 2015 Margaret Mead Film Festival runs from October 22-25 at the American Museum of Natural History. This annual documentary film festival, founded in honor of anthropologist Margaret Mead, hosts movie screenings, video installations, conversations, and events that increase our understanding of the peoples and cultures that populate our planet.

Use the discount code MEAD10 and get 10% off of your ticket purchase for any film in the festival. 

In an era defined by mobility and transformation, the artists and filmmakers of this year’s festival explore thresholds and boundaries of all kinds—geographic, cultural, personal, and metaphysical—that define contemporary life across Earth. They bring diverse worlds to the screen while highlighting the essential qualities that connect us all.

AFF Co-Presentations at the Margaret Mead Film Festival

Circus Without Borders
Susan Gray, Linda Matchan, and Northern Light Productions
2015 | 70 minutes | Canada, Guinea, U.S.A.
New York Premiere | Directors in Attendance
Showing Thursday, October 22 at 7:00pm

World-class acrobats and good friends Guillaume Saladin and Yamoussa Bangoura come from very different corners of the globe—the Canadian Arctic and Guinea, West Africa. Despite the distance, they share the same vision: to bring hope and change to their struggling communities through circus. Seven years in the making, this riveting and uplifting story of their two circus companies—Artcirq and Kalabanté—and  the culture-crossing collaborative performance that unites them has the propulsive drama of a gripping work of fiction. Wrapped up in the narrative swirling around these two driven, charismatic men are the parallel plights of the Inuit and Guinean youth they’re committed to helping—the suicide, poverty, and despair that haunts their isolated communities, and the resilience and joy that characterize the tenacity of their collective dream.

The Tentmakers of Cairo
Kim Beamish
2015 | 98 minutes | Australia, Egypt
U.S. Premiere | Director in Attendance
Showing Friday, October 23 at 9:30pm

Amid the tumult of the Arab Spring in Cairo, vendors in a small souk observe the political upheaval while seeking to preserve an ancient tradition of fabric making. The result is a fascinating microcosm of a transitioning nation. In the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, street celebrations turn to conflict—shops burn to the ground, propaganda spreads, and the fraternal spirit of the marketplace is shattered. The Tentmakers of Cairo traces this story from the beginning and follows each character as they develop with the times. Filmmaker Kim Beamish captures some of the most remarkable close-up footage of one of the defining political crises of the decade.

The Shore Break
Ryley Grunenwald
2015 | 90 minutes | South Africa, Pondo
U.S. Premiere | Director(s) in Attendance
Showing Saturday, October 24 at 7:30pm

Pondoland’s Wild Coast provides a dramatic setting for a high-stakes saga that casts a new light, and accompanying shadows, across the landscape of South Africa. Spurred by an Australian mining company’s plan to exploit local titanium deposits, two cousins—one a tour guide committed to protecting the environment and culture of her home, the other an entrepreneur eager to usher in modernity and profit it will bring—clash in a vicious battle for the hearts and minds of their neighbors. As the national government intervenes with a plot to oust Pondoland’s eco-friendly royal family, tensions between the cousins and their supporters in the split community reach a fever pitch. Featuring an arresting score by a local musician, exquisite footage of Pondoland’s natural wonders, and ingenious interludes of sand animation that focus and amplify the drama, The Shore Break is a skillfully realized story that poses difficult questions about morality, idealism, and opportunism in the global economy.

Sobukwe: A Great Soul

Director: Mickey Dube
Country: South Africa
Year: 2013
Running Time: 100 min.
Language: English and various South African languages with English subtitles

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Sobukwe: A Great Soul celebrates the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, restoring him to his rightful place as a leading figure in South African history. Despite his pivotal role in the struggle for liberation (and as the founder of the Pan Africanist Congress), there isn’t a single piece of archive of the man who was once one of the most watched, recorded, and popular political prisoners in the world. Even the current South African government has failed to recognize his place in history and the relevance of his message today. Mickey Madoda Dube’s film seeks to fill that gap, standing as a monument to a great man, a global visionary, teacher, political leader, philosopher, and humanist who was well ahead of his time, declaring his commitment to a “non-racial” society in a racist world by asserting that “there is only one race, the human race.”

Mickey Dube

Also Known As: Mickey Madoda Dube

mickeydubeBiography: Mickey Madoda Dube is an international award winning Film, TV and TV Commercials Director/Producer. As a Fulbright Scholar at the notable USC School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles, his films include documentaries, TV Drama, Reality shows, music, etc. Sobukwe: A Great Soul won the Amnesty International Documentary Award in 2013 and at SAFTAS 2013 Best Documentary Feature, Best Director Documentary Feature, Best Editor Documentary Feature and Best Factual Educational Entertainment Program.

Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Sobukwe: A Great Soul (2015).

Filmography:
Saints, Sinners and Settlers (1999);
A Walk in the Night (2000);
Imagine Afrika (TV Series – 2000);
Sobukwe: A Great Soul (2013);
One Humanity (2014).