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New York African Film Festival (Nyaff) 2008
Cinéma & Histoire: L’Afrique & le Futur * Hommage à Sembène * Plus de 40 films de 22 pays * 50è Anniversaire de l’Indépendance de la Guinée * Réalisatrices d’Afrique – paver le chemin *… Le futur du cinéma africain est ici

Français

15TH ANNUAL NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL

CINEMA & HISTORY: AFRICA & THE FUTURE

April 9th – April 15th; May 6, 13, 20, & 27; May 23rd – 26th

MANHATTAN & BROOKLYN



This year New York African Film Festival commemorates our 15th Anniversary, along with the 50th anniversary of the independence of Guinea accompanied by a selection of remarkable and inspiring cinema.



April 9th – April 15th; May 6, 13, 20, & 27; May 23rd – 26th

MANHATTAN * BROOKLYN





This Wednesday, April 9th at 7:30 pm!

Special Guest Director Charles Burnett

Presenting his latest work

Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation



**Also in attendance will be the film’s editor Edwin Santiago**





The film tells the story of Sam Nujoma, South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) leader and Namibia’s first President,

charting the trajectory of his political awakening and the movement for liberation in Namibia and Southern Africa.



A pre-screening reception with Charles Burnett

will be held at the

Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery at 6:00 p.m.





Other films screening (all films are subtitled in English):

Baa Baa Black Girl (U.S. Premiere)

Gül Büyükbeşe Muyan, Turkey, 2007, 47m. In Turkish.

Although all the countries in the Muslim world have abolished slavery, including Saudi Arabia in 1966, the social suffering and the discrimination suffered by the slaves’ descendants continue to have an effect today. This film tells the history of the dark-skinned Mustafa Olpak, whose African grandfather was bought as a domestic slave by an Ottoman Turkish family and thus came to Istanbul as a result of the Kemalist revolution. While his grandfather may have then been legally a free man, he was still was unable to feed all his children, and so he gave up one of his daughters for adoption to an unknown family. Movingly Mustafa tells how his father rediscovered the sister who had once disappeared into adoption. In 2006, Mustafa Olpak organized the first meeting of Afro-Turks with similar histories. Winner of the UNESCO Jury award Breaking The Chains’ Prize.

SCREENING WITH

Bushman’s Secret (U.S. Premiere)

Rehad Desai, South Africa, 2006, 64m. In English, Ju|’hoan and Afrikaans.

When South African filmmaker Rehad Desai travels to the Kalahari to investigate global interest in ancient Bushmen knowledge, he meets Jan van der Westhuizen, a fascinating Khomani San traditional healer. Jan’s struggle to live close to nature is hampered by centuries of colonial exploitation of the San Bushmen and of their land. Unable to survive as they once did hunting and gathering, the Khomani now live in a state of poverty that threatens to see the last of this community forever. One plant could make all the difference. Hoodia, a cactus used by Bushmen for centuries to suppress appetite, has caught the attention of a giant pharmaceutical company as a weight-loss option for westerners. It now stands to decide the fate of the Khomani San. Bushman’s Secret features breathtaking footage of the Kalahari landscape, and exposes us to a world where modernity collides with ancient ways, at a time when each has, strangely, come to rely on the other.

Wed Apr 9: 1:30 p.m.


Independently Guinea (U.S. Premiere)
Archival footage, USSR, 1959, 40m. In Russian.
One year after independence, we catch a glimpse of life in Guinea. The revolution is still alive in the minds and hearts of the people!

SCREENING WITH

The President of Guinea in the USSR
Archival Footage, USSR, 1959, 20m. In Russian.
Communist leaders welcome Guinean President Sékou Ahmed Touré on his first visit to the USSR as the leader of an independent Guinea.


FOLLOWED BY

Hello Guinea
Archival footage, USSR, 1961, 20m. In Russian.
Leonard Brezhnev visits Guinea and is welcomed by Sekou Touré and the people of Guinea. Hello Guinea is a brief sojourn into the heart of newly independent Guinea only three years after decolonization.


Wed Apr 9: 3:45 p.m



Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation (New York Premiere)

Charles Burnett, Namibia, 2007, 161m. In Oshi Ovambo, Oshi Herero, Damara/nama, Afrikaans, German, Russian, Chinese and English.

Critically acclaimed director Charles Burnett’s latest film follows the legend of Samuel Nujoma (Carl Lumbly), Namibia’s first president and prominent leader in the struggle for independence from apartheid South Africa. The film opens when Nujoma is 16 years old, the country is under constant oppression from South Africa, and the young man learns that he is the direct descendant of royalty. He sets off as a young man to live with an aunt, and befriends a religious man (Danny Glover) who has maintained a low profile after legal troubles stemming from a staged car accident. Eventually Nujoma, in the face of severe racism, forms the SWAPO political movement that, with the assistance of some foreign governments, eventually earns Namibia its independence. Later on, a boycott and massacre of protestors turn up the heat, forcing Nujoma into exile.

Wed Apr 9: 7:30 p.m.



_______________________________________________________



Other Festival Highlights Include:





§ A panel discussion with internationally acclaimed Senegalese historian Dr. Mamadou Diouf on Monday, April 14 will offer audiences and filmmakers alike an opportunity to take up African history as a living dynamic that actively engages and informs tomorrow’s cinema history.



§ Screening footage of the African continent – Films including Baa Baa Black Girl, which examines the indigenous Afro-Turk community, and the premiere episode of The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean featuring the slave routes and migration passages from Eastern Africa across the Indian Ocean.



§ Tribute to Ousmane Sembène – An intimate night of personal reminiscence, literary readings and a screening of Sembène’s seminal film Borom Sarret at the French Institute Alliance Française on May 27 will pay tribute to Sembène, the venerable Father of African Cinema, whose guidance has influenced the African family of filmmakers.



§ African Liberation Movements – Films such as Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation, Cuba: An African Odyssey, and Brothers in Arms, all directly link liberation movements in Southern and Western Africa to the history of the African Diaspora, laying out paths of political awakening that are not yet commonly known.



§ Explore Current Events – Films such as Black Business and Bushman’s Secret explore current events through a documentary technique that exposes the subjectivity of storytelling, while also providing possible examples for an « objective » documentary tradition.



§ « Storytelling Epics » – Isaac Julien’s experimental film Fantôme Afrique, along with This is My Africa and Awaiting for Men, represent the epitome of the 2008 New York African Film Festival. Daring, crisp and lush, the films manifest visual metaphors for Africa.



§ Female Directors Emerge! – Films such as Shoot the Messenger by Ngozi Onwurah, Cuba: An African Odyssey by Jihan El Tahir, This is My Africa by Zina Saro-Wiwa, Black Business by Osvalde Lewat-Hallade, Awaiting for Men by Katy Lena Ndiaye and many more show the ascent of African female directors.





… And much, much MORE!….





FOR A COMPLETE LISTING OF FILMS, SCHEDULES & TO PURCHASE TICKETS FOR RECEPTIONS, VISIT:

www.africanfilmny.org





15ème NYAFF en 2008 au :


Lincoln Center
9 – 15 avril

Columbia University
14 avril

French Institute
Alliance Française
6, 13, 20, & 27 mai

BAMcinématek
23 – 26 mai


Russian State Archives – Focus on Guinea
As part of the 15th New York African Film Festival, AFF presents footage from the Russian State Archive documenting newly independent Guinea in 1959-1961.

Wednesday, April 9, 3:45pm
Sunday, April 13, 5:45pm Guest speaker
Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center


2007 marked Ghana’s 50th independence anniversary and in 2010 17 African nations will celebrate their 50th anniversaries as well. As we come together in 2008 under the banner of Cinema and History: Africa and the Future for the 15th Anniversary New York African Film Festival, we explore film as a medium to connect tradition with the contemporary. In association with the Russian State Archives of Film and Photo Documents, NYAFF is proud to present three archival videos from post-independence Guinea, featuring President Ahmed Sékou Touré and other important figures from Guinea’s liberation history.


Independently Guinea (U.S. Premiere), Archival footage, USSR, 1959, 40m. In Russian.
The President of Guinea in the USSR, Archival Footage, USSR, 1959, 20m. In Russian.
Hello Guinea, Archival footage, USSR, 1961, 20m. In Russian.


2008 AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM
COMPLETE FILM LISTING

* Directors will be in attendance.


Directions, tickets, and venue info

WED 4/9

1:30 Baa Baa Black Girl with Bushman’s Secret
3:45 Russian Archival Footage – Focus on Guinea
5:15 Ezra
*7:30 Namibia: The Struggle for Independence

THURS 4/10
1:15 Iron Ladies of Liberia
*5:45 Black Business
*7:45 Shoot the Messenger
10:00 Juju Factory

FRI 4/11
*5:45 Fantôme Afrique
with This Is My Africa
*7:30 Sierra Leone Independence with Africa Paradis
9:45 Meokgo & the Stickfighter with Bunny Chow

SAT 4/12
*1:15 Goodbye Mothers
*3:30 Meteni: The Lost One followed by Awaiting for Men
*5:30 The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean
*7:30 Brothers in Arms
*9:30 Shoot the Messenger

SUN 4/13
*1:30 The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean
*3:30 Baa Baa Black Girl with Bushman’s Secret
*5:45 Russian Archival Footage
*7:45 Fantôme Afrique with This Is My Africa
*9:30 Cuba: An African Odyssey

TUES 4/15
*1:30 Meteni: The Lost One with Awaiting for Men
3:30 Black Business
5:30 Goodbye Mothers
*7:45 Sierra Leone Independence with Africa Paradis
*9:30 Brothers in Arms



Directions and venue info

MON 4/14

6:30 Panel Discussion: Cinema & History: Africa & the Future



Directions, tickets, and venue info

TUE 5/6

12:30 Buud Yam
4:00 Sarraounia
*7:00 Buud Yam
9:00 Sarraounia

TUES 5/13
12:30 Muna Moto
4:00 Ali Zaoua
*7:00 Muna Moto
9:00 Ali Zaoua

TUES 5/20
12:30 Baara
4:00 Drum
*7:00 Baara
9:00 Drum

TUES 5/27
*7:00 Homage to Ousmane Sembène
featuring DJ Spooky
Borom Sarret with
In Memory of Sembène



Directions, tickets, and venue info

FRI 5/23
6:50 African Shorts Program
featuring
Meokgo and the Stick Fighter, Menged, Mama Put
9:15 African Shorts Program

SAT 5/24
6:50 Les Saignantes
9:15 Les Saignantes

SUN 5/25
2:00 Juju Factory
4:30 Clouds Over Conakry
6:50 Juju Factory
9:15 Clouds Over Conakry

MON 5/26
6:50 A Love During the War
with Growing Stronger
9:15 A Love During the War
with Growing Stronger

* Directors will be in attendance.

Walter Reade Theater
165 West 65th St. (upper level)
btwn. Broadway and Amsterdam Ave.
Visit filmlinc.com or call 212.496.3809 for tickets. Box office: open daily from 12:30pm. Call 212.875.5600 for information. General Admission , FSLC members, students, for seniors (weekday matinees), children (ages 6-12) accompanied by adult.

Directions: 1 train to 66th Street. M5, M66 or M106 bus. B, D, A, C train to 59th Street. M10, M20.


Columbia University
Lifetime Screening Room, 511 Dodge Hall at 116th St. & Broadway
Free and open to the public. Website: www.columbia.edu

Directions: 1 train to 116th St.


French Institute Alliance Française
Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street
Visit www.fiaf.org or Ticketmaster at 212-307-4100 for tickets. Tickets for Cinèma Tuesdays screenigns are free for FIAF Members, for non-members and for students with a valid photo ID. For more information, call the box office at 212-355-6160.

Directions: N,R or W to 59th Street or the 4,5 or 6 to 59th Street.


BAMcinématek
30 Lafayette Avenue Brooklyn
Visit www.BAM.org or call 718.636.4100 for information. Tickets also available through www.movietickets.com or 718.777.FILM. General Admission , Cinema Club Members , Seniors, Children under 12, Students with valid ID (Mon-Thu, except holidays) .

Directions: C train to Lafayette; N, R, D, M to Pacific; 2, 3, 4, 5 train to Nevins; or G train to Fulton St.


Contact
African Film Festival, Inc.
154 West 18th Street
Suite 2A
NY NY 10011

English

The 15th New York African Film Festival
April 9 – May 26, 2008

Opening Statement


The New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) will celebrate its 15th anniversary with a lineup of 40 films from 22 countries throughout Africa and the African Diaspora, emphasizing history and storytelling, technology and the future. This year’s Festival, « Cinema and History: Africa and the Future, » will mark the 50th anniversary of the independence of Guinea-Conakry from colonial rule, as captured by Russian archival footage. Highlights will include Nigerian director Newton I. Aduaka’s film Ezra, winner of the Stallion de Yennenga – Fespaco 2007, and acclaimed filmmaker Charles Burnett presenting on Opening Night the New York premiere of his latest effort, Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation, starring Danny Glover. Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka will be feted on Saturday, April 12 at the Centerpiece Celebration with the U.S. premiere of The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean, a film he narrates about the intercontinental African slave trade. The Festival will continue with a tribute commemorating the life of the Father of African Cinema, the late Ousmane Sembène. Presented by African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, the festival runs from April 9 through 15 at the Walter Reade Theater, and continues with dates in May at the French Institute Alliance Française and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek.

Distinguished guests this year include Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka and veteran film director Charles Burnett. The leading global theorist of world affairs, Soyinka will present the first of many untold stories about the intercontinental African slave trade at the Centerpiece Celebration on Saturday, April 12 at 5:30 p.m. The African Slave Trades: Across the Indian Ocean, which Soyinka narrates, highlights the lesser-known history of deportation and enslavement from the East Coast of Africa up the Red Sea and across the Indian Ocean. Also featured will be the film Baa Baa Black Girl, which examines the creation of the indigenous Afro-Turk community during the Ottoman Empire, fueled by the slave trade. A post-screening reception at the Roy Furman Gallery with Soyinka will be held at 7:30 p.m.; tickets to the reception are and can be purchased at www.filmlinc.com.

Director Charles Burnett will present his latest work, Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation on Opening Night on Wednesday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. Also in attendance will be the film’s editor Edwin Santiago. The film tells the story of Sam Nujoma, South West Africa People’s Organization (SWAPO) leader and Namibia’s first President, charting the trajectory of his political awakening and the movement for liberation in Namibia and Southern Africa. A pre-screening reception with Burnett will be held at the Roy Furman Gallery at 6:00 p.m.; tickets to the reception are and can be purchased at www.filmlinc.com.


« Cinema is such an important medium for Africans, as it functions to both preserve the oral tradition and to act as a vehicle to bring Africa’s voice to the world stage, » said Mahen Bonetti, founder and executive director of the AFF. « The rapid advances in the field of media technologies is presenting the people of Africa and the African Diaspora more opportunities than ever before to dictate the terms of their destiny and to tell their stories on their own terms. »

The stories that will be told during this year’s Festival span the genres, the Continent and the African Diaspora. They are works that help people make sense of the past, consider the present and speculate on what is to come in the future. Some of the films depict fictional or real-life tales selected from storytelling treasures of the past. Others highlight contemporary stories that contextualize Black people’s present realities within the framework of history. And still others delve deeply into filmmakers’ projections of the future, from where they stand today. In this spirit, many of this year’s films in the festival follow the documentary format.

The Festival will also showcase the works of a new wave of female African cineastes. Through eye witness accounting, social activism and pure fiction, Osvalde Lewat-Hallade, Ngozi Onwurah, Katy Léna Ndiaye, Zina Saro Wiwa and other female filmmakers will challenge and question the taboo traditions of the Continent and the Black community at large.

Marking the 50th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Guinea, never-before-seen archival footage from the Russian State Archive will be shown, as will a full program highlighting President Ahmed Sékou Touré and Guinea’s independence movement.


As this year’s festival puts a spotlight on recent trends in cinematic storytelling, NYAFF will present a selection of feature narratives that pay homage to documentary-style discourse. In Juju Factory and Shoot the Messenger, viewers become interlocutors within the realms of truth and reconciliation. Negotiating fallacies put forth as truth, the protagonists in both these films must often put themselves in the uncomfortable situation whereby they tell people what they do not want to know. Goodbye Mothers, based on the 1960s emigration of Moroccan Jews to the new state of Israel, reminds audiences of the long-standing relationship that Jews and Muslims have consciously shared. Through ironic inversion, Africa Paradis tells the story of tomorrow’s émigrés who find themselves in a prosperous yet sometimes inhospitable African nation.

Films such as Black Business and Bushman’s Secret explore current events through a documentary technique that exposes the subjectivity of storytelling, while also providing possible examples for an « objective » documentary tradition. Cuba: An African Odyssey and Brothers in Arms both directly link liberation movements in Southern Africa to the history of the Diaspora, reclaiming perspectives that may otherwise remain underexposed and unknown.

Finally, Isaac Julien’s experimental film Fantôme Afrique, along with This is My Africa and Awaiting for Men, represent the epitome of the 2008 New York African Film Festival. Daring, crisp and lush, the films manifest visual metaphors for Africa – at once historical and futuristic – exposing the timelessness and rigor of the storytelling epic.

AFF will commemorate its long history of bringing the best of African film to New York audiences with the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the New York African Film Festival on Friday, April 11. The benefit reception will be held at the Roy Furman Gallery at the Walter Reade Theatre directly following the 7:30 p.m. New York premiere of Africa Paradis, which will be presented by its director, Sylvestre Amoussou. To purchase tickets, which are 0 and include entry to the film, call AFF at 212-352-1720.

On Monday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m., African Film Festival, Inc. will present its annual panel discussion in collaboration with Columbia University’s Institute for African Studies. Panelists will take up African history as a living dynamic that actively engages with and informs tomorrow’s cinema history. Internationally acclaimed Senegalese historian Dr. Mamadou Diouf will officiate the event in collaboration with the Festival.

The festival runs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, 165 W. 65th Street, Plaza Level, from April 9 through April 15.

It continues at the French Institute Alliance Française with its CinémaTuesdays at FIAF series on May 6, 13, 20 and 27, featuring Étalon de Yennenga prize winning films-the most coveted cinema prize awarded at Fespaco, the bi-annual Pan-African film festival held in Ougadougou, Burkina Faso. African Film Festival, Inc., in collaboration with French Institute Alliance Française, will pay tribute to Ousmane Sembène, the venerable Father of African Cinema, whose tutelage set the stage for the African family of filmmakers, on Tuesday, May 27, with an intimate night of personal reminiscence, literary readings and a screening of Sembène’s seminal film Borom Sarett. The evening’s finale will be an original sound score produced and performed by the inimitable Paul D. Miller a.k.a. DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid. The film series will be held at Florence Gould Hall at 55 East 59th Street.


Keeping with tradition, the New York African Film Festival concludes at Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek, located at 30 Lafayette Avenue in Brooklyn, in tandem with DanceAfrica May 23 through May 26. The program will spotlight features and shorts selected for their cutting-edge adaptation of African scenarios both real and fantastical on screen.

Below is the calendar of events for the 15th New York African Film Festival in 2008:

April 9 – 15, 2008: African Film Festival at Film Society at Lincoln Center
April 14, 2008: African Film Festival at Columbia University
May 6, 2008: 1st Evening of Screenings at French Institute Alliance Française
May 13, 2008: 2nd Evening of Screenings at French Institute Alliance Française
May 20, 2008: 3rd Evening of Screenings at French Institute Alliance Française
May 23 – 26, 2008: African Film Festival, at BAMcinématek, BAMRose Cinemas
May 27, 2008: Special evening cinema program at French Institute Alliance Française


15th NYAFF in 2008 at:


Lincoln Center
April 9 – 15

Columbia University
April 14

French Institute
Alliance Française
May 6, 13, 20, & 27

BAMcinématek
May 23 – 26

In honor of Guinea’s 50th independence in anniversary in 2008, NYAFF is proud to feature films from the Russian State Archives of Film and Photo Documents.


Russian State Archives – Focus on Guinea
As part of the 15th New York African Film Festival, AFF presents footage from the Russian State Archive documenting newly independent Guinea in 1959-1961.

Wednesday, April 9, 3:45pm
Sunday, April 13, 5:45pm Guest speaker
Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center


2007 marked Ghana’s 50th independence anniversary and in 2010 17 African nations will celebrate their 50th anniversaries as well. As we come together in 2008 under the banner of Cinema and History: Africa and the Future for the 15th Anniversary New York African Film Festival, we explore film as a medium to connect tradition with the contemporary. In association with the Russian State Archives of Film and Photo Documents, NYAFF is proud to present three archival videos from post-independence Guinea, featuring President Ahmed Sékou Touré and other important figures from Guinea’s liberation history.


Independently Guinea (U.S. Premiere)
Archival footage, USSR, 1959, 40m. In Russian.
One year after independence, we catch a glimpse of life in Guinea. The revolution is still alive in the minds and hearts of the people!

The President of Guinea in the USSR
Archival Footage, USSR, 1959, 20m. In Russian.
Communist leaders welcome Guinean President Sékou Ahmed Touré on his first visit to the USSR as the leader of an independent Guinea.

Hello Guinea
Archival footage, USSR, 1961, 20m. In Russian.
Leonard Brezhnev visits Guinea and is welcomed by Sekou Touré and the people of Guinea. Hello Guinea is a brief sojourn into the heart of newly independent Guinea only three years after decolonization.



Contact
African Film Festival, Inc.
154 West 18th Street
Suite 2A
NY NY 10011