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Happy Birthday Mister President !
4 jours de cinéma et musique pour marquer le 90ème anniversaire du Président Nelson Mandela (4 Days of Film and Music to mark President Nelson Mandela’s 90th Birthday)

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Black Roots, Ciné Club du New Orléans Afrikan Film and Arts Festival, consacre sa première manifestation au President Nelson Mandela qui fête ses 90 ans en Juilllet 2008. Les projections des films du réalisateur Sud africain Zola Maseko auront les mercredi 16, jeudi 17, vendredi 18, et Samedi 19 juillet. Le Ciné Club Black Roots organise chaque mois des projections de films et discussions avec leurs réalisateurs dans différents lieux à travers la Nouvelle Orléans.


Black Roots Cinema Club of the New Orléans Afrikan Film and Arts Festival is dedicating its inaugural event to President Nelson Mandela who turns 90 years old in July 2008. Screenings of films by South African director Zola Maseko will be held on Wednesday 16, Thursday 17, Friday 18, and Saturday 19 July. Black Roots Cinema Club organizes monthly screenings of films and discussions with their directors in different neighborhoods throughout New Orleans.


Wednesday July 16

At The Prytania
5339 Prytania, New Orleans, LA 70115
http://www.theprytania.com/

Opening
Molto Chamber Orchestra
Director Dr. Jean Montès

Dr. Jean Montès will lead the Molto ensemble in a performance celebrating President Nelson Mandela. Molto is a chamber orchestra of eclectic professional and semi-professional musicians committed to bringing audiences into the experience of making quality and one-of-a-kind live performances. Embracing a fusion of compositions from baroque to contemporary, from jazz to world music, Molto strives to offer a fresh and unique experience of uncompromising artistry. An accomplished conductor, performer, and educator, Dr. Jean Montès is passionate about challenging and stimulating audiences and musicians alike. He seves as Director of Orchestral Studies and Coordinator of Strings at Loyola University in New Orleans, Artistic Director of the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra (GNOYO), and frequently travels across the US, to his native Haiti, and beyond in his work with young musicians.
http://www.jeanmontes.com/


A New Orleans Premier with the Director
Drum

Dir Zola Maseko with Taye Diggs, Jason Flemyng, Gabriel Mann / South Africa 2004 / Feature / 102 mins
Fast-paced, based on a true story, Drum is set in 1950’s Sophiatown, an inter-racial center of nightlife and artistic creativity, where blacks owned their own homes, musicians mingled with tsotsis (gangsters), prostitutes with artists. Meanwhile, the Nationalist Party was enacting brutal policies of racial segregation and oppression. A staff of black journalists, led by Henry Nxumalo (played by Taye Diggs), wrote colorful, hard-hitting stories for Drum magazine in tune with their motto, « Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse! » We watch them get swept up in the anti-apartheid movement. Drum premiered at Sundance to a standing ovation, opened the Cannes Film Festival Critics Week, and won Africa’s top film prize, the Golden Stallion of Yenenga at FESPACO, as well as top awards at the Zanzibar and Durban International Film Festivals. http://neworleansafrikanfilmfest.org/


Zola Maseko

Born in 1967, educated in Swaziland and Tanzania, Zola Maseko joined the armed wing of the ANC in 1987, and later moved to the UK. Returning to South Africa in 1994, the year of that nation’s first all-race elections, he directed his first short feature film, The Foreigner (1997), several documentaries, The Life and Times of Sara Baartman (1998), The Return of Sara Baartman, Children of the Revolution, and another short feature, A Drink in the Passage (all in 2002). In 1998 he won South Africa’s award for best new filmmaker, and in 2005, his film Drum won Africa’s top prize for a fiction film, the FESPACO Golden Stallion of Yenenga. Despite international acclaim, Maseko still faces many challenges.
« All the films about us, black South Africans, are made by whites. Never by us. Because black people have no access to the means of production, which are still in the hands of the white minority. Today, we are only free in appearance. We are still fighting for the right to represent ourselves…. I’m not saying that culture is more important than housing, water, electricity, school… I’m saying that culture is a very important aspect of a nation. What do we black South Africans have? Nothing! All we have is our culture, our history. That’s where our wealth lies. »

Reception following


Seating is limited. RSVP to Saia (504) 613-4066 or www.neworleansafrikanfilmfest.org




Thursday July 17
8 PM
At The Porch
7th Ward Neighborhood Center
1943 Pauger St – New Orleans, LA 70116
Corner of Urquhart (between St. Claude and N. Claiborne)
http://ny2no.net/theporch

With Director Zola Maseko

The Foreigner
Dir Zola Maseko / South Africa 1997 / Feature / 17 mins
Set in Hillbrow, notorious as a center of crime, drugs and violence, The Foreigner, traces the friendship between Vusi, a homeless boy, and Koffi, a West African street vendor, who becomes the target of jealousy, hatred, and vandalism by South Africans. Despite warnings by fellow street kids to steer clear of the Makwerekwere (foreigners), Vusi looks up to Koffi, the only adult to show him warmth and kindness, like a big brother. But the story comes to a tragic end, as xenophobic violence rears its ugly head. A poignant and hard-hitting indictment against racism in the New South Africa, The Foreigner, won prizes for best short at the Urbanworld and Milan African Film Festivals, and was also featured at film festivals in Cape Town, Carthage, London, New York, Ouagadougou, and Rotterdam. It has been shown on French, German and South African television.

A Drink in the Passage
Dir Zola Maseko / South Africa 2003 / Feature /27 mins
In 1960, Edward Simelane, a young sculptor, entered a competition and won first prize. He did not know that the contest was for whites only. The festival committee’s decision to award its grand prize to a black man created a national furor. One Afrikaner artist, moved by Simelane’s work, invited him for a drink but at the last minute was afraid to take him inside his flat. Based on Alan Paton’s short story, A Drink in the Passage explores how class differences and racial prejudice disrupted even the best attempts by people in Apartheid South Africa to connect across racial lines. Winner of the Special Jury Prize for short film at FESPACO, the Isle de la Réunion Film Festival Best Film Award, it also screened at Cannes, Zanzibar and the 1st Commonwealth Film Festival.

The Return of Sara Baartman
Dir Zola Maseko / South Africa 2003 / documentary / 52 mins
In a storeroom at Paris’s Musée de l’Homme, a man carefully wraps a jar in heavy white paper. Inside is the brain of Sara Baartman, which, along with the rest of her remains, is finally going home to South Africa. This sequel to The Life and Times of Sara Baartman continues her story. After a long international campaign, her remains are finally repatriated from France to South Africa for burial. Speaking at her funeral, President Thabo Mbeki said Baartman’s story « is the story of the loss of our ancient freedom… of our reduction to the status of objects that could be owned, used and disposed of by others. » The Return of Sara Baartman documents this long overdue event, focusing attention on international human rights issues and forcing us to ask: how does an exploited spirit return home?

Reception following

For more information call Saia (504) 613-4066 or www.neworleansafrikanfilmfest.org




Friday July 18
7 PM
At Ashé
1712 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70113
http://www.ashecac.org/

Opening
In Defense of Freedom (Mandela’s Statement from the Dock – Pretoria, 1964)
Read by Sunni Patterson
http://www.sunnipatterson.com/

Nelson Mandela’s eloquent « Statement from the Dock » made in his defense on 20 April 1964 before the Supreme Court in Pretoria at the Rivonia Trial is arguably the most famous and courageous speech in South African history. He and seven co-defendants were charged with sabotage and treason against the state, and even the defense teamed feared that Mandela would get the death penalty, a common punishment for blacks convicted of much less serious charges. Mandela was eventually found guilty and sentenced to life without parole plus five years. He served 27 years in prison before his unconditional release in 1990. Four years later he was elected President in South Africa’s first ever democratic elections – http://www.anc.org.za/ancdocs/history/rivonia.html –

With Director Zola Maseko

The Life and Times of Sara Baartman
Dir Zola Maseko / South Africa 1998 / documentairy / 53 mins
« My name is Sara, very unhappy Sara. » This is how Sara Baartman, a Khoi woman taken to London in 1810 and exhibited across Europe as the « Hottentot Venus, » described herself to a journalist. A court battle waged by abolitionists failed to free her. In France she became the object of research that formed the bedrock of European ideas on black female sexuality. After her death at age 26, her body was dissected and displayed in the French Musée de l’Homme for almost two centuries. Baartman’s tale throws issues of racism, sexism and colonialism into sharp relief; she became the icon of supposed black racial inferiority and black female hyper-sexuality. Zola Maseko learned about Baartman through a British TV show which noted that « black women are still perceived to have jungle sexuality. They traced it through Grace Jones… to Josephine Baker in the Thirties … and then back to Sara Baartman. » Exposing the potent mixture of political, racial, and scientific assumptions at work in her story, the film humanizes Baartman, a national symbol for South Africa’s original Khoisan people in their struggle for recognition of a history of humiliation and subjugation, but also resistance. For Zola Maseko, « Sara’s spirit and her soul continued to haunt us, to follow us, to inspire us – she shouted for justice, and would not be ignored. ». Internationally acclaimed, The Life and Times of Sara Baartman has earned the FESPACO TV/Video Award and the Milan African Film Festival award for Best Documentary.


The Return of Sara Baartman
Dir Zola Maseko / South Africa 2003 / documentary / 52 mins
In a storeroom at Paris’s Musée de l’Homme, a man carefully wraps a jar in heavy white paper. Inside is the brain of Sara Baartman, which, along with the rest of her remains, is finally going home to South Africa. This sequel to The Life and Times of Sara Baartman continues her story.
After a long international campaign, her remains are finally repatriated from France to South Africa for burial. Speaking at her funeral, President Thabo Mbeki said Baartman’s story « is the story of the loss of our ancient freedom… of our reduction to the status of objects that could be owned, used and disposed of by others. » The Return of Sara Baartman documents this long overdue event, focusing attention on international human rights issues and forcing us to ask: how does an exploited spirit return home?

Reception following

For more information call Saia (504) 613-4066 or www.neworleansafrikanfilmfest.org




Saturday July 19
7 PM
Holy Faith Temple
1325 Gov.Nicholls Street, New Orleans, LA 70116
http://www.holyfaithtemple.org

Opening
Song for Mandela
Holy Faith Temple Choir Temple

With Director Zola Maseko

The Foreigner
Dir Zola Maseko / South Africa 1997 / Feature / 17 mins
Set in Hillbrow, notorious as a center of crime, drugs and violence, The Foreigner, traces the friendship between Vusi, a homeless boy, and Koffi, a West African street vendor, who becomes the target of jealousy, hatred, and vandalism by South Africans. Despite warnings by fellow street kids to steer clear of the Makwerekwere (foreigners), Vusi looks up to Koffi, the only adult to show him warmth and kindness, like a big brother. But the story comes to a tragic end, as xenophobic violence rears its ugly head. A poignant and hard-hitting indictment against racism in the New South Africa, The Foreigner, won prizes for best short at the Urbanworld and Milan African Film Festivals, and was also featured at film festivals in Cape Town, Carthage, London, New York, Ouagadougou, and Rotterdam. It has been shown on French, German and South African television.

Children Of The Revolution
Dir Zola Maseko/ South Africa 2002 / documentaire/52 mins
In 1990 exiled South African and aspiring filmmaker Zola Maseko interviewed five of his former comrades at the African National Congress (ANC) exile training school in Tanzania as they prepared to return home for the first time to South Africa at the end of the Apartheid era. Twelve years later, Maseko tracks down these same men and explores their lives as South African adults: From unemployed artist, Rastafarian, bank clerk, and football coach to bank robber. Children of the Revolution is a story of how exile shapes dreams and of the contradictions and challenges of « return » to an imagined, often glorified homeland. It also shows how ordinary young people, caught up in a historic moment of struggle and liberation, have exchanged the camaraderie of struggle as youth in the ANC for very different lives in the New South Africa. « A must for those interested in the realities of the present versus the optimism and idealism so wrenchingly experienced in the past. » – Finnguide O.

Gombo, Jambalaya et vin de palme !

See you in August with Director Charles Burnett

http://neworleansafrikanfilmfest. org/


NOAFEST
New Orléans Afrikan Film and Arts Festival
2670 George Nick Connor Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana 70119
noafest@neworleansafrikanfilmfest.org – http://neworleansafrikanfilmfest.org/

English

Black Roots Cinema Club of the New Orléans Afrikan Film and Arts Festival is dedicating its inaugural event to President Nelson Mandela who turns 90 years old in July 2008. Screenings of films by South African director Zola Maseko will be held on Wednesday 16, Thursday 17, Friday 18, and Saturday 19 July. Black Roots Cinema Club organizes monthly screenings of films and discussions with their directors in different neighborhoods throughout New Orleans.