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New York African Film Festival (Nyaff) 2010
17ème édition – Thème : Independent Africa

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The 2010 New York African Film Festival, presented under the banner « Independent Africa, » spotlights 17 African nations, as they observe 50 years of independence from colonial rule. These nations include: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia and Togo. Complementing the theme of independence, the festival incorporates rare archival footage of African nations as they transitioned from colonial rule, alongside independently produced classic and contemporary African cinema, to bring into full view a strong visual narrative, which chronicles the changes throughout the continent, over a 50-year period. Rounding off the festival are films that highlight the World Cup in South Africa!

CO-PRESENTERS
The Film Society of Lincoln Center
Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)
Institute for African Studies, Columbia University
New Museum
Creative Time

FESTIVAL VENUES
Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center: April 7th – 13th
Columbia University: April 14th
The Lounge at 310 Bowery: May 6th
New Museum: May 13th, 15th, & 16th
Brooklyn Academy of Music: May 28th – 31st

UPCOMING EVENTS
CREATIVE TIME
WORLD PREMIERE PRESENTATION:
TECO BENSON AND JAKOB BOESKOV’S DR. CRUEL:
Screening and Reception: 7:00pm – 10:00pm
310 Bowery New York, NY 10012
African Film Festival, Inc. and Creative Time are proud to present the world premiere of Teco Benson and Jakob Boeskov tongue-in-cheek Scandinavian-Nigerian-American co-production. The 8-minute « action-art-video » borrows from all three cinematic cultures, as well as from the aesthetics of fundamentalist propaganda videos. Dr. Cruel follows the manic, Scandinavian terrorist Dr. Cruel (Jakob Boeskov) and his group of followers-who call themselves the Afro-Icelandic Liberation Front (Osita Iheme and Uche Iwuanyanwu)-as they interrogate a white oil executive in a hideout somewhere in Nigeria.

For more information, visit CREATIVE TIME

THE NEW MUSEUM
17th NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL AT THE NEW MUSEUM
African Film Festival, Inc. is excited to continue its partnership with the New Museum by co-presenting a three-day film screening, during the17th Annual African Film Festival, which celebrates the technical innovation that are contributing to a new level of independence in African cinema. Each film in the series not only reveals the experimental and creative elements of contemporary African cinema, but also pays special attention to the distinct aesthetics of the African camera.

THU MAY 13 6:30pm – 9:00pm
AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS

GOD’S LAND*
ISMAIL FAROUK, SOUTH AFRICA, 2009, 3min.
God’s Land is a cinematic exploration of Highlands Hill in Yeoville (Johannesburg), an important public space where what are broadly referred to as African Indigenous religious practices dominate. This spiritual hill provides open space for hundreds of worshippers to gather in prayer on a daily basis. Much of the religious activity occurs in contravention of the regulations set out by the city parks utility company that manages the space. City Parks have signposted the hill as a ‘no prayer’ zone. It seems the city does not recognize the inherent spiritual value of the space and often enforce the ‘no prayer’ regulation by threatening to arrest worshippers for loitering. Much of the hill is earmarked to be redeveloped as housing for inner city residents.

UNDER EXAMINATION*
AHMED EL SHAER, EGYPT, 2009, 3min.
A satirical commentary on the development of standards for granting visa’s to visitor’s and foreigners. The subject’s application is under examination set by standards defined by culture, religion and differing customs.

DR. CRUEL
TECO BENSON AND JAKOB BOESKOV, NIGERIA / USA, 2010, 8min.
This tongue-in-cheek, Scandinavian-Nigerian-American co-production follows the interrogation of a white oil executive in a hideout somewhere in Nigeria. This action-art video borrows from all three cinematic cultures, as well as from the aesthetics of fundamentalist propaganda videos.

THE A77A PROJECT/ON PRESIDENTS AND SUPERHEROES*
KHALED HAFEZ, EGYPT, 2009, 4min.
This 3-minute work probes, ironically, social changes experienced by the artist over the course of his lifetime in his home city of Cairo. Two figures drawn from a large-scale canvas by the artist are cast into movement by way of cartoon animation. In 3-D animation, they morph into the ancient god Anubis. The newly created and possessed Anubis travels the streets of present-day urban Cairo, passing through and by city spaces and their inhabitants.

U.M.H.K.*
SAMMY BALOJI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 2008, 15min.
U.M.H.K. stands for Union Minière du Haut Katanga, a Belgian mining company founded in 1906, in Leopold II’s Congo Free State, to exploit the mineral wealth of Katanga. From 1908, U.M.H.K. accounted for a massive percentage of the Belgian Congo’s GDP; after the company was nationalized by Mobutu Sese Seko in 1967, taking on the name Gécamines, this continued to be the case, despite stunning mismanagement and asset stripping. Entire lives were built around the company: the lives of generations of mine workers and their families, at once supported and violently exploited by it.

BUNNY CHOW
JOHN BARKER, SOUTH AFRICA, 2006, 95min.
Bunny Chow, part of The Global Film Initiative’s Global Lens 2008 series, follows the raucous and often ridiculous weekend journey of three stand up comedians. Egos run high and careers are at stake as Kags, an arrogant womanizer, Joey, a devout yet conflicted Muslim, and Dave, a somewhat innocent novice with dreams of making it big on the comedy scene, embark on a road trip to Oppikoppi, South Africa’s biggest annual rock festival. The trio slip out of their normal routine for a few dusty and increasingly absurd days with hopes of mass debauchery, drugs, rampant sex, true love and conquering the rock stages with their comedy, but they get a bit more than they bargained for. Bunny Chow is screened courtesy of The Global Film Initiative.

SAT MAY 15 2:00pm – 6:00pm
DIGITALLY SPEAKING

YOU CHUSE
ANITA KHANNA AND REHAD DESAI, SOUTH AFRICA, 2008, 50min.
You Chuse is a documentary on the role of new media democracy movements in Africa. Using innovative remixing and reworking of various media sources, the film looks at wide-ranging initiatives from the Open Source Software movement and the use of such technology in the fight against AIDS in Malawi, to organizations like the Creative Commons and the attempt to bring a nuanced argument to debates around piracy and intellectual property. The documentary is an exploration of the problems and solutions to the ever broadening Digital Divide between rich and poor nations in the information age.

ANIMATED SHORTS
BON VOYAGE SIM
MOUSTAPHA ALASSANE, NIGER, 1966, 5min.
This 1966 animation presents a charming narrative of politician frog Sim, president of « toad republic » and the wonders of traveling to countries during his presidential trip.

ADIEU SIM
MOUSTAPHA ALASSANE, NIGER, 2001, 5min.
Revisiting his film from the mid 1960s, Moustapha Alassane is able to employ a new cinematic technique and develop an alternate ending that was not permitted to be viewed during the colonial period.

THE TOAD WHO VISITS HIS IN-LAWS /LE CRAPAUD CHEZ SES BEAUX-PARENTS
JEAN-MICHEL KIBUSHI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 1990, 8min.
Rooted in the oral tale recounted by the Tetela in Sankuru, Democratic Republic of Congo, this story explains how it came to be that the Fox ate the Chicken, the Chicken ate the Termite, the Termite ate the Stick and the Stick ate the Toad.

BLACK SEPTEMBER IN KINSHASA/KINSHASA, SEPTEMBRE NOIR
JEAN-MICHEL KIBUSHI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 1991, 7min.
An animated documentary about children’s drawings from the military pillaging that hit their community in September 1991, this short uses limited animated techniques interspersing the children’s drawings with drawings from Kibushi himself.

L’HÉRITIER / PRINCE LOSENO
JEAN-MICHEL KIBUSHI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO, 2004, 30min.
Seeking to fulfill his role as leader, King Ngolo is troubled by the infertility of his three wives and the story follows his search for a solution to the problem.

THE COLONIAL FRIEND / L’AMI YA BON
RACHID BOUCHAREB, ALGERIA / FRANCE, 2004, 9min.
In 1940 France went to war against Germany and announced not only the mobilization of its territory, but also of its colonies. Senegalese family man Aby enlists in the army, distinguishes himself in battle, and is captured. But when he returns to his country, the French army refuses to pay him for his services. This beautifully animated film records the 1944 incident in which Senegalese veterans were gunned down after demanding to receive payment for their military service.

SUN MAY 16 2:00pm – 6:00pm
DISPLACEMENT

ONE SMALL STEP
REMI VAUGHAN-RICHARDS, NIGERIA, 2010, 45min.
One Small Step is a fusion of documentary and drama. Using entertainment to educate, the story follows Grace Fidelis as she tries to save her community from disaster. A critical study of local governance processes and practices in Nigeria.

MY LOST HOME / MA MAISON PERDUE
KAMAL EL MAHOUT, MOROCCO/FRANCE, 2002, 19min.
The filmmaker recounts his childhood memories, exploring the complexly intertwined history of France and Morocco through the eyes of Moroccan immigrants living in France.

LIGHTNING STRIKES*
THEO ESHETU, ITALY/ ETHIOPIAN, 2010, 8min.
Lightning Strikes is a short video the narrates the events surrounding the return of the Axum obelisk to Ethiopia. The obelisk was taken during the Italian occupation as a war trophy and placed in Rome where it stood for over 70 years. It was much debated as to whether it should be return to Axum or not. The decision to finally return it however was taken only after it had been struck by lightning and was in need of restoration.

THE VOICE OF THE MOON*
GODDY LEYE, CAMEROON, 2005, 3min.
A man alights on the moon. Neil Armstrong is there. In a steady stream of dance steps, to the sound of Cameroonian music, the man – Leye himself – saunters toward the American astronaut. Slowly, Leye merges with Armstrong, becoming one with his body in a short burst of Afrofuturist invasion.

KEMPINSKI*
NEïL BELOUFA, ALGERIA, 2007, 14min.
Welcome to Kempinski. The inhabitants of this mystical / mythical place explain: « Here, we have a center for the exploration of outer space. Soon, we will be firing rockets into the heavens and placing satellites in orbit; this will allow us to know much more about other, similar space stations and about other planets, beyond. »

SHELLEY BARRY SELECTED EXPERIMENTAL SHORTS
SHELLEY BARRY, SOUTH AFRICA, 2000-2010, 2min.*
*followed by a presentation by filmmaker Shelley Barry.

plus… ENCORE PRESENTATION OF ANIMATED SHORTS PROGRAM


BAMcinématek
17TH NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL AT THE BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC
FRI MAY 28
2:00pm, 6:50pm FROM A WHISPER
Wanuri Kahiu, Kenya, 2008, 90min.
This film commemorates the 10th anniversary of the August 1998 terrorist bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in which over 250 people died and more than 5,000 were injured. The film tells the story of an artist and an intelligence officer, and how they find unique ways to move on from the tragedy that shattered their lives.

4:30pm, 9:15pm KAAY FI (COME HERE)
Zapo Babilee, Senegal/France, 2009, 52min.
Kaay Fi is a documentary of the sabar tradition of the Faye or Sing Sing family. The film flows around the preparations for a tànnibéér or sabar party, but its presentation of this event includes footage of many aspects of the géwël tradition including géwël children learning to play the various rhythms on the sabar drums, a tailor preparing the outfits for the group to wear at the sabar party, and the magnificent playing and dancing by members of the Faye family.

SCREENING WITH
NORA
Alla Kovgan and David Hinton, USA/ UK/ Mozambique, 2008, 35min.
Based on a true story, Nora takes us to the Zimbabwe of dancer Nora Chipaumire’s childhood as she journeys through the vivid memories of her youth. With the help of local performers and dancers of all ages, she brings her story to life in a swiftly moving poem of sound and image.

SAT MAY 29
6:50pm, 9:15pm SEX, OKRA AND SALTED BUTTER
Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Chad/France, 2008, 81min.
Mr. Haroun reveals an incredible sense of humor in this comedy. An extra-marital affair leads to Hortense’s separation from her very traditional African husband, who is in for a ride as he learns about her love affair, his eldest son’s secret love life, and the responsibilities of single parenthood.

SUN MAY 30
2:00pm, 6:50pm MOVEMENT (R)EVOLUTION AFRICA
Joan Frosch and Alla Kovgan, Various countries/USA, 2007, 65min.
An astonishing exposition of nine African choreographers from Senegal to South Africa who challenge stale stereotypes of « traditional Africa » and unveil soul-shaking responses to the beauty and tragedy of 21st century Africa!

SCREENING WITH
AREA BOYS
Omelihu Nwanguma, Nigeria, 2008, 25min.
Lifelong friends Bode and Obi decide to repent from their corrupt way of life. They cut ties with their megalomaniac boss, but life as « good » citizens proves difficult, and so they plan one last job to fund their transition. The friends are then faced with a life-or-death situation as they search for an escape from their vengeful former boss’s henchmen.

MON MAY 31
2:00pm, 6:50pm AFRICA SHORT PROGRAM featuring:
COMING OF AGE
Judy Kibinge, Kenya, 2007, 12min.
Coming Of Age takes us through the development of Kenyan democracy through the eyes of a young Kenyan girl. The naïve post-independence euphoria is reflected in an innocent young girl’s outlook; Moi’s oppressive regime is narrated through her teenage turmoil; and a more mature narrator comes of age with the election of President Kibaki. But after disputed election results in December 2007, we are left to wonder if democracy ever truly comes of age.

BRONX PRINCESS
Yoni Brook and Musa Syeed, Ghana/USA, 2008, 38min.
Bronx Princess follows headstrong 17-year-old Rocky as she leaves behind her mother in New York City to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana. By confronting her immigrant parents’ ideas of adulthood during her tumultuous summer between high school and college, Rocky must reconcile her African heritage with her dream of independence.

SAINT LOUIS BLUES
Dyana Gaye, Senegal/France, 2009, 48min.
Traveling from Dakar to Saint Louis, the passengers in a taxi exchange stories of their lives through songs. Touching upon themes such as destiny and fate, this film presents an interesting plot told in a particular cinematic manner that makes the viewer want to travel and discover.

4:30pm, 9:15pm IN MY GENES
Lupita Nyong’o, Kenya, 2009, 78min.
What is it like to be « white » in a « black » society? Agnes, a woman with albinism, overcomes the difficulties of being born with no pigment in a society that discriminates against the condition. In My Genes asks us to consider how it feels to be a member of one of the most hyper-visible and yet effectively invisible groups of people in a predominantly black society.


PAST EVENTS
PANEL DISCUSSIONS
INDEPENDENT ART: 50 YEARS IN THE MAKING
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14th
Screening Session I: 1:00pm – 3:30pm
Screening Session II: 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Panel Discussion: 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Institute of African Studies, Columbia University
Filmmakers, scholars and critics will examine the last 50 years of independently produced media and consider the ways in which artistic autonomy has impacted African culture and political movements, as well as helped to preserve conventions of traditional storytelling. A reception will follow the panel discussion. FREE AND OPEN TO THEPUBLIC

GETTING EXPOSURE: SECURING BUZZ FOR YOUR FILM
SATURDAY, APRIL 10th – 1:30pm
Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, Walter Reade Theater
Established and emerging filmmakers will learn the elements vital to an attention-grabbing pitch, tips on utilizing social media tools, and other dos and don’ts of film promotion from journalists and experts in publicity and social networking. Costs: public, Film Society members and students, seniors (62+)

GALLERY EXHIBITION:
ORPHEUS DREAMING
Exhibition of artwork by artist Michelle Hill
APRIL 8th – 14th
Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, Walter Reade Theater

Michelle’s visual journey continues through the study and interpretation of Orpheus, the Thracian God, King and Priest, who built the foundations of the ancient-Bulgarian cult of Thracian Orphism. Its Thracian hero, who uses his music as a weapon and a shield to expand and protect his spirituality. Michelle follows much of the same principle of arming herself with the artistic tools of technology through the use of experimental photo collage and digital canvas print images created with computer graphic design software. She follows the venerable tradition of the African griot, by sharing insights into her personal odyssey as a second generation African American woman. She seeks to expand her own spiritual balance as she faces life’s obstacles. Her storytelling is expressed in fine art digital print on canvas, art book layouts on paper, which evolve into short flash animations.

SPECIAL PERFORMANCE:
PROCLAMATION OF A GRIOT
Performance by griot, storyteller and artist Fifi Dalla Kouyate
Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery, Walter Reade Theater, April 7th
Columbia University, 420 W. 118th St., April 14th
Fifi Dalla Kouyate is a griot, storyteller and artist with a majestic stage presence. In her performance, she will be the voice and live memory, representing the fathers of the emancipation, the liberation and the union of all African countries! For two nights only, Ms. Kouyate will perform her performance of proclamations of independence.

*These films are selections from IN/FLUX, a compilation of experimental film by artists from Africa. IN/FLUX is a collaboration between SPARCK, and LOWAVE FILMS, and is curated by Cedric Vincent and Dominique Malaquais.
The films are presented in the 17th New York African Film Festival in association with Axis Gallery, New York.



LIEUX

17th New York
African Film Festival

7-13 Avril
Walter Reade Theater,
Lincoln Center

14 Avril
Institute for African Studies, Columbia University

6 Mai
Creative Time

13, 15 & 16 Mai
New Museum

28-31 Mai
BAMcinématek


2010 Festival
Themes and Highlights:
Independent Africa
* 17 African nations observe 50 years of independence
* Performance; Art Exhibition; Panel Discussions
* Independence Proclamations – Transistor Radio – Blog
* Rare achival footage; Classic and contemporary African cinema
* World Cup in South Africa
*…plus many more U.S. and N.Y. premieres!

English

17th New York
African Film Festival
April 7-13
Walter Reade Theater,
Lincoln Center

April 14
Institute for African Studies, Columbia University

May 6
Creative Time

May 13, 15 & 16
New Museum

May 28-31
BAMcinématek




2010 Festival
Themes and Highlights:
Independent Africa
*
17 African nations observe 50 years of independence
*
Performance; Art Exhibition; Panel Discussions
*
Independence Proclamations – Transistor Radio – Blog
*
Rare achival footage; Classic and contemporary African cinema
*
World Cup in South Africa
*
…plus many more U.S. and N.Y. premieres!