10th Annual New African Films Festival (NAFF 2014)
10ème édition.


The New African Films Festival will be held this year during March 13 – 20. This festival is presented by TransAfrica, afrikafe and the American Film Institute. The films are newly made and released works.

The movies must present accurate representations of people, authentic perspectives and subjects, and address intricate issues. All of the films screened at the New African Films Festival must be directed, produced or written by a native of the African continent. The purpose of the festival is to provide a venue for African artists to promote their works about African issues.

We hope you will join us at the festival and experience these engaging and insightful stories for yourself! Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the door.

NAFF will take place at:
AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

8633 Colesville Road
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Here’s a sneak peak at the films:

Half of a Yellow Sun
Showing: March 13, 7:15 PM (Opening Night, Reception following)
March 16, 1:00 PM (Q&A and book signing)
Nigerian-born British playwright Biyi Bandele translates Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s powerful prize-winning novel of the same name into an emotional drama that gives voice to personal stories of the indignities and atrocities suffered during the Nigerian Civil War. Set in the late’60s, the film’s main characters, Olanna (Thandie Newton, CRASH), her sister Kainene (Anika Noni Rose, DREAMGIRLS) and Olanna’s revolutionary boyfriend, Odenigbo (Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 YEARS A SLAVE), are forced to make bold choices in order to navigate the complex social terrain mapped out by Nigeria’s ethnic, political and religious divide, and survive. In a time when traditional life is at odds with the modern intellectual and economic aspirations of young Nigerians, the growing cultural divide between rural and urban life brings new challenges to a generation whose dreams would propel the country into the future. This film provides a rare and unique glimpse at this struggle for self-determination. (Note courtesy of AFI FEST.) Official Selection, 2013 Toronto Film Festival and AFI FEST.

DIR/SCR Biyi Bandele; PROD Andrea Calderwood, Gail Egan. Nigeria/UK, 2013, color, 106 min. In English. NOT RATED

Burn it Up Djassa (Le Djassa a pris feu)
Showing: March 13, 9:30 PM
March 20, 6:00 PM

Twenty-five-year-old Tony and his younger sister Ange live together in a one-room apartment ever since the death of their mother. One night, hawking cigarettes to eke out a living, Tony joins a game of poker, starts winning and discovers a fast way of making cash. But his lucky streak can’t last forever and he quickly descends into the violent world of the « djassa » (ghetto in Abidjan street slang). An urban legend set to the rhythm of slam poetry and the beat of street dance, this vérité noir from filmmaker Lonesome Solo announces an exciting new talent and emerging vision from the Ivory Coast. Official Selection, 2012 Toronto Film Festival, 2013 Berlin Film Festival.
DIR/SCR Lonesome Solo; SCR Delphine Jaquet, Yacouba Soumahoro, Ange Ali Sanogo; PROD Philippe Lacôte. Ivory Coast, 2012, color, 70 min. In French and Nouchi with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Le Président
Showing: March 14, 6:00 PM
March 20, 9:30 PM

Cameroonian filmmaker Jean-Pierre Bekolo (QUARTIER MOZART, LES SAIGNANTES) is one of the most intriguing directors in Africa, unafraid to challenge either political or conceptual boundaries. His newest work uses split-screens (at times, up to four images simultaneously) to present a fake documentary in which « the president » has disappeared; talk-show hosts, rivals, politicians and even rappers chime in on what may have occurred, and what their president for life has-or has not-done for Cameroon. « Being president means living the Hollywood dream, » wryly notes one commentator; this film, mixing reality, fiction, interviews and staged scenes, finds life and reason not in Hollywood, but in its own homeland. « We shouldn’t just be making movies, we should be changing reality, » charges Bekolo. This formally inventive, angry and at times humorous work begins the process. (Note courtesy of Pacific Film Archive.)

DIR/PROD Jean-Pierre Bekolo; SCR Simon Njami. Cameroon/Germany, 2013, color, 64 min. In French with English subtitles. NOT RATED

The Forgotten Kingdom
Showing: March 14, 7:30 PM

Atang leaves the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg to return to his ancestral land of Lesotho, where he must bury his estranged father in the remote, mountainous village where he was born. What begins as an inconvenience quickly becomes a magical rite of passage charged with humor and self-discovery. Stirred by memories of his youth, Atang’s journey takes an unexpected turn as he falls in love with his childhood friend, now a radiant young schoolteacher. Together with an 11-year-old orphan, they make the arduous journey across the breathtaking mountains of Lesotho to follow his love. Beautifully shot, written and acted, this epic and groundbreaking film is a pilgrimage of hope, family and maturity as Atang surrenders to the rhythm and traditions of his homeland. Audience Award, 2013 Woodstock and Sarasota Film Festivals. Official Selection, 2013 Palm Springs and Seattle Film Festivals.

DIR/SCR/PROD Andrew Mudge; PROD Timothy R. Boyce, Jr., Pieter Lombaard, Cecil Matlou. Lesotho/South Africa/US, 2013, color, 96 min. In Sesotho with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Under the Starry Sky
Showing: March 14, 9:30 PM
March 17, 9:30 PM

In her feature film debut, Franco-Senegalese filmmaker Dyana Gaye charts a transcontinental voyage of accidental encounters and diasporic longing. Set under the skies of three cities-Turin, New York and Dakar-the film follows the fates of three characters connected by destiny. Sophie, a young bride from Senegal, travels to Turin in search of her husband Abdoulaye, who left Dakar without papers to seek work in the Italian city. Abdoulaye has already left Turin for New York, lured by his cousin and promises of a better future. Meanwhile, Sophie’s aunt in New York returns to Dakar to bury the husband she left 20 years before. With a careful eye and quiet intensity, Gaye fills each frame with the anxieties and interior struggles of her uncertain and undocumented travelers. A beautifully crafted meditation on place and belonging in an ever-globalizing, yet often unwelcoming, world. (Note courtesy of the Pacific Cinémathèque.) Official Selection, 2013 Toronto Film Festival.

DIR/SCR Dyana Gaye; SCR Cécile Vargaftig; PROD Arnaud Dommerc. Senegal/Belgium/France, 2013, color, 87 min. In French, Wolof, English and Italian with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Horizon Beautiful
Showing: March 15, 1:00 PM

Soccer-industry mogul Franz travels to Addis Ababa on a promotional tour, hoping to save his damaged reputation. Admassu is a 12-year old street kid, hoping to get the chance to show off his fancy footwork to the big boss himself. But when Franz brushes him aside, Admassu talks a rag-tag group