Nova Frontier Film Festival 2021 – Special Free Virtual Edition
FREE Virtual Edition


JUNE 17TH – 20TH

We are pleased to present the 2021 Special FREE Virtual Edition of the Nova Frontier Film Festival, (June 17th to 20th), with our main home and partner The Billie Holiday Theatre, and the streaming platform, Laurel Channel.

This year’s festival theme is Past, Present, Future Home featuring a curated selection of films from the African Diaspora, The Middle East, and Latin America, all contending with complex and timely issues of social and economic injustice, locally and globally, questioning and exploring notions of home and identity and belonging. Some of the films also celebrate the joy and resilience of marginalized voices, people creating communities, and finding hope despite the circumstances of their lives.


Laurence Olivier Award winner and Tony Award-nominated actress Noma Dumezweni, who recently starred in the HBO hit series The Undoing, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the Opening Night of the Festival. Panel moderators over the weekend include award-winning documentary filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris and filmmakers. On the closing night, Master of Ceremony is Tony Nominee Karine Plantadit along with spoken word performances, panel, the announcement of the festival winners, and the trip for two to the beautiful Guadeloupe islands.



Join us for an exciting Zoom/Facebook live kick-off of the 2021 NOVA FRONTIER FILM FESTIVAL, hosted by The Billie Holiday Theatre and master of ceremony Noma Dumezweni, a Laurence Olivier Award winner and a Tony Award-nominated actress, who recently appeared in the HBO series The Undoing alongside Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman.

The evening will include live music, by Yacouba Diabate, a master musician, and artist from a well-known Griot music family in Burkina Faso, West Africa, an introduction to some of our filmmakers, a celebration of films in our selection, and much more…


The Scarecrows (Les Epouvantails)
Director Nouri Bouzid – Tunisia, Morocco, Luxembourg (2019)
1h 38min | Drama
Veteran Nouri Bouzid explores the harrowing aftermath of two women who escaped from the Syrian terrorists who held them as sexual slaves in The Scarecrows. In late 2013, Zina and Djo, both in their twenties, return to home Tunisia from the Syrian front where they were sequestered and raped. Zina was separated from her two-month-old child and Djo finds out she’s pregnant and plunges into mutism and expresses her Syrian horror only in the novel she is writing. Tunisian lawyer Nadia and Dora, a humanitarian doctor, assist them in their hard and lengthy reconstruction; impeded by the violence of their close circles, the harsh view on the social networks, and their angst. Nadia, also Driss’ lawyer, a 21-year- old persecuted homosexual who’s been banned from all school establishments, asks him to help Zina in the hopes that their stirring meeting will allow them to open their black boxes, to assume themselves, and stand up to the unjust society.

Once Upon A Time In Venezuela
Director Anabel Rodriguez Rios – Venezuela/USA (2020)
1h 39min | Documentary
Villagers in the Venezuelan community of Lake Maracaibo fight against pollution, corruption and neglect to keep homes and way of life.

My Fortress
Director Tatiana Lohmann – Brazil (2020)
1h 24min | Documentary
Three families affected by the absence of a father in a slum of São Paulo, Brazil, where the solitary mother acquires, through their son’s eyes, the aura of a holy warrior. But these women seem to be trapped on pedestals they have no interest in and that resemble the painful Holy Mary figure that their sons’ tattoo on their bodies.

Tatoués – Tattooed
Director Jean-Baptiste Dusséaux – France (2020)
22min | Drama
Camille is a taciturn and lonely teenager. His mother welcomes Thidirth, an old Kabyle aunt, who comes to France for health examinations. Forced to share the same room, Camille and Thidirth will have to learn to live together and find common ground.

An Uninvited Guest
Director Richard B. Pierre – Canada (2020)
3min | Drama, Thriller
When a Black man is viciously assaulted by a police officer right outside their window, all of the guests at a dinner party seem to consider the attack unremarkable except for one.

Your Kid (Ti Moun Aw)
Director Nelson Foix – Guadeloupe/France (2019)
28min | Drama
While being chased, Chris discovers on his stair landing a baby who seems to be intended for him. Doubtful of his paternity, he sets out to find the mother of the child.

El Remanso
Director Sebastián Valencia Muñoz – Colombia (2020)
19min | Short
Hoping for a new job, a family of wandering peasants settles in El Remanso, a country house in ruins full of brushwood where the tracks of an atrocious past are visible. In their first night at the house, in the middle of an atmosphere full of violence, the family expects with anxiety the upcoming peace of the dawn.

The Kites
Director Seyed Payam Hosseini.- Iran (2020)
14min | Drama
A girl is playing on the green slopes of a valley in Kurdistan, on the border between Iran and Iraq, when her kite is suddenly swept across the river by the wind. Three boys on the other side see her calling for help, but cannot make out what she is saying: she is just too far away. Separated by the river, the children try to communicate with each other – yet between them lie the explosive remnants of past wars.

Director Miquel Galofre – Trinidad & Tobago (2019)
25min | Documentary
Trinidad and Tobago is home to over 7,000 asylum-seekers and refugees-including parents who have fled to protect themselves and their children. Set against frank conversations about diversity, Lifted follows the highs and lows experienced by a refugee family as they journey through Port-of-Spain, and encounter a group of Moko Jumbies (stiltwalkers).

Le Départ
Director Saïd Hamich – France/ Morocco (2020)
23min | Drama
Morocco, 2004. Adil, aged 11, spends the summer playing with his friends and waiting for his idol, Olympic runner Hicham El Guerrouj, to compete in his last Games. The arrival of his father and older brother from France for a few days will mark him forever.

Back In The Island
Director Amanda Valle – Dominican Republic (2020)
4min 13 seconds| Documentary
Back in The Island is a short film exploring the creative journey of artist Amanda Valle as she returns to her home in the Dominican Republic. Following an emotionally draining period, Amanda seeks comfort in the local culture by immersing herself in the colors and textures that were once so familiar. A journey of self-discovery, the short film became the main source of inspiration for the artist’s new series composed of twelve paintings.

Saturday 19TH 1:00 PM (EST)
Panel : Cultural Identity and Belonging

This panel hosted by The Billie Holiday Theatre explores the complex notions of home and sense of belonging that are expressed in some of our films in this year’s edition of NFFF, contending on the theme of Past, Present, Future Home,
Moderated by award-winning filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist Thomas Allen Harris, whose films have received critical acclaim at international film/art festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, and Tribeca. Joining him in the conversations are 3 global filmmakers in the festival: Richard B. Pierre Director of An Uninvited Guest, Anabel Rodriguez Rios, Director of Once Upon A Time In Venezuela, and Kantarama Gahigiri Director of Ethereality. The conversation also explores cultural identity and belonging, and how it’s negotiated today, particularly by immigrants living in the borders of Europe and beyond.

Director Kantarama Gahigiri – Switzerland/Rwanda, (2019)
14min | Documentary |
stranded in space for thirty years. How does it feel to finally come home? A reflection about migration and the sense of belonging.

Director Joy Yamusangie, Ronan Mckenzie – Great Britain (2020)
13:44min | Experimental
WATA, a collaborative film and exhibition of new works by Ronan Mckenzie and Joy Yamusangie. Telling the story of Mami Wata, a water deity traced back to West Africa, Central Africa and the Caribbean, in Mckenzie and Yamusangie’s interpretation she is drawn into a dance with The Musician. The film was selected as the winner of categories; Best New Fashion Film, Best New Director and Best New Music at Fashion Film Festival Milano 2021.

Inner self
Director Mohammad Hormozi – Iran (2019)
16min | Drama
A Violinist girl wants to enter an administrative building but as she lacks the formal hijab, she must stay in the waiting room. She is inspired by the events in the room to make her new piece.

Director Tatiana Lohman, Roberta estrada D’elva, Claudia Shapira – Brazil (2020)
15min | Experimental | Documentay
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a diasporic meeting, poets from different parts of the world gather at Valongo Wharf, the largest slave port in the history of humanity. In the company of ancestral guardians (Saul Williams and Roberta Estrela D’Alva) they pay their tributes and proclaim one more time that black lives and voices matter!

El silencio del rio
Director Francesca Canepa – Peru (2020)
14min | Drama
Juan, a 9-year-old Peruvian boy, lives with his silent dad in a floating house on the breathtaking Amazon River. This idyllic background sets an allegorical journey into the rainforest jungle, where nature, gender, truth, and all things begin to reveal the identity of his dad.


Featuring a selection timely politically and socially, engaging, global performances, poetry, and conversations celebrating the black joy and resistance of African and Caribbean Diaspora people through the arts. The event will be hosted by The Billie Holiday Theatre with Tony Nominated Dancer, Actress, and choreographer Karine Plantadit as the Master of Ceremony. Guest artists include Spoken Word Artist and Filmmaker Roberta Estrada D’elva from Brazil, Director of VIVXS, Cito Blanko, a Bronx New York native, Spoken Word Artist, and published Poet, and Zania Cummings Spoken Word Artist, Poet, and Actress. Our Juries will be announcing the 2021 NFFF winners, and we will also be announcing the winner of the trip for two on the beautiful islands of Guadeloupe.


Sandra Winther
Sandra Winther is a New York-based film director from Copenhagen, Denmark. Focused on capturing the stories and pulse of vibrant youth culture, her work brings intimacy and authenticity together in a cinematic vision.
Her documentary ‘Lowland Kids’ tackles the subject of climate change through the eyes of two American teenagers on a sinking island in Louisiana. After premiering at SXSW in 2019, the film screened at over 30 festivals and received several awards, including the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Palm Springs Shortfest (2019) and a Cinema Eye Honors Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short (2020).
Other accomplishments include the ‘Filmmaker of the Future’ Award at Rhode Island Film Festival (2019), the Nowness Award for Breakthrough Artists for Cultural Excellence in Film and Video (2020), the New York Women in Film Content Creator Award (2019) and a Silver Clio for her work with Beats By Dre (2018).
Winther is currently developing concepts for television and cinema. Her commercial clients include Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Beats By Dre, MTV, i-D and more.

Idil Ibrahim
Her films have been featured at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, Los Angeles Film Festival, Cinéma du Réel in Paris, and Sundance Film Festival, among others. Idil was also selected as one of five women directors to direct a short film for Glamour Magazine’s The Girl Project for « Get Schooled, » a series focusing on girls’ education around the world in Malawi, India, Brazil, and the United States. She is a recipient of the 2017 Extraordinary Women Awards held by the 92nd Street Y, a hub for women to learn and inspire others by sharing their knowledge, ideas, insights, and strength. She was also selected as one of OkayAfrica’s « 100 Women » for 2018.
A graduate of UC Berkeley, her work has led her around the world. She was most recently in Mali as a producer of the feature documentary The Badass Librarians of Timbuktu, based on the New York Times Bestselling book of the same title. Prior to producing Badass, she was in Senegal, where she directed and produced the film Sega, starring Alassane Sy (Restless City, Mediterranea), which examines the issue of migration and repatriation. Her film Sega was selected as part of the international competition at the prestigious Clermont Ferrand International Film Festival and went on to win the jury award for Best Short Film at the 2019 Blackstar Film Festival and the Golden Dhow for Best Short Film at the Zanzibar International Film Festival. Sega was recently acquired by Canal Plus Cinema for television distribution throughout Europe and Africa. Idil is currently attached to direct the feature film adaptation of the Penguin Press novel From A Crooked Rib by author Nuruddin Farah.

Riad Bouchoucha
Riad Bouchoucha was born in Marseilles, France (1989). After graduating with an International Master’s Degree in Law, he decides to pursue his passion for cinema. As a self-taught filmmaker, he directs his first short film in 2013. Eager to learn how to write, he participates in a screenwriting workshop in 2016, La Ruche. During this workshop, he wrote the short film, The Wake. (A NFFF winner 2020) which was produced with the help of producers Emmanuel Wahl and Adrien Bretet. The award-winning short was screened in over twenty international film festivals.
Riad is currently writing his first feature screenplay inspired by the youth of his parents in a slum during the 1970’s in Marseilles.
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