Reaching back into the past and forward into the unknown, the New York African Film Festival takes cinema of all genres throughout Africa and the African Diaspora to weave a story of the present. From the archival to the experimental, classic fictional narrative to documentary, the festival, now in its 26th year, selects treasured stories of the past to contextualize the present and all of its possible futures.
Co-presented by Film at Lincoln Center and African Film Festival, Inc. Organized by Mahen Bonetti, Francoise Bouffault, and Dara Ojugbele, African Film Festival, Inc. The FESPACO Retrospective program is co-curated by Amélie Garin-Davet and African Film Festival, Inc.
Opening Night · Q&A with Frances-Anne Solomon on May 30 & June 2Frances-Anne Solomon’s film tells the story of Ulric Cross, a West Indian lawyer who joined the Pan-African independence movements sweeping the world in the 1960s. HERO explores not only the life but also the dynamic and transformative times that Ulric was born into.
Centerpiece · Q&A with actor Stéphane Bak and producer Aurélien Bodinaux on June 1At the outbreak of the Second Congo War, the stoic Sergeant Xavier and the eager young recruit Private Faustin are accidentally left behind in the jungle. With only each other to rely on, the Rwandan soldiers embark on an odyssey through one of the most beautiful, yet treacherous forests on earth, faced with the depths of their own war-torn souls. Preceded by The Letter Carrier.
Q&A with Souleymane CisséA young factory manager finds himself faced with an emotional and ethical awakening when he begins to see how his company mistreats its workers in the great Malian filmmaker Souleymane Cissé’s political drama.
Q&A with Toyin Ibrahim AdekeyeWhen the slave boats carrying African people docked in America, Brazil, Cuba, and the Caribbean, hundreds of cultures, traditions, and religions landed with them. Today, only one remains prominent in the new world: the culture of the Yorubas.
Q&A with Ola BalogunBlack Goddess is a classic Nigerian-Brazilian film from director Ola Balogun that journeys into the past and present of Africa.
Q&A with Rosine Mbakam, Tafadzwa Chiriga, and Little Girl actor WunmiAn immigrant from Cameroon journeys first to Lebanon and then to Belgium, where she finds employment at a beauty salon, a place where undocumented immigrants can escape the daily difficulties and harsh realities of their lives. Preceded by Little Girl.
Q&A with Jean-Marie TénoIn 1964, following the death of her mother, 14-year-old Nana Banyina Horne becomes the mother figure to eight younger siblings. Years later, after living and teaching in America, Nana is chosen to be Queen Mother back in Ghana. This is an existential tale of departures, exile, loss, trauma, and the burdens of responsibility and sacrifice.
Q&A with actor Ghalia Benali on June 2Brahim Nadhour is a Tunisian living in France who returns to his home country to bury his son, Marouane, who was killed in a motorcycle accident. While there, Brahim finds out that Marouane was active in a radical Islamist group.
Q&A with Julius Amedume and producer Jimmy Jean-LouisA family man and yoga instructor is ambushed by three masked strangers accusing him of sleeping with their wives. He pleads his innocence, though what he does reveal will change all of their lives forever. But will it be enough to save his?
Introduction by Jean-Marie Teno · Q&A with Papa Madieye MbayeEl Hadji, an Islamic faithful, returns from his holy pilgrimage to Mecca, and falls in love with his daughter’s friend Santou, who is already engaged to be married, in this classic film from Niger. Plus, a behind-the-scenes documentary about one of the greatest figures in all of African cinema. Preceded by Mambéty
Q&A with Executive Producer Luke Henkeman on May 31It’s New Year’s Eve in the iconic township of Atteridgeville. Two boys try to pull off a huge deal, dodge a kingpin gangster and his violent gang members, get the girl, and, finally, save their own lives.
Q&A with Shawn Antoine II, Ellie Foumbi, and Charles Obi EmereFeaturing Showtime by Shawn Antoine II, Suicide by Sunlightby Nikyatu, No Traveler Returns by Ellie Foumbi, Sign Up by Abeer Yehia, Wrong Con by Charles Obi Emere, and Hello, Rain by C.J. “Fiery” Obasi
Q&A with producer Stéphane Vieyra (son of Paulin Soumanou Vieyra)Born in Porto-Novo, Benin, and raised in Senegal, Paulin Soumanou Vieyra (1925-1987) was a filmmaker and a historian, and one of the most important figures in all of African cinema.
Free and open to the public!This master class with renowned Cameroonian documentarian Jean-Marie Teno will focus on the issue of entertainment and education within the context of African cinema and feature a discussion about how filmmakers and stakeholders can accompany and trigger change through the transformative power of cinema. How can African cinema reconnect to African reality today in the transformative spirit that inspired the pioneering generation of African filmmakers in the 1960s and 1970s?
Free and open to the public!For four decades, filmmaker Mohamed two photographic essays, featuring selections of photographs from their collection, explore issues of cultural identity within an international vocabulary of contemporary media art practice, chronicling the intersection of Africa and her diaspora, charting personal memory across landscapes of history and heritage.
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3+ Film Package – Tickets just $9 Members / $10 Students, Seniors, and Persons with Disabilities / $13 General Public.
Note: Film at Lincoln Center Members at eligible levels can redeem their complimentary ticket vouchers for this series in person at the box office. Patrons can reserve in advance by emailing [email protected].
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The festival’s theme this year, “The Peoples’ Revolution,” illuminates the new wave of artists throughout Africa and its diaspora seeking reform and effecting it via sociopolitical action. These individuals exist where values of human rights, civic duty, and… Read More
The New York African Film Festival returns to the Film Society for its 22nd edition, offering a selection of over 25 titles from more than 15 countries that reflects on the ways African men and women have broken through borders with films and narratives that form part of the global imagination. Read More
The core of the 21st New York African Film Festival is the experience of revolution and liberation in and from Africa in the 21st century. The festival presents a unique selection of contemporary and classic African films, running the gamut from features, shorts, and documentaries to animation and experimental films. In celebration of the centenary of Nigerian unification, look for a couple of films from Nollywood, Africa’s largest movie industry. Read More
The landmark 20th edition of the festival will pay homage to Ousmane Sembène and the first generation of African filmmakers, while passing the baton to a new generation of African visual storytellers who continue to transform our understanding of and vision for the Continent. Read More
Presented under the banner theme 21st Century: The Homecoming, this year’s New York African Film Festival will screen contemporary and classic African films that explore the notion of home and homeland, from the legacy of music legend Miriam Makeba (subject of our Opening Night film, "Mama Africa") to disaporic visions like the New York-set "Restless City." Read More