Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) will celebrate the kickoff of the 29th New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) at FLC from May 12 to 17. This year’s festival, taking place at the FLC theaters with select virtual screenings, explores a host of themes under the banner Visions of Freedom, presenting diverse and interconnected notions of freedom pertinent to Africa, the diaspora, and the world at large while recalling activism of the past and ushering in new anthems of the future to embrace a united front for liberation and expression.
Tickets are now on sale!
“The events of the recent past have illuminated how interconnected our worlds are. Through it all and across the globe, the collective vision of freedom has come into sharp focus,” said AFF Executive Director and NYAFF Founder Mahen Bonetti. “This year’s festival takes a look at the past, while capturing the present pulse and looking forward to envision a brighter future.”
“Cinema of Liberation: From Inception and Execution to Exhibition,” a master class by veteran Ethiopian filmmaker, Haile Gerima, on Saturday, May 14, at 11:30am will teach the role of film in propelling forth freedom movements and arming viewers to take up the mantle of change. The event takes place in the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.
NYAFF will present a Town Hall at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium on Wednesday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m., featuring African and diaspora artists displaying and discussing work that explores the festival’s theme Visions of Freedom. Participants include hair stylist and Hair by Susy founder Susan Oludele; dancer, lawyer, actor and pianist Justin Lynch; Singer, songwriter, and international DJ Nikki Kynard; and actress and director of the Opening Night film, Freda, Gessica Généus.
A solo exhibition featuring an experimental, durational moving image meditation by Nigerian-American artist, Zainab Aliyu, will run in the Amphitheater from May 12-17. “freedom is a durational practice” foregrounds anthems of celebration across the diaspora and transverses borders to fabricate an infinite pan-African chorus of shared somatic vibrations.
The festival continues at Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem from May 19 to 22 and culminates at the Brooklyn Academy of Music under the name Film Africa from May 27 to June 2 during Dance Africa.
Opening Night Film | Q&A with Gessica Généus on May 12Faced with precarious living conditions and the rise of violence in Haiti, Freda and her family wonders whether to stay or leave, but Freda is determined to believe in the future of her country.
Centerpiece Film | Q&A with Amil Shivji on May 13Passion and revolution ensues in this coming-of-age political love story involving a young freedom fighter set in the final years of British colonial Zanzibar. Preceded by Johanna Makabi's Notre mémoire.
U.S. Premiere | Q&A with Manzini Zungu, Charles Castella and Baba Sissoko on May 15Filmmaker Abderrahmane Sissako & Damon Albarn, frontman of Blur & the band Gorillaz, join forces to create an opera about the history of Africa. Preceded by Shaka – iNkosi Yamakhosi.
U.S. Premiere | Q&A with lead actor Barkhad Abdirahman and producer, Mahmoud Treek on May 15Ayaanle is a 21-year-old who aspires to become an actor. His life is turned upside down after a series of events that lead him to become the most wanted man in Kenya, linked with terrorist activities across East Africa.
Q&A with Nganji Mutiri on May 16Shot in Belgium and the DRC, Juwaa is a subtly powerful drama offering African characters rarely seen on screens. Years after a traumatic night, a son and a mother reconcile and slowly peel away the layers of their complex relationship.
Q&A with Aïssa Maïga on May 14When 12-year-old Houlaye’s aunt Suri convinces an NGO to build a well in the village, it brings the promise of renewal for those men and women who, unknowingly, had been walking on water all their lives.
Q&A with Jean-Pascal Zadi on May 14JP, a failed 40-year-old actor, decides to organize the first large-scale Black solidarity march in France. But he finds himself torn between his desire to be in the limelight & his commitment as an activist.
Q&A with Tayo Giwa on May 15Chronicles the birth, rise, and legacy of The East, a pan-African cultural organization founded in 1969 by teens and young adults in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Preceded by John Ogunmuyiwa's Precious Hair & Beauty.
Q&A with Linda Lilienfeld, members of CUAHSI and Alain Gomis on May 14A collection of short films from Mayors Make Movies, an initiative by Let’s Talk About Water, which promotes participation in water policy in cities across the African continent.
Q&A with filmmakers on May 13A collection of short films featuring intimate stories told through the lenses of filmmakers living in New York.
Q&A with Hlumela Matika, Reabetswe Moeti, and Oliver North on May 14A collection of short films with reflections on history, memory, and personal narratives in South Africa.
Free and open to the public! | May 14 at 11:30amLed by renowned Ethiopian filmmaker, Haile Gerima, the master class will center on the content, form, and aesthetics of liberation cinema, empowering one’s particular narrative logic and more.
Free through May 17 in the FLC Amphitheater!A solo exhibition featuring an experimental, durational moving image meditation by Nigerian-American artist, Zainab Aliyu, foregrounding anthems of celebration across the diaspora and transversing borders to fabricate an infinite, pan-African chorus of shared somatic vibrations.
Click here to watch on the FLC Virtual Cinema from May 13 - 17. See more and save with the 4-Film Bundle for just $20 (approx. 50% savings!).
In-Theater ticket prices are $15 for the general public; $12 for students, seniors, and persons with disabilities; and $10 for FLC members. See more and save with the $59 All-Access Pass or the $25 Student All-Access Pass. These passes only apply to in-person screenings.
Tickets for the Opening Night Party in the Frieda and Roy Furman Gallery in the Walter Reade Theater are $200 and can be purchased at africanfilmny.org starting Friday, April 22.
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