Shorts Program: Through the New York Lens
Friday, May 13, 2022
Q&A with Ellie Foumbi, Baboucarr Camara, Tisa Chigaga, Anatola Araba, Kaelo Iyizoba, Olive Nwosu, AnAkA and Baba Mpho Shanto on May 13
Intimate stories told through the lenses of filmmakers living in New York.
The Couple Next Door
Abbesi Akhamie, 2020, USA, 11m
A single woman’s feelings of loneliness begin to stir when an eccentric African couple moves in next door to her.
Masquerade / Egúngún
Olive Nwosu, 2021, Nigeria/UK, 14m
English and Yoruba with English subtitles
Salewa must return home for her mother’s funeral, to Lagos, a place where she once had to hide herself. At the funeral, she runs into an important person from her past, and is forced to go in search of her own peace. Egúngún (Masquerade) is a meditation on home, memory, and identity—on the many versions of ourselves that haunt us.
Tisa Chigaga, 2022, USA, 8m
English and Bemba with English subtitles
An older undocumented migrant is summarily dismissed from her housekeeping position. Cast into desperate uncertainty, she roams the city in despair.
Anatola Araba, 2022, USA, 14m
This 3D-animated short film in the Afrofuturist genre explores topics of AI and bias. In a distant future, an artificial-intelligence entity named Aero is inaugurated as the world’s first AI leader. However, she soon finds that important worldviews are missing from her database, including the stories of the historically marginalized and oppressed. A slate of well-known Black performers lend their voices to the film, including Robin Quivers, Ava Raiin, and Hoji Fortuna.
A Lisbon Affair
Hoji Fortuna, 2021, Portugal/Croatia, 14m
Portuguese with English subtitles
Waldo and Shey are in love. Waldo, who lives in Berlin, travels to Lisbon to meet Shey. Their encounter will test the emotional strength of their bond and expose uncertainties about their Afro-Portuguese cultural and historical identities.
What is Mine Cannot Be Lost / Nkemefuna
Kaelo Iyizoba, 2021, USA, 15m
New York Premiere
Nkemefuna follows Nkem and Ike, a pair of Nigerian-American siblings still dealing with the death of their father, who perished in the Twin Towers. Nkem left home after his death; upon her return years later, her presence precipitates unresolved issues with her brother, leading to a public confrontation. As the siblings struggle to work through their issues, a looming threat crystallizes.
Menes De Griot: Baba Mpho Shanto, Keeper of the Kulture
AnAkA, 2022, USA, 12m
This short film is the beginning of a larger project documenting Baba Mpho Shanto, AKA Menes De Griot. A culture keeper of our time, Baba Mpho is actively preserving African traditions in the global community. Having grown up a member of the Komfa Spiritual Church in Guayana, Menes De Griot is continuing the works of his lineage by performing ceremonies for marriages, elders, births, and more. A phenomenal drummer, Kwe Kwe (pre-nuptial ritual) specialist, herbalist, and natural lifestyle consultant, Baba Mpho was initiated into the Ifa tradition by Chief Solagbade Popoola in Trinidad and Tobago. He has been playing drums for almost 60 years (professionally for more than 45 years), and he continues to perform ceremonies in Brooklyn and elsewhere. He is truly a force to be reckoned with.
Accessibility Options: Open Captioning is available for Menes De Griot and Masquerade. Closed Captions & Audio Description is available for Afro Algorithms.