Set to take place this weekend is the African Diaspora International Film Festival’s celebration of women in film, which runs from March 27 to 29, at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.
The lineup of shorts, features and documentaries by independent women filmmakers from all over the world, includes 11 films from six countries (Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, USA, Senegal & Cape Verde). Two of those films are from late Senegalese filmmaker, Khady Sylla, a great filmmaker talent despite a rather short filmography with just 5 total films, most of which haven’t been seen widely enough. The 2 that will screen this weekend are: “Colobane Express” (2000), which captures the often comical societal microcosm in Dakar cars rapides (essentially quick public transportation), focusing mostly on passengers who are of low or middle income, and “The Silent Monologue” (2008), which, reminiscent of Ousmane Semebene’s “Black Girl,” documents the inner thoughts of a girl from a rural area of Senegal who works as a domestic for a well-to-do family in Dakar. Sylla would never see her last completed film, “Single Word,” co-directed with her sister, also a filmmaker, Mariama Sylla Faye.
Sylla died in October 8, 2013.
The Women in Film celebration also includes the work of Afro-Cuban director Gloria Rolando, whose career as film director spans over 35 years at ICAIC, the Cuban national film institute. She also heads an independent film-making group, Imágenes del Caribe, based in Havana. Two of her films will be showcased on Friday, March 27: “Reembarque” (or “Reshipment”), made in 2014, which tells the story of Haitian immigrants in Cuba, in the early 20th century, and their forced repatriation after the sugar market crashed; and “Oggun: An Eternal Present,” made in 1991, which centers on the Orisha Oggun, the god of war and peace, metals, and civilization, as experienced in the life of Lazaro Ros, the prominent Cuban Yoruba singer.
Also screening will be another Orisha-focused project – this one from director Eliciana Nascimento, titled “The Summer of Gods,” which tells the tale of a young girl who visits her grandmother in rural Brazil, where she encounters Orishas, who challenge her with a mission.
Documentaries on Josephine Baker, and saving the black family, as well as scripted work from American filmmakers Yvonne Welbon and Sheila Marie Norman, Cape Verdean director Ana Ramos Lisboa, and Haitian filmmaker Claudette Coulange, round out the schedule.
For more information about ADIFF’s Celebrates Women in Film, including how to purchase tickets, visit the festival’s web site: www.nyadiff.org.
The series at a glance…
WHERE: Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street – Room 263 Macy. Train 1 to 116th Street. Free parking Saturday and Sunday. ID required to enter the building.
WHEN: Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29, 2015
FRIDAY, March 27
6:30pm Reshipment (FREE SCREENING)
8pm The Candomble & Santeria Program
SATURDAY, March 28
4pm Films of Khady Sylla
8pm On My Own + Q&A
SUNDAY, March 29
2pm Looking for Life
3:30pm Cape Verde, My Love
5:30pm Josephine Baker shown with The Taste of Dirt
Weekend Pass: $35