For those of you in NYC, an annual film festival not to be missed – one that we’ve been covering for as long as this blog has been around, screening films previously highlighted on this blog (“Supremacy,” “Diego Star,” and more), as well as films new to us (“White Lies,” “Oggun: An Eternal Presence“ and others). I always love *discoveries* and will spotlight them leading up to the festival, which runs from November 28 to December 14.
There’s also a “Black in Latin America” sidebar, which will feature 20 films that speak to that specific experience.
And worth noting is that many of the filmmakers will be present for the screenings of their films, and will participate in Q&As.
Full details via press release below:
For its 22nd edition to be held in Manhattan between November 28 and December 14, 2014, the New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will showcase 89 films spanning 43 countries including 47 US and NY Premieres.
Among the films set to have their New York premiere in ADIFF 2014 are films featured in international film festivals such as Toronto, Montreal, Durban, Rotterdam, Palm Spring and Los Angeles Film Fests including Opening Night film Supremacy by the producers of Django Unchained with Danny Glover, Derek Luke and Lela Rochon.
Presented at the Toronto International Film Festival are the gripping and provocative Finish dramedy Heart of a Lion by Dome Karukosi, a film with “a lot of heart and warmth” (Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times) about a Neo-Nazi who falls for a woman with a black son from a previous marriage and 2014 New Zealand’s foreign-language Oscar submission White Lies by Dana Rotberg, a period drama based on a novella by “Whale Rider” author Witi Ihimaera that explores deep inner and societal conflicts between a wealthy woman, her servant and the Moari healer they seek out for assistance.
First presented at the Montreal World Film Festival is the impressive epic drama based on a true story, Ninga Queen of Angola by Sergio Graciano, about a 17thcentury Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism.
Kajarya by Madhureeeta Anand, a compelling and disturbing women centered drama that decries the social hypocrisy around the practice of killing baby girls in India and the national award winning film Names Unknown by Charu Ahuja, which takes a critical look at the life of marginalized people in the Kerala region of India are part of a selection of films about Indian people in and out of India.
Screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Diego Star by Frederick Pelletier, a drama about Traore, a mechanic from the Ivory Coast who is forced to spend the winter in a small town in Quebec after an accident on board his ship is “a stark, touching tale about the common humanity that connects people from alien backgrounds, and the institutionalized inhumanity that drives them apart.”Peter Keough Boston Globe
Other noteworthy premieres in ADIFF 2014 include Scorsese’s Marrakech International Film festival Jury Winner for best Actor Fevers by Hicham Ayouch about a 13 year old boy at war with life, adults and himself and the South African drama with a distinctly local flavor The Two of Us by first time filmmaker Ernest Nkosi – which made its world premiere at the Durban International Film Festival in August – about a very turbulent sibling relationship between Thulas and Zanele and their lives in the Alexandra township.
The Two of Us is one of the highlights of the ADIFF 2014 South Africa: 20 Years of Democracy program presented in collaboration with the South African Department of Arts and Culture, the NFVF and the Kwazulu-Natal Film Commission. Four other outstanding films in this program are the entertaining South African hit dramedy Between Friends by Zuko Nodada to screen as the festival Centerpiece, the hit comedy Material by Craig Friemond about a Muslim comedian and his rigid father, Letters to Zorha by Saskia Vredeveld about the untold story of Ahmed Kathrada, a freedom fighter who spent 26 years in prison in Robben island with Nelson Mandela, and the revealing documentary I, Afrikaner by Analet Steenkamp which documents four generations of the director’s family in post-apartheid South Africa.
Also premiering in the festival this year are Closing Night film Obama Mama, a documentary about Stanley Ann Dunham, mother of the nation’s first black president, Gala Screening Bound: Africans vs. African Americans, a documentary about the tensions between these two groups, and the U.S. premiere of Steps to Liberty, a documentary by Rokhaya Diallo that describes the 1984 March for Equality and Against Racism in France and its repercussion today. Steps to Liberty will close a full day of screenings around the theme France and the Race Issue.
The program Blacks in Latin America, sponsored in part by the Academy of Motion Picture and Science, will feature 20 films including the two documentaries Oggun: An Eternal Presence and Reshipment and the three part series 1912, Breaking the Silence by award-winning Afro-Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando who will complete her acclaimed US wide tour with ADIFF 2014.
Many of the directors and actors for the films in the festival will be on hand for question-and-answer sessions following the screenings.