With documentaries, dramas, comedies, and even something for the kids, this festival highlights the rich and diverse culture — and the triumphs and struggles — of African communities throughout the world. All screenings are being held at Riverside Church, 91 Claremont Ave. between 120th and 122nd Sts.
The Dinner USA , 1997, 85 min., drama, English, Bernie Casey, dir . 35mm
Veteran actor Bernie Casey makes his debut as a writer and director with this allegorical drama. Three prominent and prosperous African American men meet at an expensive restaurant for dinner, where they enjoy a meal and discuss the powerfully destructive impact of “the System” on Black America and how to strive despite it. Fri, Aug 18 at 7:00pm
Sisters in Cinema
USA; 2003; 62min; directed by Yvonne Welbon. Winner Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color, ADFF 2003.
Homage to African American women filmmakers, including Euzhan Palcy, Julie Dash, Darnell Martin, Dianne Houston, Neema Barnette, Cheryl Dunye, Kasi Lemmons and Maya Angelou who against all odds made history. Visit sistersincinema.com for more information and to buy the film online. Sat, Aug. 19 at 4:30pm 100% Arabica
France, 1997, 85min, Mahmoud Zemmouri, dir. Official Selection, Venice Film Festival, 1997.
In this light-hearted musical comedy with a message, a North African pop group called Rap Oriental uses music to triumph over the bigotry and violence in their housing projects on the outskirts of Paris. The film features Khaled and Cheb Mami, two real-life stars of rai music — a combination of North African sounds and western-style rap.
Sat, Aug. 19 at 7:00pm Kirikou and the Sorceress
France, 1998, 70 min, animated feature for children of all ages English, Michel Ocelot, dir. Winner Grand Prize for best animated feature, International Festival of Animated Film in Annecy, France; First Prize from both children and adult juries, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
Kirikou depicts a precocious newborn infant who battles ignorance, and so-called evil, with endearing perseverance. Kirikou’s stunning visuals are accented by a traditional music soundtrack by African music giant
Youssou N’Dour of Senegal. Sun, Aug. 20 at 3:00pm
Following Bliss USA, 2004, 93min, drama, English, Cleve Lamison, dir.
Jacks longs for his rock-n-roll days and contemplates deserting his suburban/corporate lifestyle to go on the road; a choice that would end the fairytale life his pregnant wife Jenny has built for their budding family. Dreams collide with escalating cruelty as each struggles to follow their bliss. Fri, Aug 25 at 7:00pm
Sia, the Dream of the Python Burkina Faso/France, 2001, 96min, Epic Drama in Bambara with English subtitles, Dani Kouyaté, Dir. Winner “Special Prize of the Jury” FESPACO 2001, Official Selection Cannes 2001.
Kombi is a poverty-stricken city dominated by a tyrant king. In order to bring back prosperity, the king is advised by his priests to make the traditional human sacrifice of a young virgin to a mystical snake god. Sat, Aug. 26 at 4:30pm
I Know I am Not Alone
USA, 2005, 98 min., documentary in English, Michael Franti, dir.
Armed with an acoustic guitar and video camera, musician and activist Michael Franti takes us on a musical journey through war and occupation in Iraq, Israel and Palestine. Along the way he shares his music with families, doctors, musicians, soldiers and everyday people who in turn reveal to him the often overlooked human cost of war. Sat, Aug. 26 at 7:00pm
Coming to England
United Kingdom, 2003, 60min, Drama, Floella Benjamin, Dir.
Coming to England is a film adaptation of Floella Benjamin’s highly acclaimed book, first published in 1994. It tells the story of her journey as a ten year old from her home Trinidad and Tobago to London in the 1960’s. Floella’s story is typical of that of many young people of the time, when many of them, encouraged by enticing advertisements, left their homes in the Caribbean and migrated to Britain. Sun, Aug. 27 at 3:00pm