Currently underway here in New York City, through December 15, 2013, is the 21st annual New York African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), with a lineup that includes 73 films – 35 of them being World, US and NY Premieres – from 35 countries.
– The School Program, which starts at 11am, at The Chapel – Teachers College, Columbia University, with a screening of the universally-acclaimed Kirikou and the Sorceress, the animated feature, directed by Michel Ocelot, that follows the pint-sized Senegalese hero Kirikou on his first adventure (there are 3 films in the franchise).
Kirikou and the Wild Beasts and Kirikou And The Men And Women are the other 2 films in the trilogy.
– At 6pm, also at The Chapel – Teachers College, Columbia University, the Moroccan drama The Miscreants, directed by Mohcine Besri, making its New York premiere.
Here’s a description:
On the order of their spiritual leader, three young Islamists kidnap a group of actors who are about to go on tour with their latest show. When the kidnappers arrive at the place of detention, they find themselves cut off from their base. Ensues a 7-day no exit situation, in which both sides are forced to live together, confront each other and challenge their mutual prejudices.
The film is Besri’s feature directorial debut and was released in Moroccan cinemas earlier this year, when it was met with some controversy, after drawing accusations that it put a questionable face on Islam.
Besri says his inspirations for making the film include a young man who blew himself up at the edge of a Jewish cemetery in an act of terrorism in 2003, sharing that he was intrigued by the idea of bringing death to the dead, since the young man chose to blow himself up in a cemetery instead of elsewhere, where he could’ve killed people, in order to save lives.
The film has been traveling the film festival circuit since 2012.
– And the final highlight is the return of Philippe Niang’s much-talked-about 3-hour epic drama, Toussaint L’Ouverture, which made its New York premiere at the ADIFF last year, and is back again for those of you who live in New York and who haven’t seen it.
It screens right after The Miscreants, starting at 8pm, also at The Chapel – Teachers College.
The film is still without an American distributor, so this may be your only chance to see it in the near term.
It’s split into two 90-minute halves, and I suspect there’ll be an intermission between each.
As a recap Jimmy Jean-Louis stars as the title character, and he’s joined by French actresses Aïssa Maïga (Paris, Je T’Aime, Bamako) as Toussaint’s wife, Suzanne, and Sonia Rolland (Moloch Tropical, Midnight In Paris) as Marie-Eugénie Sonthonax, wife of abolitionist L.F. Sonthonax.
The screening is co-presented by The International Organization of La Francophonie, The Permanent Mission of Haiti to the United Nations and The African Diaspora International Film Festival.
For tickets to today’s events and more, click HERE. Of course you can also buy tickets on location.
Other highlights of this year’s ADIFF include: director Norry Niven’s directorial debut, Chasing Shakespeare, which opened this year’s edition of the festival on November 29th, as a New York Premiere at Symphony Space in Manhattan; Yidnekachew Shumete’s Nishan (or Medal Of Honor) will also make its New York City premiere as a Centerpiece film on the 8th; and Pratibha Parmar’s documentary feature film about writer and activist Alice Walker, titled Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth, on the 7th, which will be a Gala screening at this year’s event.
In addition, attendees will be treated to other titles S&A readers should be familiar with, like the Curacao-set slave uprising epic drama Tula, The Revolt by Jeroen Leinders – also a NY premiere; Micheal Beach stars in the new drama Scrapper, directed by Brady Hall – a film that follows a man who makes a living by collecting discarded metal “scraps” or pieces, who meets a runaway teen, who becomes his work partner; Andrew Dosunmu’s acclaimed Mother of George, Alexandre Moors critically-lauded drama Blue Caprice; Said Ould-Khelifa’s Zabana! – account of the short life of Algerian freedom fighter Ahmed Zabana, and Algeria’s selection for the 2013 Best Foreign Language Oscar; the documentary RAÇA (RACE), from Brazilian filmmaker Joel Zito Araújo and American Megan Mylan, which tackles racial inequality in Brazil, via the lives of three black Brazilians; and more, including the once-banned Jews of Egypt by Amir Ramses, Fatal Assistance by Hatian filmmaker Raoul Peck; and The Stuart Hall Project by John Akomfrah.
ADIFF 2013 will also present the World Premiere of Al Robbins’ Raltat, on the 8th – a drama based on a true story of mistaken identity case post-9/11, in a cross-continental effort, taking place in both the New York and Morocco. The narrative follows the trials of a Moroccan woman living in the United States who is detained at JFK Airport in New York days after 9/11 because her husband has the same name as the lead hijacker.
Other highlights include Legends of Madagascar by Haminiaina Ratovoarivony, The Miscreants by Mohcine Besri; Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango by Angolan filmmaker Dom Pedro, Spies of Mississippi by Dawn Porter, Reflections Unheard: Black Women in Civil Rights by Nevline Nnaji, and I Don’ Been Through The Snake’s Skin & Come Out Clean by Ada Babino.
For the festival’s full lineup, visit http://nyadiff.org, where you’ll also find out how to purchase tickets to individual screenings or passes.