New York African Film Festival 2017

New York African Film Festival 2017

From May 3 to May 29, 2017, the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC), Maysles Cinema, Lehman College and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek will present The Peoples’ Revolution at the 24th edition of the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF). The festival will illuminate a new wave of artists throughout Africa and its diaspora seeking reform and taking the socio-political actions to do so.

These individuals increasingly exist where values of human rights, civic duty, and the democratic, unrestricted nature of technology intersect and become interdependent. Resulting intersections which correlate with artists’ everyday realities, are spaces where ideas of identity, culture, and notions of home are rewired and thus, function in ways markedly distinct from previous generations. Within these new arenas, validation is affirmed through self-representation, self-actualization, and importantly, through ascertaining their own voice within the larger world discourse.

The 24th NYAFF is comprised of over 45 films from 25 countries including South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Sudan. The schedule of the festival is as follows:

  • May 3, 2017, FSLC – an opening night film, followed by a post-screening discussion and reception.
  • May 9, NYAFF – Activism and Art: Personal Journeys, features artists of various disciplines discussing how their artistic practices serve as forms of activism.
  • May 10, FSLC – an evening of film and discussion at Lehman College on, in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment’s One Book, One New York inaugural program.
  • May 19 to May 21, the festival caravan will travel to Maysles Cinema in Harlem, from where the focus will be on documentary works.
  • May 26 to May 29, the festival’s finale will take place at BAMcinématek in conjunction with DanceAfrica, featuring Guinea as this year’s guest country.

Vaya, Akin Omotoso, South Africa, 2016, 115min. Image credit:

Among the 2017 NYAFF highlights are the internationally acclaimed South African film Vaya by director Akin Omotoso; Ewir Amora Kelabi, from Ethiopia, a poetic film about borders and the people caught between them; and a powerful shorts program that includes the film 80 by Muhannad Iamin, the first animated documentary from Libya. The festival will also highlight short films from Senegal, works by filmmakers of African descent who live in New York City, and will continue our exploration of Ousmane Sembene’s legacy. This year’s NYAFF will also feature a stunning digital art exhibition that explores dance, movement, and virtual reality.

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