New York African Film Festival April 2 to May 27

From a release:

New York African Film Festival
April 2 through May 31 2011

April 2 - Harry Belafonte, Xenobia Bailey, and Zina Saro-wiwa for a panel discussion and screening

African Film Festival, Inc. and Film Society of Lincoln Center present the 18th edition of the New York African Film Festival! A multi-venue, two-month celebration of African arts and culture, taking place from April 2nd through May 31st, 2011, the festival will feature a gallery exhibition, fashion show, panel discussions, Q&As with directors and actors, live performances, and of course, the best in contemporary cinema from Africa and the Diaspora.

2011 has been designated as the ‘International Year of the Peoples of African Descent’ by the United 
Nations. AFF is honoring that declaration with an exploration of the historical and contemporary roles in the arts played by people representing the African Diaspora. This exploration will include a special focus on two countries from which so many people of the African Diaspora draw their roots, and which are both also celebrating 50 years of independence in 2011: Tanzania and Sierra Leone. In addition, the festival will continue to introduce the works of emerging filmmakers from Africa and the Diaspora.

April 2nd 2011: Museum of Art and Design
April 6th – April 12th 2011: Walter Reade Theater, Lincoln Center
April 14th 2011: Institute of African Studies, Columbia University
April 29th – May 1st 2011: Maysles Cinema
May 20th 2011: Big Screen Project –Outdoor Cinema
May 27th – 30th 2011: Rose Cinemas, Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM)

For a full schedule of the screenings, please have a look at this link

The Festival highlights the following themes:

Africa – the Next Generation

These fictional and documentary films depict the resilience of Africa’s youth as they rise above adversity, whether by bravely facing life with AIDS (Thembi) or by simply writing a letter to Santa Claus (Ousmane).

Other films include Soul Boy and Africa United

Sorcery and Subversion in the 21st Century

The filmmakers question perceptions of activists and outliers who intentionally or unintentionally challenge their communities to question the norms that underline their societies.

• The Witches of Gambaga, Taharuki, The Deliverance of Comfort, and Phyllis.

Examining the Heart of Africa

Situated in the center of the African continent, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has long been considered the heart of Africa. Its politics and its cultures seem to pulse in time with the heart of the continent.

• Three films present different perspectives on the DRC: Kinshasa Symphony, Viva Riva!, and Kongo – Grand Illusions.

The Retention of Memory

A new generation of filmmakers brings in today’s Africa and the African Diaspora, a fresh perspective to the longstanding conversation about traditional beliefs and modern rituals, cultural heritage and cultural evolution, memories of the past and hopes for the future.

Besouro, For the Best and For the Onion, A Journey into Kono Womanhood, and Ebony Goddess.

Africa First Shorts

The NYAFF is pleased to present the U.S. premiere of the 2011 Focus Features Africa First Shorts Program. The program, now in its third year, has been supporting the growth of groundbreaking emerging filmmakers, who push boundaries and create brilliant works.

Dirty Laundry, Umkhungo, Tinye So, and Mwansa The Great.

The Camera – A Filmmaker’s Weapon

The camera has transformed the lives of artists and everyday people throughout the continent: an Ethiopian man who protects his tribe with a Kalashnikov and a camera (Shooting with Mursi) a young boy who documents the life of immigrants in Italy (One Way, a Tuareg Journey) unwitting outsiders whose cameras lead them toward a terrible secret (Stolen).

Pictured: Thembi, Khinsana Symphony & Soul Boy

The 18th New York African Film Festival was organized by Richard Peña, program director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center and Mahen Bonetti, founder and executive director of African Film Festival, Inc.