19th Annual New York African Film Festival April 11 to 17

From a media release:

19th Annual New York African Film Festival
April 11 – 17, 2012

Presented under the banner theme 21st Century: The Homecoming, this year’s New York African Film Festival will screen contemporary and classic African films that explore the notion of home and homeland, from the legacy of music legend Miriam Makeba (subject of our Opening Night film, Mama Africa) to disaporic visions like the New York-set Restless City, which comes direct from its acclaimed premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. In addition, to mark the 100th anniversary of the African National Congress (ANC), NYAFF will pay homage through performances by artists working in music, dance and film. Don’t miss this eclectic sampling of some of the most popular dramas, documentaries and experimental works currently unfolding on screens across the African continent. Series programmed by Richard Peña for the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Mahen Bonetti of African Film Festival, Inc.

The Films:

Black Africa White Marble
Clemente Bicocchi, 2011

Sat Apr 14: 5:00 pm | Mon Apr 16: 4:00 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
A plan to transfer the remains of the 19th-century explorer Pietro di Brazza to a multimillion-dollar mausoleum in Congo’s impoverished capital belies an insidious hidden agenda in this gripping documentary thriller about Central Africa’s colonial past and troubled present.

Mariette Monpierre, 2011

Thu Apr 12: 4:00 pm  | Sun Apr 15: 6:15 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
Bernadette, a single mother in Paris, is thrilled when her eldest, Elza, is the first in the family to graduate from college. But Elza breaks her mother's heart by running away to their native Guadeloupe in search of a distant childhood memory: the father she barely remembers.

Fire In Babylon
Stevan Riley, 2010

Sun Apr 15: 8:30 pm |
A remarkable documentary about how the West Indies triumphed over its colonial masters through the achievements of one of the most gifted cricket teams in sporting history. Co-presented by Cinema Tropical.

How to Steal 2 Million
Charlie Vundla, 2011

Thu Apr 12: 8:15 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
After serving five years for robbery, newly paroled Jack tries to go straight, but soon finds himself drawn back into his old ways when his best friend Twala proposes stealing the titular sum from Twala’s father. A dark and stylish modern-day film noir with an explosive finale.

In Darkest Hollywood: Cinema & Apartheid, Pt I & II
Peter Davis, Daniel Riesenfeld, 1994

Mon Apr 16: 6:00 pm |
Using a wealth of archival footage and commentary by noted filmmakers and actors, this two-part film examines the role of cinema in both supporting and attacking Apartheid, from the depiction of South Africa in Hollywood films, to the emergence of an indigenous film industry.

Tunde Kelani, 2010

Mon Apr 16: 8:45 pm Buy Tickets |
Filmmaker in person!
Maami, and her young son Kashimawo are desperately poor. She is the center of her son’s world, yet he longs for the father he has never known, a man with a terrible secret. A deeply moving film about love, perseverance and fate.

Mama Africa
Mika Kaurismäki, 2011

Categories:Don't Miss Wed Apr 11: 7:15 pm | Fri Apr 13: 1:30 pm |
Opening night!
In person: Bass player Bill Salter (April 11) and interview subject Kathleen Cleaver (April 13).
The remarkable half-century career of music legend Miriam Makeba is the subject of this expansive documentary portrait, tracing her life from her South African roots though her international stardom and ceaseless campaigning on behalf of the world’s oppressed people. Co-presented by Okayafrica.

Monica Wangu Wamwere: The Unbroken Spirit
Jane Munene, 2011

Thu Apr 12: 2:15 pm | Sun Apr 15: 2:00 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
The mother of Kenyan human rights activist and political prisoner Koigi wa Wamwere is the subject of this rousing and deeply moving documentary focused on her indefatigable efforts to affect political change.

Outside the Law
Rachid Bouchareb, 2010

Tue Apr 17: 8:30 pm Buy Tickets |
Filmmaker in person!
From acclaimed writer-director Rachid Bouchareb (Indigenes) comes this epic story--a 2011 Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film--of three brothers who fight for Algeria’s independence from France following World War II. Co-presented by 3rd I New York.

Playing Warriors
Rumbi Katedza, 2011

Sun Apr 15: 4:00 pm |
Actresses Tendai Musoniu and Kudzai Sevenzo in person!
In this delightful Zimbabwean spin on Sex and the City, twenty-something advertising executive Nyarai is sent into a husband-seeking frenzy when she finds out that her best friend Nonto is getting married.

Andy Amadi Okoroafor, 2011

Fri Apr 13: 8:00 pm |
Centerpiece Selection! Filmmaker in person! Plus a live dance performance by Khaleah London.
A former peace-keeping soldier in Sierra Leone battles the scars of war upon his return to the throbbing megacity of Lagos in this haunting story about loneliness, love and self-discovery

Restless City
Andrew Dosunmu, 2011

Sat Apr 14: 9:30 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
Direct from its acclaimed premiere at Sundance, director Andrew Dosunmu’s kinetic debut feature tells the story of an Africa immigrant surviving on the fringes of New York City where music is his passion, life is a hustle, and falling in love is his greatest risk. Co-presented by Okayafrica.

Sderot, Last Exit
Osvalde Lewat, 2011

Fri Apr 13: 3:30 pm | Tue Apr 17: 6:00 pm |
Sderot film school co-founder Avner Raingulernt in person!
Located 2 km from the Gaza border, the film school of Sderot in the south of Israel is a microcosm of the geo-political landscape, where the issue of training is not only artistic, but clearly political and ideological. Screening with: Farewell Exile/Salam Ghourba (Lamia Alami, 2011) and Up Your Black Arse (Aurélien Bodineaux, 2011). Co-presented by the Human Rights Watch Film Festival.

The Creators
Laura Gamse, 2011

Sat Apr 14: 7:00 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
An intimate, refreshing and deeply revealing journey through the lives of several contemporary South African artists who are using their individual disciplines--graffiti, hip hop, spoken word, opera--to recraft history and the legacy of apartheid. Co-presented by Margaret Mead Film Festival.
- Screening with Stocktown X: South Africa (Teddy Goitom and Benjamin Taft, 2011)

The Education of Auma Obama
Branwen Okpako, 2011

Thu Apr 12: 6:00 pm | Mon Apr 16: 2:00 pm |
Filmmaker in person!
A captivating and intimate portrait of Barack Obama’s older half-sister, who embodies a post-colonial, feminist identity in her native Kenya.

Treasures From the Russian State Archives
Fri Apr 13: 6:00 pm |
Don’t miss this extraordinary selection of newsreels and other rare documentary material discovered in the vault’s of Russia’s national film archives. Presented by Russian filmmaker Alexander Markov.