The 2009 New York African Film Festival, presented under the banner â€œAfrica in Transition,â€ takes an introspective journey across the African continent with films that create a vision of Africa’s future through a deconstruction of its past.
The festival is being held April 8 – 14th, 15th, 22nd – 25th.
A centerpiece of the festival is Jihan El-Tahriâ€™s Behind The Rainbow, which probes the history of the governing African National Congress party. Director Ralph Ziman presents a new South African Scarface with his irreverent gangster movie, Jerusalema; meanwhile Triomf, by veteran director Michael Raeburn, focuses on South Africaâ€™s white poor. Rounding out the focus on South Africa is the artists collective, Filmmakers Against Racism, which produced a series of short films in response to the xenophobic incidents that rocked South Africa in 2008.
The festival also offers an introspective look at Africa through new contemporary works. It spotlights three up-and-coming female Kenyan filmmakers: Lupita Nyongâ€™o (In My Genes), Judy Kibinge (Killer Necklace), and Wanuri Kahiu (From A Whisper). Meanwhile, the 21st century reality of young African asylum seekers within Europe and Africa is explored in Area Boys and Paris Ã tout Prix. This yearâ€™s new directors join veterans across the continent in configuring a new vision of Africaâ€™s future.
Veteran filmmakers Jean-Marie Teno and Mahamat Saleh Haroun are back with films that, like those of the new generation, question the purpose and direction of African filmmaking. With Sacred Places, Teno asks African filmmakers who their audience is â€“ and who it should be. Haroun surprises us with a comedy about the Diaspora (Sex, Okra and Salted Butter), which highlights the importance of his own African audience.
This yearâ€™s festival recognizes the journey into Africaâ€™s future with coming-of-age tales L’Appel des ArÃ¨nes, Bronx Princess and Nora, which follow young people who reclaim their cultural legacies to create new opportunities. Fighting Spirit and YandÃ© Codou expand on this idea by exploring the lives of well-known historical figures who have influenced generations.
The full listing of films being shown at the festival are:
African Booty Scratcher – USA/Sierra Leone
Area Boys – Nigeria
Awaiting for Men – Senegal/Mauritania/Belgium
Azur and Asmar – France
Baraka – South Africa
Behind the Rainbow – South Africa/Egypt
Bronx Princess – USA/Ghana
The Burning Man – South Africa/Nigeria
Le Clandestin – Zaire
Come Back to Sudan – USA/Sudan
Coming of Age – Kenya
Congo My Foot – South Africa/Cameroon
The Fighting Spirit – UK/USA/Ghana
From a Whisper – Kenya
Heartlines – South Africa
The Importance of Being Elegant – UK/USA/Ghana
In My Genes – Kenya
Jerusalema – South Africa
Killer Necklace – Kenya
Kinshasa Palace – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Martine and Thandeke – South Africa
Meteni: The Lost One – Ethiopia
Munyurangabo – Rwanda
Nora – USA/UK/Mozambique
Paris Selon Moussa – Guinea/France
Paris or Nothing – Cameroon
The Prodigal Son – South Africa
Sacread Places – Cameroon/France
Sex, Okra & Salted Butter – Chad/France
Shoot the Messenger – Nigeria/UK
Siki, Ring Wrestler – USA/Senegal
This is My Africa – Nigeria/UK
Triomf – South Africa
Wrestling Grounds – Senegal/Burkina Faso/France
Yande Codou, The Griot of Senghor – Senegal