African Diaspora Film Festival Continues

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For the first time, the film series will include a special event Q&A session with special guest Professor and author Oyeronke Oyewumi at 6:00pm, Saturday, May 30th

[Entertainment: Cinema]

The highly acclaimed “African Diaspora Film Festival” (ADFF) continues to spotlight the black experience with films from Africa and the African Diaspora with a spring/summer season that began with film series “Music & Soul in the African Diaspora” in March and continued with the “Caribbean Beat Film Series in April.

For the first time, the film series will include a special event Q&A session with special guest Professor and author Oyeronke Oyewumi at 6:00pm, Saturday, May 30th proceeding the screening of Yande Codou, The Griot of Senghor. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

This month, Sotigui Kouyate: A Modern Griot will kick-off the film series “Griot & Oral Tradition in Africa” film series designed to expose film-lovers to a rich culture of storytelling that many fear is rapidly becoming extinct. The series will be held at Teachers College, Columbia University, Friday, May 29, thru Sunday, May 31, 2009.

Sotigui Kouyaté, descendant of a lineage of Griots dating back to the 13th century, is able to draw from the deepest of his traditional heritage while adapting to modern times. He remains wise and humble while pursuing an extremely successful international career as actor, dancer and story teller,” said Diarah N’Daw-Spech, Co-Director of the “African Diaspora Film Festival.”

Sotigui Kouyaté called by Peter Brooks “a man with an extraordinary presence and quality” most recently won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for his role in London River during the 2009 Berlin Film Festival.

For the first time, this month’s film series will host a special event following the screening of “Yandé Codou, The Griot of Senghor” on Saturday, May 30 at 6pm. “Yandé Codou” takes an intimate look at 80 year old diva, Yande Codou Séne, one of the last great singers of polyphonic Serere poetry who has lived through the history of Senegal at the side of one of his greatest near-mythical figures, President-poet Léopold Sedar Senghor.

Following the screening will be a discussion on the history and culture of the griot with special guest author, Professor Oyeronke Oyewumi. Along with writing the award-winning book, “The Invention of Women: Making an African Sense of Western Gender Discourses,” Professor Oyewumi has garnered a number of research fellowships including the Rockefeller Fellowship, Presidential Fellowship and a Ford Foundation grant just to name a few.

Other featured films in “Griot & Oral Tradition in Africa” film series program include: “As Old as My Tongue,” “Names Live Nowhere,” and “Sia, The Myth of the Python.”

In “As Old as My Tongue,” director Andy Jones takes an intimate portrait of legendary singer Bi Kidude, a strong woman with a defiant personality that challenges the perception one has about women’s behavior in Muslim oriented societies.

In “Names Live Nowhere,” a griot (story teller) traveling from Dakar to Brussels weaves a tale about African expatriates and offers a candid look at the life of African immigrants in Belgium.

“Sia, The Myth of the Python”, Winner “Special Prize of the Jury” FESPACO 2001 and the Official Section Cannes 2001 is an epic drama about honor, corruption and power as a village becomes divided once Lieutenant Mamadi rebels when his fiancé, Sia, the most beautiful young woman in the village has been designated to make the traditional human sacrifice in order to bring back prosperity to the poverty-stricken Kombi.

The art of storytelling is the thread that weaves throughout each film. They capture an art and culture that many have long forgotten or abandoned for modernity. But there are many more that strive to keep it alive.

The African Diaspora Film Festival will continue to offer exciting film programs over the summer including the African Diaspora Film Festival Chicago, June 19 to 25, a series highlighting comedies from Africa and the African Diaspora at Teachers College, Columbia University, June 26 to 29, and the African Diaspora Film Series in Washington DC July 24 to 26.

The 17thAnnual African Diaspora Film Festival is scheduled to begin November 27 to December 13, 2009.

The African Diaspora Film Festival monthly film series and other programs enable film-lovers to experience other cultures, look deeply into the characters lives and possibly see a reflection of themselves.


For more information visit: www.nyadff.org or call 212-678-7428.

The African Diaspora Film Festival (ADFF) is an international film festival devoted to showcasing films depicting the diversity and richness of the global Black experience. ADFF features an eclectic mix of Urban, Classic, Foreign and Independent films including many World and US premieres. The festival showcases seminars with directors and actors demystifying the feature film making process.


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Film Listing & Schedule:
*Sotigui Kouyaté: A Modern Griot / Sotigui kouyaté: un griot moderne * *Chad/France, 1998, 58min, documentary, French with English Subtitles,
Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Dir. * Through testimonies by Peter Brook, Jean-Claude Carriere, Jean-Pierre Guigane, and Sotigui Kouyate himself, Sotigui Kouyate: a Modern Griot dresses the portrait of one of Africa’s greatest actors now based in Paris.

From Africa to Europe, the film unveils the multiple facets of Sotigui Kouyate, actor, musician and modern griot. Directed by award winning
director Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Dry Season/ Daratt).  *Friday, May 29 @ 6pm. Refreshments will be served.*

*Names Live Nowhere / Les Noms N’Habitent Nulle Part* *Belgium, 1994, 76 min, docu-drama in French with English subtitles, Dominique Loreau, Dir. Official selection, African Diaspora Film Festival 1996*.

In this film, whose title is a Senegalese proverb, a griot (story teller) traveling from Dakar to Brussels weaves a tale about African expatriates and offers a candid look at the life of African immigrants in Belgium.  With Sotigui Kouyate - a real life griot - as the story teller. *Saturday, May 30
@ 2pm*

*AS OLD AS MY TONGUE *
*Tanzania/UK, 90mins, 2006, documentary in English and Swahili with English subtitles, Andy Jones, Dir.* An intimate portrait of legendary singer Bi Kidude, probably the oldest singer on the world stage today. A strong woman with a defiant personality that challenges the perception one has about women’s behavior in Muslim oriented societies. *Saturday, May 30 @ 4pm & Sunday, May 31 @ 4pm*

*Sia, the Myth  of the Python / Sia, le rêve du python*

*Burkina Faso/France, 2001, 96min, Epic Drama in Bambara with English subtitles, Dani Kouyaté, Dir. Winner “Special Prize of the Jury” FESPACO 2001, Official Selection Cannes 2001.*

Kombi is a poverty-stricken city dominated by a tyrant king.  In order to bring back prosperity, the king is advised by his priests to make the traditional human sacrifice of a young virgin to a mystical snake god. Sia, the most beautiful young woman of the village, has been designated.

Lieutenant Mamadi, her fiancé, rebels against the decision to   perform this ritual, and the village becomes divided. Struggles and revelations follow as the characters confront issues of honor, corruption and power.

“A delightful, pointed fable of religious and political extremism that's extra-relevant at present” ~  Dennis Harvey – VARIETY *Sunday, May 31 @ 2pm*

*Yandé Codou, The Griot of Senghor / Yandé Codou, La Griotte de Senghor*

*Senegal, 2008, 52min, documentary in Serere and French with English subtitles,  Angèle Diabang Brener, Dir.*

Yandé Codou Sène (80 years old) is one of the last great singers of polyphonic Serere poetry. This film is an intimate looks at a diva who has
lived through the history of Senegal at the side of one of his greatest near-mythical figures, President-poet Léopold Sédar Senghor*. Saturday, May
30 @ 6pm and Sunday, May 31 @ 6pm.  Saturday screening followed by discussion with Professor Oyeronke Oyewumi and cocktail.*


Film Series Location: Teachers College Students, 525 West 120th St. New York, NY
Ticket Prices: Faculty and Staff- Free with valid TC ID, Friday, May 29 -6pm FREE Screening

Saturday, May 30 6pm Special Event Screening $12 general admission, $10 for students & seniors. All other screenings $9 general admission, $7
students & seniors. For more information visit:
www.nyadff.org or call 212-678-7428.

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