NY African Film Festival At Maysles Cinema

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NY African Film Festival At Maysles Cinema

May 13 -15.

Isabelle Boni-Claverie, France, 2015, 52mins

Too Black to Be French?

Friday, May 13th at 7:00pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard
In 2010, offended by the racist comments against black people held by Jean Paul Guerlain on the France 2 TV news, Isabelle Boni-Claverie organized several demonstrations on the Champs Élysées, negotiated with the LVMH group and obtained a series of measures to promote diversity.
However, this incident, which she documents in the film, left her with a bad taste. How is it that today, in France, this is still happening? In response to this question, using a first-person approach, the filmmaker leads an investigation. She invokes the model story of her grandparents, an interracial couple of the 1930s. Reflecting on her upper middle-class childhood, she probes the relationship between class and race. Not without humor, in the manner of: “You know you are black when…”, she asks would-be interlocutors to testify before the camera about the exasperations that they experience. Both personal and collective, the film does not hesitate to call existing policies into question.

Q&A with Director Isabelle Boni-Claverie will follow the screening


Tchindas, Marc Serena and Pablo García Pérez de Lara, Spain/Cape Verde, 2015, 95mins
Sunday, May 15th at 8:00pm
Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard

Within a small, tropical Cape Verdean Island, the beloved Tchinda is hard at work preparing for a Carnival she hopes will capture the town’s imagination. Despite her great reputation, Tchinda remains humble and every afternoon she happily tours the neighborhood to sell her best “coxinhas”, a classic Brazilian treat: delicious fried balls of chicken. Filmmakers Marc Serena and Pablo García Pérez de Lara have crafted a lush, perceptive documentary that at times feels akin to a fairy tale. The film reveals a hidden landscape tucked far away from the world we know, where trans inclusion and teamwork make up the fundamental structure of a truly magical community and culture.

Q&A with Director Marc Serena and Tchinda Andrade will follow the screening
Watch the Trailer

Egypt's Modern Pharaohs, Jihan El-Tahri, Egypt/France/USA/Qatar, 2014, 168min. (56min. x 3 films)
Sunday, May 15th at 2:00pm
Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard


On January 25, 1952, downtown Cairo was burnt down: angry mobs demanded the departure of British colonial military rule and called for ‘bread, freedom and social justice’. Fifty-nine years later to the day, the same anger was displayed, the same slogan brandished – but this time against Egypt’s elected president. For six decades, Egypt’s post-colonial leaders forged a system that harnessed military and religious powers, struck a delicate balance in foreign relations and muzzled a complacent civil society. What led the docile Egyptians to mass revolt? How were the promising ideals of the 1952 revolution hijacked? What led to the total breakdown of social justice and political freedom? Filmmaker Jihan El-Tahri has created a masterpiece trilogy of films about former Egyptian presidents Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, aptly titled, ‘Egypt’s Modern Pharaohs’!

Q&A with Director Jihan El-Tahri will follow the screening

Watch the Trailer
Mixtress X, Daty Kaba, USA, 2005, 74mins

Saturday, May 14th at 6:00pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard

Mixtress X documents the untold story of female Hip-Hop DJs and their unique contribution to the musical form as they operate and contend with a male-dominated industry.

Q&A with Director Daty Kaba will follow the screening

Child of the Revolution, Xoliswa Sithole, Zimbabwe, 2014, 73mins

Saturday, May 14th at 4:00pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard

Xoliswa Sithole escaped Apartheid South Africa as a child and grew up amidst the freedom fighters of Zimbabwe, witnessing the euphoria of revolution. Leaving before the country descended into it’s present challenges. Now, in this powerful documentary the two- time BAFTA and Peabody winner returns to Zimbabwe to relive her story and investigate what happened to those dreams of freedom.

Q&A with Director Xoliswa Sithole will follow the screening

The Other Side of the Atlantic, Márcio Câmara and Daniele Ellery, Brazil, 2016, 90mins

(Do Outro Lado do Atlântico)

Sunday, May 15th at 6:00pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard

The Other Side of the Atlantic builds a bridge in the ocean that separates Brazil and Africa. The film tackles cultural exchanges, beliefs, prejudice and dreams built on both sides of the Atlantic through the life stories of students of African descent living in Brazil.
Faaji Agba, Remi Vaughan-Richards, Nigeria, 2015, 91mins

Saturday, May 14th at 7:45pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard
Faaji Agba is a six-year journey taken by film-maker Remi Vaughan-Richards following seven, 68-85 year old Yoruba master musicians in Lagos, Nigeria. They are forgotten by society, until Kunle Tejuoso, owner of Jazzhole Records, follows a trail to rediscover them and the 'Faaji Agba Collective' is born. Kunle's journey starts with Fatai Rolling Dollar, which leads him to others such as Alaba Pedro, SF Olowookere, Ayinde Bakare and more. Their musical styles range from highlife, juju to afrobeat. The story starts in 2009 and follows them on their journey to perform in New York in 2011 where tragedy strikes. A year later, undeterred by the setback they perform again in Lagos, although it ends up being their last. Faaji Agba interweaves the history, culture and music scene of Lagos, Nigeria from the 1940's to 2015 as their joys and tragedies unfold.

In Search of Finah Misa Kule, Kewulay Kamara, Sierra Leone, 2015, 42mins

Saturday, May 14th at 2:00pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard

Tickets available at the door
In Search of Finah Misa Kule: The Story of a People who Live by the Word chronicles the quest of poet Kewulay Kamara to reconstitute an ancient epic handed down in his family. Kamara takes us back to his native Village of Dankawali in northeast Sierra Leone where the epic was written out by his father in the 1960s only to be destroyed when the village was razed during the recent Civil War in Sierra Leone.

(Screening with Ọya: Something Happened On The Way To West Africa!)

Q&A with Director Kewulay Kamara will follow the screening

Ọya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa!, Seyi Adebanjo, Nigeria, 2015, 30mins

Saturday, May 14th at 2:00pm

Maysles Cinema • 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard

Tickets available at the door

Ọya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa! follows the journey of Oluseyi Adebanjo as a Queer Gender Non-Conforming Nigerian returning home to connect with Òrìṣà (African God/dess) tradition, and follow a trail back to the powerful legacy of their great grandmother, Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọl ya. This personal and political story vibrantly investigates the heritage of command, mythology, gender fluidity, womyn’s power and the hidden truth behind the power of indigenous Yorùbá spirituality. As they encounter obstacles of a national strike and anti-gay marriage legislation to find the roots of the practice, will they be able to find affirmation for themself as a person between genders/worlds and take on this inheritance? The documentary illuminates the lives of Òrìṣà Ọya (Warrior Goddess), Chief Moloran Ìyá Ọl ya and Seyi Adebanjo while interweaving Yorùbá mythology, poetry, performance, and expert interviews.

(Screening with In Search of Finah Misa Kule)

Q&A with Director Seyi Adebanjo will follow the screening

Click here to view the entire 2016 festival line-up.
May 1 - May 30, 2016

General Admission tickets for 2016 NYAFF screenings are now on sale.

Click the venue links below to purchase tickets.

Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAMcinematek May 26 - 30

For twenty-six years, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) has bridged the divide between post-colonial Africa and the American public through the medium of film. AFF's unique place in the international arts community is distinguished not only by leadership in festival management but by a comprehensive approach to the advocacy of African film and culture. AFF established the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) in 1993 with Film Society of Lincoln Center. The New York African Film Festival is presented annually by African Film Festival, Inc. and Film Society of Lincoln Center, in association with Brooklyn Academy of Music. AFF also produces a series of local, national, and international programs throughout the year.

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