African Independence

The Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival – Chicago (ADIFF- Chicago) will celebrate its 11th anniversary in Chicago from June 13 to June 20, 2013. The festival will kick off with the Chicago Premiere of Opening Night Film African Independence, written, directed and produced by scholar, filmmaker and PBS History Detectives host, Professor Tukufu Zuberi. 

African Independence retraces the history of the independence movement throughout Africa using archival footage as well as interviews with such personalities as President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, Hon. SamiaYaaba Nkrumah, daughter of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah- Ghana’s first President,President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa and many others. 

ADIFF-Chicago will also screen the Chicago Premiere of award winning film from Senegal The Pirogue by Moussa Toure, an official selection in the Un Certain Regard section of 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This powerful drama in which a group of 30 men and a woman sail to Europe in a pirogue, facing the sea and the possibility of never reaching their destination in exchange for the myth of a better life in Europe. 

Chicago based Malagasy filmmaker/actor/producer Haminiaina Ratovoarivony will present the Chicago premiere of his fiction film Legends of Madagascar , a road movie set in Madagascar that offers a fresh, young and contemporary perspective on his country.  The festival will also screen the Chicago premiere of Haitian film Maestro Issa Saieh by France Voltaire, a musical documentary that traces Maestro Issa’s contributions to the music scene in Haiti between 1942 and 1959.

Hill and Gully

Other films to be presented in the festival include Hill and Gully (pictured above) by New York based independent filmmaker Patrice Johnson Chevannes, an urban Cinderella story set during 2008, the historic election year of Barack Obama; award-winning French/Algerian documentary Here We Drown Algerians by Yasmina Adi about the vicious attack by French police on a peaceful march in Paris by Algerians supporting the independence of their country on October 17, 1961; Senegal/Switzerland/Luxembourg musical documentary Return to Gorée by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud which follows Senegalese musician and current Culture Minister of Senegal, Youssou N’Dour, as he recruits musicians to prepare for a concert on the Gorée Island that today symbolizes the slave trade and stands to honor its victims.

Also in the program are award-winning drama from Malawi Seasons of a Life by C. Shemu Joyah, a moving story about women who fights back using the Malawi legal system; award-winning short Swiss drama Objection VI by Rolando Colla about the life and death of an asylum seeker in Switzerland; the fascinating docu-drama set in French Guiana Aluku Liba, Maroon Again by Nicolas Jolliet which follows a young maroon who leaves the mines to return to his roots and traditional lifestyle; the African drama newly released on DVD Borders by Mostefa Djadjam which is a companion piece to The Pirogue as both films focus on African immigrants travelling towards Europe looking for a better life; a multicultural, multigenerational vision and presentation of the Shakespeare play Tango McBeth by Philadelphia based independent filmmaker Nadine M. Patterson; the race film from Venezuela Mestizo by Mario Handler which follows the struggles of an emotionally tortured young man son of a white rich property owner and of a poor fisher woman; and the beautiful drama from Mozambique Nelio’s Story by Solveig Nordlund about the life and dreams of a young child soldier who escapes the war and becomes a healer.

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