BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez
BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

The 2016 DC African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will celebrate its 10th Anniversary from August 19 to 21, 2016 at a new venue, the GWU Marvin Center (800 21st Street NW). The weekend will feature eighteen films ‐including 12 US and DC premieres ‐that will take audiences in and out of the United States. Jamaica, Spain, Nigeria, and Brazil are some of the countries that will be featured in the selection of films to be showcased in DC ADIFF 2016.

ADIFF celebrates its 10th anniversary in Washington DC with a Double Opening Night featuring special guest, poet, playwright, activist: Sonia Sanchez. Seminal figure in the 1960s Black Arts Movement; mentor to generations of poets and hip-hop artists. Champion for peace: in the classroom, on the street, and around the world, Sonia Sanchez will participate in a Q&A following the screening of award-winning documentary BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez. Co-director Sabrina Gordon will also attend the screening. Following the Opening Night VIP Reception, Qasim Basir, writer and director or Mooz-Lum (2010) will be on hand to present his latest drama Destined (2016) which just won Best Director and Best Lead Actor at ABFF. In Destined, a pivotal moment in 13-year-old Rasheed’s life splits off into two possible outcomes: in one, he becomes an up-and-coming architect and in the other, a powerful drug lord.

The CANDOMBLE & SANTERIA Program, Closing Night program of DC ADIFF 2016, features the classic film Oggun: An Eternal Presence by Afro-Cuban director Gloria Rolando and DC Premiere Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil by Donna C. Roberts and Donna Read. In Oggun, Gloria Rolando relates the patakin or mythical story of Oggun, the tireless warrior who, enamored of his mother, decided as punishment to imprison himself in the mountains. Narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker, Yemanjá is a documentary film about the Candomblé spiritual tradition in Bahia, Brazil, a vibrant African-derived culture which evolved from slavery’s brutal past.

ADIFF DC presents the History of Resistance in The Caribbean program with films set in Haiti, Cuba and Jamaica. Toussaint Louverture by Philippe Niang is a two-part epic drama about the life story of the man who lead the first successful slave uprising that gave its independence to Haiti. Maluala by Sergio Giral takes us into a Palenque, a settlement of Maroons in Cuba, Catch a Fire by Menelik Shabbaz explores the reasons and consequences of the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 in Jamaica and The Price of Memory follows a group of Rasta men who petitioned Queen Elizabeth II for slavery reparations. Director Karen Marks Mafundikwa will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening of her film The Price of Memory.

Another highlight in DC ADIFF 2016 is the premiere presentation of award-winning documentary The Man Who Mends Women – The Wrath Of Hippocrates by Thierry Michel and Colette Braeckman, portrait of Doctor Denis Mukwege, internationally known as the man who has assisted thousands of women sexually abused during the 20 years of conflict in the East of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. There will be a Q&A after the screening.

Women stories told by women filmmakers include Stand Down Soldier by Jerryl Prescott Sales, a poignant film about an African-American female soldier back to civilian life after serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, White Lies by Dana Rotberg set in the Maori community in colonial times New Zealand, White Like the Moon by Marina Gonzales Palmier about a Mexican-American girl who struggles to keep her identity when her mother forces her to bleach her skin and Sexy Money by Karin Junger about a group of Nigerian women who return home to start a new life after living in Europe.

Thanks to the support of the Embassy of Switzerland, ADIFF DC 2016 proudly presents three short dramas that explore a multicultural and multiracial Switzerland: Discipline by Christophe M. Saber, Inland by Piet Baumgartner, and Objection VI by Rolando Colla. In Discipline, after a father disciplines his disobedient child in a grocery store, strangers become involved and a quarrel breaks out. In Inland, based on a true story, Alina is fifteen when her stepfather, a stately Nigerian, is arrested for dealing drugs and her world is turned upside-down. Objection VI reconstructs the true story of a crude process of deportation that took place in 2010 in Switzerland.

Other films in the festival include Invisible Heroes: African-Americans in the Spanish Civil War by Alfonso Domingo and Jordi Torrent about those African-Americans who were part of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain and Hogtown by Daniel Nearing, a beautifully shot murder mystery set in 1919 against the backdrop of the Chicago race riots of that year. The directors for both films will be on hand for a Q&A after the screening.

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