The African Diaspora International Film Festival in New York City is back for its 24th edition from November 25 to December 11 with a total of 66 films from 30 countries including 34 US and NY Premieres. Screenings will be held in three venues in Manhattan: Teachers College, Columbia University, Cinepolis Chelsea Cinemas and MIST Harlem.
The films in ADIFF 2016 – some coming directly from important international film festivals such as Toronto, Montreal or Rotterdam – illustrate the diversification of the global film industry, from impressive epic dramas (93 days, 76) to intimate stories that will touch the audience in many ways (While We Live, Sins of the Flesh, Montreal White City).
National and international celebrities as well as award-winning filmmakers are celebrated in ADIFF this year including Zeinabu Irene Davis, Jimmy Jean Louis, Dani Kouyaté, Eugene Corr, Danny Glover, O.C. Ukeje, Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Khaled El Hagar and Darlene Jonhson.
SOME OF ADIFF 2016 HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:
Spotlight on Nigerian Cinema
Directly from TIFF comes a selection of four Nigerian films (93 days, 76, The Arbitration & Taxi Driver) by a new generation of filmmakers who both advance and challenge Nollywood with bigger budgets and greater artistic ambition. In 93 Days by Steve Gukas, Danny Glover leads a team of doctors fighting a potential Ebola outbreak in Nigeria. In historic drama 76 by Izu Ojukwu the pregnant wife of a young soldier accused of complicity in the abortive coup of 1976 helps him prove his innocence.
Aboriginal Australian filmmaker Darlene Johnson in NY for ADIFF
The Aboriginal Australian experience is at the center of Ms. Johnson’s work. She will attend the festival to present seven of her films and discuss with the audience Australia’s colonial past and how arts and culture are agents of change in the life of Australian Aboriginal people.
Jimmy Jean-Louis, an International Actor
Jimmy Jean Louis is well known for his role as the Haitian in the Heroes series. With a rich acting career domestically and internationally, Mr. Jean-Louis is a guest of the festival in his capacity of actor, producer and Ambassador at large of his native country, Haiti. Jimmy Jean-Louis will present Opening Night romantic comedy Everything But a Man by Nnegest Likké.
Also part of ADIFF 2016 Double Feature Opening Night event is Black British romantic comedy The Naked Poet by Jason Barret, a sharp, witty, sexy, deep and quite emotional exploration of the complexities of love presented from a Black male’s perspective in contemporary London.
Zeinabu Irene Davis, filmmaker of the “L.A. Rebellion”
The need to have an alternative voice is the aim of Closing Night film Spirits of Rebellion, black cinema from UCLA, a documentary that tells the story of to a small group of critically acclaimed, but relatively unknown black filmmakers who wanted to change the black film narrative in the USA.
ADIFF Gala Screening While We Live
Sweden based Burkinabe filmmaker Dany Kouyaté (Keita, The Heritage of the Griot, Sia, The Dream of the Python) will present his latest fiction film While We Live, an entertaining and thoughtful family drama that travels between Sweden and Gambia to explores issues of family dynamics and identity.
ADIFF Centerpiece Screening Gang of the French Caribbean / Le Gang des Antillais
Jean-Claude Barny, a French director originally from Guadeloupe and Trinidad & Tobago will attend the Red Carpet Centerpiece screening of his hot new crime-drama Gang of the French Caribbean.
USA/Cuban documentary Ghost Town to Havana
There is much talk about Cuba lately. However, the films coming out of this new interaction between Cuba and the USA are still limited and often plagued by clichés. Not so with Ghost Town to Havana by Eugene Corr, an incredible social commentary that explore through the game of baseball how both Cuba and the USA nurture their youths.
Sneak preview screening of TIFF 2016 selection Mali Blues
This musical documentary by Lutz Gregor follows Malian Global Pop stars Fatoumata Diawara, Bassekou Kouyaté Master Soumy and Ahmed Ag Kaedi fighting against Radical Islamists in Mali with music.
Other highlights include Khaled El Hagar’s Sins of the Flesh, a love story in the backdrop of the Egyptian Revolution; Paul Sapiano’s Driving While Black, a dark comedy about the troubles and tribulations of a young Black pizza delivery man; Death by a Thousand Cuts by Jake Kheel and Juan Mejia Botero, a suspenseful documentary that explores the tensions at the Dominican/Haitian border; the first fiction film by documentarian Jawad Rhalib Rebel / Insoumise about a young woman seeking social justice in Morocco and Belgium; the identity documentary Invisible Roots: Afro-Mexicans in Southern California by Tiffany Walton and Montreal White City by Bachir Bensaddek about an Algerian taxi driver in Montreal who picks up a former pop star whom he thought was dead.