2013 Festival Highlights

Opening Night with Toussaint Louverture at the Hollywood Theatre

We open this year’s festival with films of the African Diaspora in the Caribbean. Filmmaker Philippe Niang will be joining us to share his action packed, epic film based on the accounts of Toussaint Louverture, highlighting his personal life, military genius, and how he led the slave rebellion that sparked the Haitian Revolution. The Jefferson Dancers will perform prior to the screening. The film is 180 minutes long, and the program begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. this year. Be sure to come early, as seating will be limited.

Visiting Women Filmmakers

Two young and vibrant women filmmakers join us this year. Penda Diakité joins us on February 28th, to share her documentary, Tanti and The Neighborhood Kids: Winter Vacation, which highlights the everyday life of five-year-old Tanti Belo and friends in a suburb of Bamako, Mali. On March 2, director Eliaichi Kimaro joins us for a special matinee of her film, A Lot Like You, which has captivated festivals around the nation. This self-reflective documentary carries us alongside the director on her personal journey in search of her African roots, the part of her complex multiracial identity that she barely knows, but which she learns to love.

Documentary Films Shine a Light on Politics and Entertainment

Thursday evenings are dedicated to documentaries. An African Election takes us behind the scenes in the 2008 Ghanaian presidential election; Rouge Parole highlights the Tunisian protests in 2010-2011; Benda Bilili! is an inspiring film about a group of entertainers from DRC; and The Education of Auma Obama reveals the motivations and successes of Barak Obama’s Kenyan half sister.

Centerpiece Film: Microphone Reveals Pre-Arab Spring Enthusiasm

The globally acclaimed and award winning feature film, Microphone, puts audiences right in the middle of a burgeoning underground art and music culture birthed in the spirit of revolution. Khaled, a patient and charismatic young man, returns to Alexandria after years abroad, only to find a vibrant culture of art waiting for a chance to be heard.

Special Matinee focus on Le Mozart Noir

As part of this year’s focus on the African Diaspora in the Caribbean, we’ve selected two films about one incredible man, Joseph Boulogne, Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745–1799). This brilliant, multi-talented young man, virtually unknown until a few years ago, was a contemporary of Mozart’s, as well as the first black general in the French Army. These films explain who he was while discussing the current artistic endeavors focused on celebrating Saint-George’s influences on18th century music, culture, and history.

Family Film Day at PCC Cascade with Baba Wagué Diakité

Family Film Day focuses on adventure films that appeal to younger audiences (ages 5 and up). In an effort to accommodate a larger audience, this year’s screening will be held at PCC Cascade. Our screening includes two films: Mwansa the Great, a short narrative about an eight-year-old Zambian boy on an adventure with his young friends; and Zarafa, a feature-length animated film from France about a giraffe called Zarafa and his 10-year-old friend Maki, on the run from slave traders.

Student Fest

On Thursday, February 21st, our double-feature matinee is programmed especially, but not exclusively, for young adults. Stocktown X: South Africa captures the creative street vibes of some emerging communities in South Africa. Inside Story introduces us to young Kalu, a soccer player who experiences the ins and outs of success and tragedy, both on and off the soccer pitch. This entertaining educational drama uses striking CGI animation to illustrate Kalu’s internal battle with the HIV virus.

Women Filmmakers Week

The final week of the Festival again coincides with Women’s History Month and features films by women directors. This year we screen films made in Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Mali, Kenya, and Ghana.