Monday, February 24, 2014

New African Films Festival 2014 Announces Lineup

From our friends at the AFI Silver Theatre...

10th Edition Opens with Nigeria's Half of a Yellow Sun

Festival Screens March 13-20

AFI Silver has announced the complete slate of films for its 2014 New African Films Festival, taking place March 13-20 at the historic AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. Presented by the American Film Institute, TransAfrica and afrikaf√©, the festival, now in its 10th year, showcases the year’s best in African filmmaking. This year’s selection of films includes multiple award-winners, international festival favorites, local box-office hits and debut works by promising new talents from 15 diverse nations.

The 2014 edition of the New African Films Festival opens with Nigeria’s, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN. Directed by celebrated Nigerian playwright Biyi Bandele, this epic drama brings Chimamandaa Ngozi Adichie’s powerful prize-winning novel to the big screen. Previously screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and AFIFest, HALF OF A YELLOW SUN stars Academy Award Nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 YEARS A SLAVE), Thandie Newton (CRASH) and Anika Noni Rose (DREAMGIRLS). The Opening Night celebration will take place on March 13 with a second screening on Sunday, March 16. Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be present at the screening on March 16 for a post-screening discussion and a sale and signing of her books, both “Half of a Yellow Sun” and “Americanah,” named one of 2013’s Best Books by the New York Times Book Review, among other accolades.

Chiwetel Ejiofor & Thandie Newton (r) in Half of a Yellow Sun

Other highlights of the 2014 film festival include DIFRET (Ethiopia), which recently won the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival; B FOR BOY (Nigeria), 2013 AFI Fest’s Breakthrough Audience Award Winner; Chad’s 2013 Oscar Submission GRIGRIS; SOMETHING NECESSARY (Kenya) and UNDER THE STARRY SKY (Senegal), both of which premiered at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, AYA OF YOP CITY (Ivory Coast), a humorous animated adaption of a popular graphic novel series; THE FORGOTTEN KINGDOM, the first feature film produced in Lesotho; and two family-friendly films, HORIZON BEAUTIFUL (Ethiopia) and FELIX (South Africa).

The filmmaking team of DIFRET, director and screenwriter Zeresenay Berhane Mehari and producer Mehret Mandefro, will be present for the screening of their film on March 15.

Click here for a full rundown of this year's festival.