Tuesday, July 14, 2015

9th Annual DC African Diaspora International Film Festival Returns, August 21-23

Obama Mama opens the 9th annual DC ADIFF

From our friends at the ADIFF...

The 9th DC African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will hold its annual edition from August 21 to 23, 2015. The weekend will feature thirteen films - including 11 US and DC premieres - that will take audiences in and out of the United States. Angola, Cuba, France, and Argentina are some of the countries that will be featured in the selection of films to be showcased in DC ADIFF 2015.

Coming back to the Goethe‐Institut, located on 812 7th Street, NW in Washington DC, DC ADIFF will present several films of significant historical value: Obama Mama - to be introduced by director Vivian Norris - is a documentary about Stanley Ann Dunham, mother of the nation's first black president; Montreal World Film Festival official selection; Njinga, Queen of Angola is about a 17th century Queen who fought for freedom against Portuguese colonialism; Reshipment, a documentary by Afro-Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando is about the historical connection between Cubans and Haitians; Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango moves in and out of Uruguay and Argentina as it illustrates the ever present African component in Tango, Candombe, Milongon and other African based musical styles found in the Rio de la Plata region and in Candombe, musician Fernado Nunez sees himself as the heir to “candombe,” a dance and musical expression initiated by his enslaved ancestors.

Exploring a wide range of women centered stories are Opening Night film Christmas Wedding Baby, a sweet romantic comedy-drama - to be presented by director Kiara C. Jones - that celebrates the nuances of black women's character, their gentle graces, their intellectual perspectives, and their private passions; the Women in Senegal Program sponsored by the Swiss Embassy with Ken Bugul - Nobody Wants Her, a powerful documentary who leads us into the secret world of an assertive African woman artist and writer and her brave fight for freedom and acceptance and Dancing Like Home, a personal documentary exploring the realities of going back 'home' to Africa with Director Joyce Guy, whose love for African dance sets her in pursuit of finding the meanings of the traditional dances of Casamance, Senegal and whose expectations of this culturally rich region are challenged once she gets there. Director Joyce Guy and master dancers/teachers Malang Bayo and Assane Konte will be attending the screening.

Two African films will have their US premiere in DC ADIFF. Hear Me Move, South Africa’s first sbujwa dance movie, is about the son of a famous street dancer who tries to discover the truth about his father's tragic death 12 years prior. When he joins forces with his father's dance partner, he finds himself embroiled in a bitter rivalry that pushes him to his limit. Bilatena is sweet Ethiopian family film about a young energetic and imaginative boy who supports his older brother and mother by doing all kinds of small jobs with dynamism and good humor. Both the producer and director of Bilatena will be attending the screening which will be followed by a reception.

Screened at the Toronto and Venice film festival in 2000 is the epic drama Adanggaman, a provocative retelling of the African slave experience, based on facts.

Fevers, winner of FESPACO - Africa's largest film festival - 2015 grand prize, the Golden Stallion is a French version of We Need to Talk About Kevin, about a disturbed young man raised on foster care who enters his father’s Muslim household in the suburbs of Paris and becomes a major source of disruption in the family. Black (NWA) is a “Hood” film set in Montreal, Canada that chronicles the lives of four people living in a neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence, aspiring to freedom and happiness. “This gritty look at gang culture in Montreal North is incredibly timely in that, central to the drama, are the tense relations between the police and the black community. This has become a hot-button issue in recent months following a number of controversial high-profile cases of police officers in the U.S. shooting unarmed black men.” - Montreal Gazette.

The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

The 9th annual DC African Diaspora Film Festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of the following institutions: The Goethe-Institut, ArtMattan Productions, TV5 Monde, Rhythm N’ Dance and the Embassy of Switzerland. The Goethe-Institut is located 812 7th Street, NW in Washington, DC.

For a full schedule and to order advance tickets please call 212864‐1760 or visit http://www.NYADIFF.org.

August 21-23, 2015
GOETHE-INSTITUT - 812 7th Street, NW, 20001

Friday, Aug. 21st @ 6 PM     
Washington, DC Premiere
Stanley Ann Dunham was an anthropologist with a Ph.D, a lifelong traveler and the mother of the first Black president of the United States. Her intelligence, progressive politics, and activism made for a profound life—one whose inspiration continues to resonate through her son, President Barack Obama. The “largeness of her heart,” as her son describes it, is the centerpiece of this inspiring documentary. Directed by Vivian Norris, 2014, 83 min, United States/Poland/France, Documentary, English

Friday, Aug. 21st @ 8:30 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
Catered reception at 7:30pm
Christmas Wedding Baby explores the distance between the perception of happiness and actual joy. Through these three women and their eccentric mother, we question the societal definitions of success and reevaluate the roles and responsibilities of today’s woman. We also examine the depth of passion and commitment of men who are often struggling and confused in this gender non-specific landscape. There are no villains in this film, just men and women who love each other, yet somehow fail terribly at communicating their emotions. Directed by Kiara Jones, 2014, USA, Drama, 112 min., English

Saturday, Aug. 22nd @ 1 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
Fevers, winner of FESPACO - Africa's largest film festival – 2015 grand prize, the Golden Stallion is a French version of We Need to Talk About Kevin about a disturbed young man raised on foster care who enters his father’s Muslim household in the suburbs of Paris and becomes a major source of disruption in the family.  At only thirteen, Benjamin is a little soldier at war with life, adults and with himself. Since the age of five, the troubled kid goes back and forth into foster homes. But when his mother goes to jail and reveals to Benjamin the existence of his father, the young boy is determined to get out of foster care. So when the social worker gives him the choice, he decides to go live at his unknown father’s place. Directed by Hicham Ayouch, 2014, 90 min, France/Morocco, UAE, French, drama, English subtitles

Saturday, Aug. 22nd @ 2:50 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
Reshipment demonstrates that despite the discrimination suffered by the Haitians since this period, the Creole language, voodoo and other musical and dance traditions remain in the cultural landscape of Cuba.  The film also recalls the Haitian generation who garnered years of stay in Cuba and were victims of a "reshipment" as if they were damaged goods--a forced repatriation to Haiti when they were no longer needed in the sugarcane fields or coffee plantations.  As the life of Haitians in Cuba has moved between dreams and setbacks, this film is not only a fitting reminder of a oft forgotten chapter in Cuban history but a tribute to the unsung Haitian heroes who wove an important passage between two Caribbean nations. Directed by Gloria Rolando, 2014, Cuba/Haiti, Documentary, 58 min, Spanish, English subtitles

Saturday, Aug. 22nd @ 4:10 PM
BILATENA  (ብላቴና)
U.S. Premiere
Abi, a dynamic and resourceful twelve year old boy, leaves with his poor mother Degua and his 26 years old university graduate unemployed brother Zelalem (Zele).  Abi, who is a hard working boy with two jobs, supports his poor mother and his older unemployed brother through their day to day lives.  But when their mother dies of Hepatitis B and Abi is also infected by the virus, Zele must face the big challenge of supporting his own life and keeping his younger brother alive by earning the 20,000 Ethiopian birr per month needed for his brother’s medication. Directed by Knife Banbu, 2014, Ethiopia, Drama, 103 min, Amharic w/ English subtitles

Saturday, Aug. 22nd @  6:20 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
In the 17th century, a warrior woman fights for the independence of Angola. After witnessing the murder of her son and watching her people being humiliated by Portuguese colonizers, Njinga will become a Queen and struggle for the liberation of her people embodying the motto: those who stay fight to win. This epic drama is based on the real life story of Queen Anna Njinga (c. 1583 –1663), also known as Ana de Sousa Njinga Mbande, queen of the Ndongo and Matamba Kingdoms of the Mbundu people in Angola. Directed by Sergio Graciano, 2013, 109 min, Angola, Biography, Portuguese with English subtitles

Saturday, Aug. 22nd @ 8:40 PM
U.S. Premiere
Screening sponsored by
Muzi, the son of an amazing pantsula dancer goes on a journey to learn the truth about his father's death and come to terms with his own identity. Will Muzi embrace his destiny to become the man he is meant to be? Hear Me Move is a must see. For the first time ever, South Africa will see it's homegrown pantsula, sbujwa and hip-hop on the big screen. Don't miss this once in a life-time experience. Book your tickets now. Directed by Scottnes L. Smith, 2015. South Africa. Drama. 103 min. English

Sunday, August 23rd @ 1 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
BLACK is a “Hood” film set in Montreal, Canada that chronicles the lives of four people living in a neighborhood plagued by poverty and violence, aspiring to freedom and happiness. KADHAFI, a 26 year-old aspiring Algerian rapper and ex-member of a street gang, just out of prison, wants to steer clear of troubles. FLEUR, a 17 year-old Haitian mother in an abusive and passionate relationship with her daughter’s father, dreams of leaving the ghetto and becoming a nurse. SUZIE, a 20-year-old white stripper falls for a gang member. 16 year-old Haitian DICKENS wants to be part of the street gang controlled by his older brother. Directed by Yves Christian Fournier, 2015, Canada, Drama, 110 min, French/Creole with English subtitles

Sunday, August 23rd @ 3:10 PM
Set in the late 17th century, on the Western coast of Africa, “Adanggaman” is a provocative retelling of the African slave experience, based on facts. A rebellious young man, who refuses to marry his parents’ choice of a bride, flees his village one evening, only to return to find his father and girlfriend slain, his village destroyed and his mother captured by a tribe of Amazon warriors. His efforts to free his mother lead to the kingdom of Adanggaman, where captives are held before sale. Roger Gnoan M’Bala, 2000, 90mins, Ivorian, Burkinabé, French, Swiss and Italian historical drama film, Bambara, Baoulé and French with English subtitles

Sunday, August 23rd @ 5 PM
WOMEN IN SENEGAL PROGRAM Sponsored by the Swiss Embassy
Followed by Closing Reception
Washington, DC Premiere
An expressive aesthetic as rhapsodic as the written words of Bugul herself, Ken Bugul: Nobody Wants Her is a filmic ode to the brilliance of this revered Senegalese writer. Determined to set her own path in life, Ken Bugul (born Mariètou Mbaye Biléoma) left Senegal and spent 20 years living in Europe, only to feel an even deeper loneliness and alienation. She belonged neither here nor there. Encountering crushing rejection upon her return to Senegal, at her most destitute and desperate, Bugul sought refuge in her writing. Her debut novel, The Abandoned Baobab, already captured Bugul’s unique idiosyncratic style and cemented her position as a novelist. Painting a mosaic picture of Bugul’s life and times, this powerful documentary leads us into the secret world of a transgressive African woman artist and her brave fight for freedom and acceptance. Directed by Silvia Voser, 2013, 62 mins, French/Swiss documentary, French with English subtitles

Washington, DC Premiere
This is a personal documentary short exploring the realities of going back ‘home’ to Africa. It is a film about a woman whose love for African dance sets her in pursuit to find the history of the traditional dances of Casamance, Senegal but once there, her expectations are challenged. Directed by Joyce Guy, 2014, USA/Senegal, 32 min, documentary in English

Sunday, Aug. 23rd @ 7 PM
Washington, DC Premiere
More than two hundred years ago, there was an influx of slaves from Africa into Uruguay. Long after their emancipation, these individuals continued to comprise the poorest and most marginalized strata in society. Musician Fernado Nunez sees himself as the heir to “candombe,” a dance and musical expression initiated these individuals, his slave ancestors. As the far-reaching, socio-cultural legacy of of candombe has yet to be acknowledged, Fernando Nunez and his friends from the back street quarter of Montevideo have taken on the responsibility of keeping these important cultural roots alive in the consciousness of the Uruguayan people. Directed by Rafael Deugenio, 1993, Uruguay, Documentary, 16 min, Spanish w/ English subtitles

Tango Negro explores the expression of African-ness inherent in the dance of the "tango" and the contribution of African cultures to the dance's creation. Angolan director, Dom Pedro, details the dance's early cultural significance as a depiction of the social life of captured African slaves and provides an expansive compilation of musical performances and interviews from tango enthusiasts and historians alike.  Tango Negro provides a novel insight into the depth of tango's sub-Saharan African musical influence, a presence that has crossed oceans and endured the tides of forced bondage. Directed by Dom Pedro, 2013, France, Documentary, 93 min, French, Spanish, English subtitles

812 Seventh Street, NW Washington, DC, 20001

Opening Night/Gala: $20
Closing (Women in Senegal): $15
General Admission: $12
Students or Seniors: $10
Weekend Pass: $75
Early Bird Weekend Pass: $60 (until July 31, 2015)
Day Pass Saturday: $35
Day Pass Sunday: $30

Regular Shows Group Discount (10 or more): $8.50/person