Para los amantes del cine y la cultura africana…
A couple of weeks ago, the African film festival season started in North America. Whether you are a fan or just curious, here goes a list of the events to come!
The Pan-African Film Festival (PAFF) fired the starting gun on February 9th in the mecca of cinema, Los Angeles. Until February 20th, the public was able to enjoy one of the best selections of films from Africa and its diaspora. Now in its 20th edition, it has covered a broad range of formats and styles, from short films and documentaries to features, animation, and even children’s films. More than thirty countries were represented, and while the majority of the attention is given to contemporary releases, the classics were not ignored. Beyond the big screen, there was a space for professionals dedicated to the analysis of film production and African cinema criticism as well as workshops and other special events.
We now know that the 19th edition of the New York African Film Festival will take place from April 11th to May 28th. As soon as a detailed program is released, we will let you know, but go ahead and pencil into your calendar “Walter Read Theater, Lincoln Center, April 11-17,” the time and place for the greater part of the screenings, Q&A’s with directors and specialists and other yet-to-be announced events. Keep in mind, though, there is more to AFF than the Lincoln Center: for more than a month, they will be all over New York, expanding their breadth and reaching out to new audiences, in keeping with their long-running mission of achieving the greatest possible diffusion for the works they present. The films will be announced soon, but the dates and locations are out, so take note: April 19th in Columbia University’s Institute of African Studies; May 4-5 at the Maysles Cinema Institute; and, to cap it all off, four intense days of the very best in African experimental cinema at BAM, May 25-28.
The oldest African Film Festival in North America, the Canadian Vues d’Afrique, will run from the 27th of April to the 6th of May, broadening out from its traditional seat in Montréal to Québec City and the capital, Ottawa. Only two years remain until its thirtieth anniversary, and it continues more vital than ever. What is its secret? Undoubtedly, its multidisciplinary approach, its emphasis on the links between cinema and other arts, and its willingness to promote all aspects of Africa’s cultural production. Although the program is not yet launched, rest assured that this unique platform will bring us rewarding surprises.
Beatriz Leal Riesco
You can find a revised and longer version of this article in Okayafrica.