The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) opened its 26th season in New York City this past Friday, November 23rd, with a screening of “Timeless: A Virgin Islands Love Story,” the story of a 19th-entury Ghanaian warrior and her soulmate, separated by the slave trade, whose souls reunite in the contemporary U.S. Virgin Islands.
Over the next two weeks, ADIFF NY will screen a total of 61 films from 40 countries including 27 world, U.S. and New York premieres, with many showings taking place at Teachers College in Cowin Conference Center, Milbank Chapel and 179 Grace Dodge (click here for a full schedule of ADIFF 2018 films).
Among this year’s highlights are:
- “Kofi Annan's Suspended Dream,” by Vasselin Pascal (France, Ghana, USA, 2018, 52mins). An exclusive interview with the late UN Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
- “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland,” by Davis Helibroner and Kate Davis (USA, 2018 105mins.) An investigation into what happened to activist Sandra Bland, who died in police custody after a routine traffic stop.
- “Harlem Legacy,” by Shushana Dubreil and Genesis Tuyuc (World Premiere, USA, 2018, 26mins). A film that follows two middle schoolers from P.S 161 Pedro Albizu Campos Middle School, who defy both academic barriers and racial stereotypes through the “rigorous academic sport of debate”.
- “A Day for Women” (“Youm Lel Setat”), by Kamla Abu Zeki (Egypt, 2016, 110mins). A new swimming pool opens in a poor Cairo district, with the announcement that Sundays are reserved for women.
- “Minga and the Broken Spoon,” by Clay Edou (Cameroun, 2017, 80mins). A charming animation for the entire family, this African fable tells the story of Minga, an orphaned girl living with her stepmother Mami Kaba and her stepsister Abena.
- “Black Mexicans/La Negrada,” by Jorge Perez Solano (Mexico, 2017, 100mins). The first Mexican feature film about the Afro-Mexican community, filmed entirely with people from different towns around the Costa Chica in Oaxaca.
The festival concludes on Sunday December 9th with a showing of “Muslimah’s Guide to Marriage,” a comedy of manners about a twenty-something African-American orthodox Muslim woman living in California who has seven days and fourteen hours left in her Iddah (Muslim separation) before she will officially be divorced from her cheating husband.
ADIFF was founded and is run by the husband-and-wife team of former TC faculty member Reinaldo Spech and former TC budget director Diarah N’Daw-Spech, and is co-sponsored, along with many other organizations, by TC’s Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs. In addition to Teachers College, other venues for ADIFF 2018 screenings include Cinema Village, Riverside Church, The Dwyer Cultural Center and MIST Harlem).
The film critic Armond White calls ADIFF “a festival that symbolizes diaspora as more than just anthropology.”
Described by film critic Armond White as “a festival that symbolizes diaspora as more than just anthropology,” ADIFF – now a national and international event with festivals held in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and Paris, France -- has increased the presence of independent Afrocentric films from all over the world. An eclectic mix of foreign, independent, classic and urban films representing the global black experience, the festival’s mission is to “present these films to diverse audiences, redesign the Black cinema experience, and strengthen the role of African and African-descent directors in contemporary world cinema."
Some titles come directly from important national and international film festivals such as Sundance, the Tribeca Film Festival, the Pan African Film Festival, FESPACO, Cannes, Slamdance and Berlinale.
For more information about the 26th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at (212) 864-1760/ fax (212) 316-6020, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or visit the festival web site: www.nyadiff.org.