We are thrilled that it is once again time for the New York African Film Festival to begin dazzling audiences! Showing at the Film Society of Lincoln Center until Tuesday 09 April, programming will continue across town through the end of May. 2013 rings in the twentieth year of an increasingly diverse media programming that has integrated audience, artist and community since its inception.
This year, festival directors have decided to pay tribute to the great Ousmane Sembène, ‘Father of African Cinema’. Through film, screenwriting and literature, Sembène was a fiercely contentious voice in the ongoing fight for a decolonized French Africa, fiery and convincing in his satirical rhetoric. Two of his films dating nearly ten years apart will be featured at the festival and in doing so, the path of Sembene’s aesthetic development will be made clear: from the 16mm film negatives of Borom Sarret (1963 Senegalese release) to the widescreen aspect ratio of Guelwaar (1993). Before a full mystified audience on opening night, Sembène’s work appeared as a painterly landscape depicting something of the beauty in the Senegalese fight for cultural and political autonomy.
As a festival committed to the artistry of filmmaking, the AFF programmers have made a priority of artist’s presence; many of the screenings will be followed by filmmaker discussions and audience Q&A. This practice is in line with the NYAFF’s general interest in education in the five boroughs and the accessibility of information about the Diaspora across the globe. In addition to films, there will be panels, workshops, classes and performance events, so be sure to visit the NYAFF site for the full roster of offerings. We look forward to seeing you at the 20th annual NY African Film Festival!