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African Diaspora Film Series Kicks Off In NY

 NEW YORK - Thirteen films – including several World, U.S. and New York premieres – will screen during the 5th Annual African Diaspora Summer Film Series presented by the The Riverside Theatre and African Diaspora Film Festival from August 20 to August 29, 2010, at the Theatre in Morningside Heights.

                                                                

With two weekends of compelling and provocative films, an opening reception, a closing musical performance and multiple discussions with guest speakers, the 5th Annual African Diaspora Summer Film Series is expanding in scope, range and resonance.

 

“We are very proud of our line up this year,” says Reinaldo Barroso-Spech, Co-Director of the African Diaspora Film Festival. “It is the strongest we have featured so far in the ADFF Summer Series and it will provide a great entertainment value for those who like to enjoy quality art, culture and education in a cool and relaxed atmosphere.”

 

The 5th Annual African Diaspora Summer Film Series will open with the U.S. premiere of a fiction film from Trinidad & Tobago, “Happy Sad” by award winning director Dianah Wynter (Soul Food, ABC Afterschool Specials: Daddy's Girl), who will attend the screening with her lead actress. In this absorbing family drama, passions are unleashed, laying bare souls and revealing long hidden secrets when 17-year-old Mandy Graham goes to live with her father’s dysfunctional family after her mother is sent to prison.

 

Three other films exploring life in the Caribbean are classic film “Ava & Gabriel: A Love Story” from the Dutch Caribbean -- soon to be released by ArtMattan Productions with “Papa’s Song” in the 2-DVD set entitled “The Colors of Curacao;” documentary “Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker” about the life, passion and family of first Afro-Cuban woman filmmaker in Cuba, Sara Gomez; and “W.A. R. Stories: Walter Anthony Rodney,” about the life of world renowned, historian, author, Pan-African thinker and activist Dr. Walter Rodney, who was assassinated in 1980, at age 38, in his native Guyana.  The screening of “W.A.R. Stories” will be followed by a discussion with director Clairmont Chung.


Two films in the series will explore global issues that are particularly relevant today:  “Greening the Revolution” by Katie Curran is a powerful documentary that investigates today’s globalized, profit-centered food system and explores how people are fighting back all over the world against that system.  “Sweet Crude: A Film about the Niger Delta” by John Anderson, tells the story of the people of Nigeria’s Niger Delta, who have experienced for years the same natural destruction as that generated by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

 

Six of the thirteen films presented in this Summer Program were directed by women. Already mentioned are “Happy Sad” by Dianah Wynter, “Sara Gomez: An Afro-Cuban Filmmaker” by Alessandra Muller, and “Greening the Revolution” by Katie Curran.  The other films are “Hearing Radmila” by Angela Webb about the life of the first Miss Navajo of African descent; “Cape Verde: My Love” by Ana Ramos Lisboa Praïa, a fiction film that takes a critical look at the lives of women in Cape Verde; and “The Wedding Song” by Karin Albou about the life of Jews and Muslims in occupied Tunisia during World War II.

 

Also from Africa are: “Arugba,” the latest film by award winning Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani -- the ADFF 2009 Africa Channel Gala Screening selection – a film based on traditional Yoruba culture and conflict in Nigeria; and ADFF 2009 Opening Night Film “Nothing but the Truth,” by renowned actor/director John Kani, a gripping investigation into the complex dynamic between the people who remained in South Africa and risked their lives to lead the struggle against apartheid and those who returned victoriously after living in exile.

 

“Burn: The evolution of an American City” by Harold Jackson III, is a revealing documentary about the 1921 Tulsa Oklahoma Race Riot which decimated the Greenwood District of the city nationally known at the time as the “Negro Wall Street.”

 

The African Diaspora Film Festival presents an eclectic mix of foreign, independent, classic and urban films representing the global Black experience through an extraordinary range of subjects and artistic approaches. Created in 1993 in New York City, ADFF has long been delighting audiences with U.S. and world premieres of independent films, including features, documentaries, animation and shorts.

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Located at the historic Riverside Church, The Riverside Theatre, in this 50th year Anniversary, is celebrating an outstanding legacy of rich arts programming, honoring our past and those artists that have brought engaging, powerful, inspiring work to our stage.  With a vision of the arts as a unifying force that strengthens communities, the 50th Anniversary theme—From Legacy to Promise—recognizes the foundation laid and aspires to be instrumental in shaping the new voices of captivating dance, theatre and film.



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