This year, African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of its National Traveling Series. This year’s National Traveling Series is comprised of eight films presented under the theme of “International Decade of People of African Descent.”
The films represent a unique opportunity to examine the ways in which people of African descent have broken through borders with films and narratives, that form part of the global imagination. Likewise, the use of technology to help usher in the many cultural and social movements taking place on the continent is spotlighted in this edition of the National Traveling Series.
The series was started in 195, due to the demand for African films across the country. AFF travels to 10 to 13 cultural institutions, museums, and universities in the U.S. and some Caribbean nations to showcase African cinema to its diverse audience. The Traveling Series program consists of several feature and short films, including promotional and educational materials.
HEAD GONE by DARE FASASI, NIGERIA/SWEDEN, 2014, 111min.
In English & Pidgin with English subtitles
Due to a road mishap, a bus driver loses a group of psychiatric patients on the way to a federal hospital. To cover up the mistake, he and a nurse pick up unsuspecting commuters to substitute the patients and the plot thickens as the new passengers must try to prove their sanity in a psychiatric institution, while the escapees try to adjust to a new environment. This allegorical comedy of errors features some of Nigeria’s biggest names including Innocent “2Face” Idibia, Alleluya “Alibaba” Akporobomerere, Bright “Basketmouth” Okpoucha, and more.
THE LONGEST KISS (A jamais, pour toujours) by ALEXANDRA SICOTTE-LEVESQUE, SUDAN, 2013, 72min
In English & Arabic with English subtitles
The film follows six young Sudanese searching for a place to call ‘home’ as their journeys take us up and down the Nile, between north and south Sudan, ahead of the south’s secession. For the first time, a film gives a voice to Sudanese youth from different origins, Muslims and Christians. It is an intimate portrait of a complex society that bears witness to its inevitable fragmentation.
RED LEAVES (Alim Adumim) by BAZI GETE, ISRAEL, 2014, 80min.
In Hebrew and Amharic with English subtitles
Meseganio Tadela, 74, immigrated to Israel from Ethiopia 28 years ago with his family. He has chosen to zealously retain his culture, talks very little, and hardly speaks Hebrew. After losing his wife, Meseganio sets out on a journey that leads him through his children’s homes. He comes to realize that he belongs to a rapidly disappearing class that believes in retaining Ethiopian culture. As this harsh reality begins to hit him, he struggles to survive according to his own rules.
AFRIPEDIA: GHANA by TEDDY GOITOM, BENJAMIN TAFT AND SENAY BERHE, GHANA/KENYA/SWEDEN, 2014, 28min.
The whispers among connoisseurs talk about Accra as the next big hotspot for African cultural production, and Afripedia: Ghana suggests they’re not wrong. Meet outspoken and androgynous music star Wiyaala and exciting trick-bikers Bikelordz whose BMX skills and flamboyant style have taken neighborhoods by storm. Visual artist Afrogallonism puts on extraordinary outdoor performances to highlight environmental issues.
TEDDY GOITOM, BENJAMIN TAFT AND SENAY BERHE, GHANA/KENYA/SWEDEN, 2014, 28min.
Take an intimate look at Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars. Meet 3D-artist Andrew Kaggia, creator of a 3D-animated political short film, taking you to his futuristic vision of Nairobi and proving that disability is never inability. Afro-futuristic pop band and DIY-enthusiasts Just a Band redefine music videos, and visual artist Cyrus introduces us to his remarkable collection created solely with found materials.
CHOLO by MUZNA ALMUSAFER, OMAN, 2014 21min.
In Swahili with English subtitles
The dark-skinned, 11-year-old Cholo meets his fair-skinned younger stepbrother, Abdullah for the first time when their father Said arrives in Muscat. Although strikingly different, the boys have great chemistry. Cholo is a young boy full of imagination and a great love for nature and life. However, jealousy, competitiveness, and curiosity arise between the two, as they go through a journey of self-discovery.
PANIC BUTTON by LIBBY DOUGHERTY, SOUTH AFRICA, 2014, 25min.
From the moment that Tshepo, a security guard, breaks through Jenny’s multi-locked door to save her, she feels as if she’s been swept off her feet. But as Jenny imagines herself falling in love with him, an unhealthy, delusional obsession begins to take shape.
THE PROPHECY by MARCIA JUZGA, SENEGAL, 2015, 20min.
In French & Wolof with English subtitles
Concerned about the environmental issues that Senegal is facing, photographer Fabrice Monteiro, in collaboration with the designer “Jah Gal,” created The Prophecy. The objective of this photographic project is to raise global awareness of the environment by combining art, culture, fashion, and tradition. The essence of each site photographed is characterized by a Jinn — supernatural genies omnipresent in African cultures — merging with its environment. Marcia Juzga’s film is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Monteiro’s project.