African Film Festival 2019

March 2–May 10, 2019

This year’s edition of the annual festival highlights the best of both new African cinema and films of the black diaspora, including a two-film tribute to the great Bill Gunn.

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  • Borders

  • Ouaga Girls

  • I Am Not a Witch

  • Wallay

  • Upcoming
  • Past
  • Past

Past Films

  • Dear Son

    • Friday, May 10 7 PM
    Mohamed Ben Attia
    Tunisia, France, 2018

    This powerful domestic drama, coproduced by the Dardenne brothers, follows a Tunisian family before and after their son joins a jihadi group. “Remarkable for . . . its rich, calm, generous characterizations, and the compassion it evokes” (Variety).

  • The Fruitless Tree

    • Wednesday, May 1 7 PM
    Aïcha Macky
    Niger, France, 2016

    Winner of the 2016 Africa Movie Academy Awards in documentary, Macky’s personal film explores the stigma childless women, like herself, face in Niger. With Mark Freeman’s South African short dancedance/REVOLUTION.

  • Borders

    • Sunday, April 28 7 PM
    Apolline Traoré
    Burkina Faso, 2017

    Four women meet while riding buses across West African borders, en route from Dakar to Lagos, in this tale of female solidarity in the face of danger. With Visions, by Nigeria’s Surreal16 collective.

  • I Am Not a Witch

    • Saturday, April 27 5:45 PM
    Rungano Nyoni
    United Kingdom, France, 2017

    An eight-year-old girl in rural Zambia is labelled a witch in this striking work of magic realism, satire, and social commentary. “Gorgeous . . . unquestionably one of the most striking debuts of the year” (IndieWire).

    Introduction by Namwali Serpell

  • Wallay

    • Saturday, April 6 4 PM
    Berni Goldblat
    France, Burkina Faso, 2017

    A rebellious young French teen is sent to his uncle in Burkina Faso in this insightful tale of homecoming and coming of age. With Opiyo Okeyo’s short documentary Birth of Afrobeat.

  • Personal Problems

    • Thursday, March 21 7 PM
    Bill Gunn
    United States, 1980

    New Restoration

    Gunn’s black soap opera unfolds with the natural rhythm and melancholy of the blues. Conceived by Ishmael Reed, it “abounds with matchless talkers, improvisers, and scene-stealers” (Melissa Anderson, 2018 Ten Best List, Artforum).

    Ishmael Reed in Person

  • Ganja & Hess

    • Sunday, March 10 7 PM
    Bill Gunn
    United States, 1972

    New Restoration

    Gunn’s legendary fusion of vampire film and black radical cinema is “one of the most beautiful and unusual films ever produced in the United States” (Ishmael Reed). “Embodies the spirit of independent film” (Spike Lee).

  • Ouaga Girls

    • Sunday, March 3 7 PM
    Theresa Traore Dahlberg
    Sweden, Burkina Faso, France, Qatar, 2017

    This coming-of-age documentary affectionately follows a group of young women who dream of becoming auto mechanics in Ouagadougou. With Gladys Edeh’s short Mr. Gele.

  • Hyenas

    • Saturday, March 2 7 PM
    Djibril Diop Mambéty
    Switzerland, France, Senegal, 1992

    New Restoration

    A wealthy woman revisits her former village with nefarious intentions in this timeless parable about human greed and the betrayal of African independence. “A wicked tale told with wit and irony” (Village Voice).