DMV:FILM: OPENING NIGHT: New African Films Festival – THURSDAY

Afrikafe, TransAfrica Forum & AFI Present:

Event: NEW AFRICAN FILMS FESTIVAL (March 10 – March 15)
Theme: Opening Night – THE ATHLETE (ETHIOPIA)
Date: Thursday, March 10
Time: 7 PM Opening Film; 9:45 PM ARUGBA (NIGERIA)
Address: AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
8633 Colesville Rd. — Silver Spring Metro
Silver Spring, MD
Cost: Opening Night, $25, including Post-Screening Reception; All Other Films $11
Contact: Do Not RSVP

afrikafe and its partners are proud to host the seventh annual New African Films Festival featuring the vibrancy of African filmmaking from all corners of the continent. To purchase tickets online or for more info go to: Tickets reserved and purchased online must be retrieved in person at the AFI Silver box office. The same credit card used must be presented to the cashier to redeem your tickets.

OPENING NIGHT screening of THE ATHLETE (ATLETU); Thursday, March 10, 7 PM
In Person: Filmmakers Rasselas Lakew and Davey Frankel

Running the streets of Rome in 1960, an unknown, barefoot Ethiopian man stunned the world by winning Olympic gold in the marathon — the first black African to do so. But the Olympic glory was only the beginning of the fascinating life story of Abebe Bikila. Rasselas Lakew gives an outstanding performance as Bikila and co-wrote, directed and produced this inspiring, multiple award-winning biopic. Best of Fest, 2009 Edinburgh Film Festival; Lions Award, 2010 Rotterdam Film Festival; Audience Award, 2010 Bahamas; Official Selection at over 30 film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Davey Frankel, Rasselas Lakew; SCR Mikael Aemiro Awake; PROD Darryn Welch. US/Germany/Ethiopia, 2009, color, 85 min. In English and Amharic with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

Post-Screening Reception courtesy of Abol Ethiopian
Tickets $25/$20 AFI members. No passes accepted

ARUGBA; Thursday, March 10, 9:45 PM; Saturday, March 12, 4:45 PM

In this thinly veiled allegory of contemporary Nigeria, a local official rails against corruption while instituting reforms that aren’t quite working. As the town prepares to celebrate a customary ritual featuring the virginal Arugba, a young dancer begins to court the young woman. Their story unfolds against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking cleansing, rebirth and nationhood, revealing a world in which modernity and tradition exist alongside each other but seldom in equilibrium. DIR/SCR/PROD Tunde Kelani. Nigeria, 2009, color, 95 min. In Yoruba with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

AGUGU & ANDILE; Friday, March 11, 5:30 PM; Saturday, March 12, 9:15 PM; Monday, March 14, 9:05 PM

A modern take on “Romeo & Juliet,” this film examines the complex relationship between a Zulu girl, Gugu, and a Xhosa boy, Andile, who find a common bond despite their differences in a small township shortly after the repeal of apartheid. Winner of three African Movie Academy Awards. DIR/SCR Minky Schlesinger; SCR Lodi Matsetela; PROD Bridget Pickering. South Africa, 2009, color, 96 min. In Zulu and Xhosa with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

BEYOND THE OCEAN (APRES L’OCEAN); Friday, March 11, 7:30 PM; Tuesday, March 15, 9:30 PM

“Two friends from the Ivory Coast try their luck in Europe — with contrasting results — in Eliane de Latour’s raucous look at the African immigrant underclass that exists beneath the radar of European society. Fueled by the charismatic performances of its two leads, this film captures the diversity, chaos and drive of undocumented immigrant life, whether African, Caribbean or Bosnian.” –Jason Sanders, BAM/PFA. DIR/SCR Eliane de Latour. France/Cote d’Ivoire, 2008, color, 106 min. In English and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

STATE OF VIOLENCE; Friday, March 11, 9:45 PM; Monday, March 14, 7:20 PM

Bobedi has just been made CEO of a large mining company in Johannesburg. Returning home from a celebration, he and his wife, Joy, discover an intruder in their home, who attacks them and murders Joy. Frustrated by the pace of justice, Bobedi decides to personally avenge her death. The film ultimately reveals that in a country with a violent political past, issues of forgiveness and revenge are far more complex than they seem. DIR/SCR Khalo Matabane; PROD Jeremy Nathan, Michelle Wheatley. France/South Africa, 2010, color, 79 min. In English and Zulu with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

A SCREAMING MAN (UN HOMME QUI CRIE); Saturday, March 12, 7 PM; Sunday, March 13, 4:30 PM

Adam, a pool attendant, is forced to give up his job, leaving him humiliated and resentful. Meanwhile his country is in the throes of a civil war, with rebel forces attacking the government and the authorities demanding that people contribute to the “war effort” with money or volunteer work. Adam is constantly harassed for his contribution but is penniless. In a moment of weakness, Adam makes a decision that he will forever regret. Winner of the Jury Prize, 2010 Cannes Film Festival. DIR/SCR Mahamat-Saleh Haroun; PROD Florence Stern. France/Belgium/Chad, 2010, color, 92 min. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

CONGO IN FOUR ACTS; Sunday, March 13, 2:45 PM

Four penetrating cinema verité documentary shorts give harrowing insight into conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Together, these four films form a whole with respect to both style and subject matter. (Courtesy of International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam). DIR Dieudo Hamadi, Kiripi Katembo Siku, Patrick Ken Kalala, Divita Wa Lusala; PROD Steven Markovitz, Djo Tunda Wa Munga. Democratic Republic of the Congo/South Africa, 2010, color, 72 min. In French and Lingala with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

SEASONS OF A LIFE; Sunday, March 13, 6:30 PM

A couple adopt a child from an orphanage and employ a teenage helper to look after the child. Through a turn of events, the couple adopt a second child born from the illicit relationship between the father and the helper. The young woman who first agreed to the adoption of her son later wants the child back and sues for custody. This is a moving story about sexual abuse, the rights of women, the triumph of hope over despair and the enduring spirit of motherhood. (Courtesy of African Diaspora International Film Festival). DIR/SCR Charles Shemu Joyah. Malawi, 2009, color, 102 min. In English. NOT RATED.


Shot over the course of a growing season, this closely observed documentary captures the rhythms of onion-farming life in the village of Galmi, and shows how the vagaries of market prices and the harvest can affect the most intimate personal decisions. DIR Elhadj Magori Sani. France/Niger, 2008, color, 52 min. In Hausa and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

Screened With:

HOME IS WHERE YOU FIND IT; Sunday, March 13, 8:45 PM

Alcides Soares is a 16-year-old AIDS orphan, one of half a million living in Mozambique today. An American television writer and movie director gave Alcides a movie camera and taught him how to shoot; the result is a moving chronicle directed by Alcides himself. His journey to find a family and make a new life in a country that has been ravaged by AIDS is a story repeated millions of times every day throughout Africa. (Courtesy of United Nations Association Film Festival) Official Selection, 2009 AFI-Discovery Channel Silverdocs Documentary Festival. DIR Alcides Soares; PROD Neal Baer, Arthur Forney, Peter Jankowski, Dick Wolf, Chris Zalla. US/Mozambique, 2009, color, 34 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

*Network of Africans & Friends of Africa
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