Saturday, May 15, 2010

Letter from the NYC African Film Festival

Sylvie Bello
Cameroon American Council Thursday, May 13th, 2010
Washington, DC 20001

Dear Ms. Bello,

On behalf of African Film Festival, Inc., I would like to welcome you and the members and guests of the Cameroon Professional Society and the Cameroon American Council for the Saturday, May 15th presentation of 17th Annual New York African Film Festival at New Museum. Presented under the banner theme, Independent Africa, this year's festival is co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and commenced at Walter Reade Theater April 7th -13th, 2010 which spotlight 17 African Nations, as they observe 50 years of independence from colonial rule. These nations include: Cameroon, Togo, Mali, Senegal, Madagascar, DR Congo, Somalia, Benin, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Chad, Central African Republic, Congo, Gabon, Nigeria and Mauritania — with a nod to the upcoming World Cup in South Africa!
Since the Lincoln Center component of the festival in April, the festival screenings have also been held in collaboration with Columbia University for a one-day screening series and panel discussion and Creative Time for an evening film screening and discussion. The film presentation at the New Museum is the fourth in a series of partnered programs presented during this year’s festival and will celebrate the technical innovation that contribute to a new level of independence in African cinema. Each film in the series not only reveals the experimental and creative elements of contemporary African cinema, but also pays special attention to the distinct aesthetics of the African camera.
Given the theme this year's festival theme of Independent Africa and the focus on the World Cup, it seems fitting to not only welcome you, but also congratulate Cameroon on its 50th anniversary of Independence, as well as Cameroon’s soccer team's qualification for the World Cup. In light of these two significant events, it is very fitting and an honor to have members and guests of the Cameroon Professional Society and the Cameroon American Council in attendance at our program.

Contained in this document is the schedule for the Saturday, May 15th program, for your review. We hope you enjoy the selection and we look forward to meeting everyone after the screening.

Kind regards,
Toccarra Thomas
Program Coordinator


Sun, May 15, 2:00 p.m.
New Museum Theater
Special Engagement

You Chuse
Dir. Anita Khanna and Rehad Desai, South Africa, 2008, 50 min
You Chuse is a documentary on the role of new media democracy movements in Africa. Using innovative remixing and reworking of various media sources, the film looks at wide-ranging initiatives from the open-source software movement and the use of such technology in the fight against AIDS in Malawi, to organizations like the Creative Commons and the attempt to bring a nuanced argument to debates around piracy and intellectual property. The documentary is an exploration of the problems and solutions to the ever-broadening digital divide between rich and poor nations in the information age.

Bon Voyage Sim
Dir. Moustapha Alassane, Niger, 1966, 5 min
This 1966 animation presents a charming narrative of the politician frog Sim, president of the “Toad Republic” and the wonders of traveling to foreign countries during his presidential trip.

Adieu Sim
Dir. Moustapha Alassane, Niger, 2001, 5 min
Revisiting his film from the mid-1960s, Moustapha Alassane is able to employ a new cinematic technique and develop an alternate ending to what was censored during the colonial period.

The Toad Who Visits His In-Laws/Le Crapoud Chez Ses Beaux-Parents
Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1990, 8 min
Rooted in the oral tale recounted by the Tetela in Sankuru, Democratic Republic of Congo, this story explains how it came to be that the fox ate the chicken, the chicken ate the termite, the termite ate the stick, and the stick ate the toad.

Black September in Kinshasa/Kinshasa, Septembre Noir
Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1991, 7 min
An animated documentary about children’s drawings of the military pillaging that hit their community in September 1991, this short uses limited animated techniques interspersing the children’s drawings with drawings from Kibushi himself.

Prince Loseno/L’Heritier
Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004, 30 min
Seeking to fulfill his role as leader, King Ngolo is troubled by the infertility of his three wives. This story follows his search for a solution to the problem.

The Colonial Friend/L’Ami Ya Bon
Dir. Rachid Bouchareb, Algeria/France, 2004, 9 min
In 1940, France went to war against Germany and announced not only the mobilization of its territory, but also of its colonies. Senegalese family man Aby enlists in the army, distinguishes himself in battle, and is captured. But when he returns to his country, the French army refuses to pay him for his services. This beautifully animated film records the 1944 incident in which Senegalese veterans were gunned down after demanding payment for their military service.

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