NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY HEADQUARTERS JULY 22 – 25, 2010
FEATURES EIGHT WASHINGTON PREMIERES
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 30, 2010 – The fifth annual Washington, D.C., African Diaspora Film Festival will be held at National Geographic headquarters July 22-25, 2010. This exceptional festival will feature a selection of independent films from around the world that explore the richness and diversity of the human experience of Africa and the African Diaspora. The four-day program, presented in collaboration with the National Geographic All Roads Film Project and TransAfrica Forum, will exhibit 10 films, including eight Washington, D.C., premieres.
The Sundance Film Festival 2010 Official Selection “Freedom Riders,” by award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, will open ADFF- DC. This inspirational documentary is the first feature-length film about the courageous band of civil-rights activists who risked their lives to bring the president and the American public face to face with the challenge of correcting the civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation. Another powerful historical documentary is “Up from the Bottoms,” narrated by Cicely Tyson, which tells the story of the massive migration of African Americans from the rural South to the prosperous North during the war years and beyond.
The African continent is a reservoir of talent and creativity, and story telling is one of its great traditions. These traditions are evident in the “The African Griots Program” and the stunning documentary “Katanga Business.” “The African Griots Program” consists of two films highlighting the work, life and accomplishments of two of Africa’s greatest story tellers: Sotigui Kouyate of Mali, with the film “Sotigui Kouyaté: A Modern Griot” by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (whose latest film received the Jury Prize at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival), and Wole Soyinka of Nigeria, with the film “Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest,” by Akin Omotoso. Focusing on the diamond-rich Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, “Katanga Business” is a thriller-like documentary that offers a revealing look at the impact of globalization on Africa through the portrait of a man in a quest for economic independence in a region in turmoil.
Two new fiction films by independent African-American filmmakers will premiere at ADFF-DC. “The Harimaya Bridge,” debut feature from writer-director Aaron Woolfolk, is a poignant cross-cultural drama featuring an American and Japanese cast including Saki Takaoka, Misa Shimizu and Danny Glover. “Pro-Black Sheep,” by New York-based Clayton Broomes Jr., tells the story of Rashad, a young man with extraordinary intellectual sophistication who goes on a journey to find the voice he needs to make a difference. Broomes will participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Also having its Washington, D.C., premiere is the U.S. Latino HIV drama “Silent Shame,” by Juan Jose Frausto. Based on the life experience of Lee Bohen, this powerful film explores how she became infected with HIV. Bohen, who has survived 25 years with HIV, will also participate in a Q&A after the screening.
Two films focusing on the human experience of people from the Caribbean region will also be featured. “Black and White in Exile” is a fascinating documentary that chronicles the experiences of Cuban and Haitian exiles in the United States since the 1960s. “Made in Jamaica” is a social commentary about Jamaican society told through music and interviews with some of the best Jamaican musical artists, including Grammy Award winner Toots, Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer (Bob Marley’s brother), 2006 Grammy Award nominees Third World, Shia and Cat Core, Beres Hammond, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, Alaine Laugthon, Tanya Stephens and many more.
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. For more information about ADFF, visit www.NYADFF.org. To set up interviews with the series curators and/or filmmakers, please e-mail info@NYADFF.org or call (212) 864-1760.
The All Roads Film Project is a National Geographic Society program dedicated to providing a platform for indigenous and under-represented minority-culture storytellers around the world to showcase their works in film and photography, to promote knowledge, dialogue, and understanding with a broader, global audience. In addition to providing a venue for their films, All Roads offers its filmmakers and photographers a series of networking opportunities and awards a minimum of 10 seed grants a year to support the development and production of film and video projects by or about indigenous and under-represented minority-culture communities. Seed grant recipients are considered for inclusion in other National Geographic-affiliated broadcast outlets. The All Roads Photography Program provides photographers with award money and professional networking opportunities, and exhibits their photo-essays during the All Roads Film Festival.
TransAfrica Forum is the oldest African-American organization dedicated to improving U.S. foreign relations policy toward Africa and the African Diaspora. From its leadership role in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa and the restoration of democracy in Haiti, TransAfrica has for more than three decades expressed the voice of African descendants to the U.S. government and to American corporations.