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Catch The New York African Film Festival in Harlem and Brooklyn

The festival starts on Friday, May 17 in Harlem and will come to Brooklyn on Friday, May 24.
Mirah, After the Long Rains, Fight Like a Girl, Dynamite, and Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense.

The 31st annual New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) will run in Harlem and Brooklyn from May 17 through May 30.

Under the banner "Convergence of Time," NYAFF is celebrating over 80 films from more than 30 countries with both screenings and complimentary programming, according to a news release.

Programming at Maysles Cinema in Harlem will occur May 17 to 19; and programming at the Brooklyn Academy of Music will take place from May 24 to May 30.

The Maysles segment of the festival opens with the U.S. premiere of the Brazilian film Solange. After moving away from the city, Solange wants her things back! She returns to the city five years later to retrieve her belongings, which she left in boxes at various friends' houses. Over the course of four days, Solange has to face frayed friendships and everything she has lost or missed in the lives of the people she once loved.

Other highlights include the world premiere of the documentary feature, A Thousand and One Berber Nights by Hisham Aïdi, which explores the 1950s Moroccan young dancer and actor Hassan Ouakrim. Ouakrim, who becomes the protégé of La Mama Theatre founder Ellen Stewart, performs across America, forming friendships with the likes of jazz virtuosos Ornette Coleman and Randy Weston, and becomes a pioneer in spreading Berber dance and music in North America.

There are also two short film programs titled Giants of Africa and Beyond Space, Beyond Time that focus on celebrating the boldness of Africa and the creativity of the diaspora, while exploring themes of love, redemption, triumph and rebellion beyond modern constraints.

The festival's grand finale unfolds at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Under the banner "FilmAfrica," the festival joins forces with BAM's acclaimed DanceAfrica festival to pay homage to the rich artistry and revolutionary legacy of Cameroon. This segment promises a dynamic celebration, including the captivating Global Africa short program, a journey showcasing the diverse narratives of Africans across the globe and different epochs. 

Kicking off the festivities in Brooklyn, viewers can catch the original 1975 masterpiece Muna Moto, directed by Jean-Pierre Dikongué Pipa. Prior to the screening, viewers will be treated to The Many Moods of Muna Moto, a thought-provoking short film intertwining perspectives from director Dikongué Pipa and cinema critic-filmmaker Férid Boughérid, offering multifaceted insights into the film's essence. The weekend will feature a special guest talk with JeanPierre Dikongue-Pipa himself, the visionary Cameroonian director and writer behind Muna Moto.

A notable highlight of the evening will be the North American premiere of London Recruits, directed by Gordon Main. This compelling film chronicles the courageous endeavors of young British women and men who embarked on clandestine missions in support of the African National Congress, during the darkest days of apartheid. Produced by Jacintha de Nobrega, Robyn Slovo, Geoff Arbourne, Colin Charles, James Barrett and Felix Gill, the documentary interweaves first hand testimonies from the volunteers with interviews featuring apartheid-era operatives, alongside captivating contemporary footage.

For the complete schedule of NYAFF films and events, visit the festival website: