11th African Diaspora International Film Festival CHICAGO Lineup, Dates Announced
Photo Credit: S & A

11th African Diaspora International Film Festival CHICAGO Lineup, Dates Announced


Heading to Chicago, celebrating its 11th anniversary in that city, from June 13 to 20, 14 films will be screened from 15 different countries (including the USA), including Senegalese auteur Moussa Toure’s La Pirogue, which will be making its Chicago premiere during the festival.

I’ll return with individual highlights of those films we haven’t profiled previously; but in the meantime, full details on this year’s event follow via press release below:

The Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival – Chicago (ADIFF- Chicago) will celebrate its 11th anniversary in Chicago from June 13 to June 20, 2013 with the presentation of 14 films that will transport its audiences not only to Atlanta, New Orleans, Philadelphia and New York but also to 14 different countries: Senegal, Mozambique, Algeria, Haiti, Madagascar, Switzerland, France, Venezuela, Guiana, Luxembourg, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya and Malawi.

In collaboration with the Alliance Française de Chicago, ADIFF-Chicago is proud to present the Chicago Premiere of award winning film from Senegal The Pirogue by Moussa Toure, official selection in the Un Certain Regard section of 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This powerful drama in which a group of 30 men and a woman sail to Europe in a pirogue, facing the sea and the possibility of never reaching their destination in exchange for the myth of a better life in Europe, was called by A.O. Scott of The New York Times “a remarkably clear-eyed, quietly ambitious film [that] deals with emotionally charged events matter-of-factly, rather than melodramatically.” The screening to be held on Thursday, June 13 at 6:30pm at the Alliance Française de Chicago on 810 North Dearbon Street and will be followed by a Q&A with ADIFF Co-Director Dr. Barroso-Spech and a reception.

From June 14 through June 20, the African Diaspora International Film Festival – Chicago will renew its collaboration with Facets Multimedia starting with the presentation of the Chicago Premiere of Opening Night Film African Independence, a riveting, award-winning, feature-length documentary from TZ Production Company written, directed and produced by scholar, filmmaker and PBS History Detectives host, Professor Tukufu Zuberi.

African Independence retraces the history of the independence movement throughout Africa using archival footage as well as interviews with such personalities as President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia, HonSamiaYaaba Nkrumah, daughter of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah– Ghana’s first President,President F.W. de Klerk of South Africa and many others. The screening will be preceded by an Opening Night reception at 6pm on Friday, June 14 at Facets Cinémathèque and will be followed by a Q&A with Professor Tukufu Zuberi.

Chicago based Malagasy filmmaker/actor/producer Haminiaina Ratovoarivony will present the Chicago premiere of his fiction film Legends of Madagascar, a road movie set in Madagascar that offers a fresh, young and contemporary perspective on his country. The screening at 4pm on Sunday, June 16 will be followed by a Q&A with Mr. Ratovoarivony and a catered reception.

In collaboration with the DuSable Heritage Association and the Quebec Government Office – Chicago, ADIFF -Chicago is pleased to present the Chicago premiere of Haitian film Maestro Issa Saieh by France Voltaire, a musical documentary that traces Maestro Issa’s contributions to the music scene in Haiti between 1942 and 1959. The screening to be held on Saturday, June 15 at 9PM will be preceded by a catered reception starting at 7:30pm.

Other films to be presented in the festival include Hill and Gully by New York based independent filmmaker Patrice Johnson Chevannes,an urban Cinderella story set during 2008, the historic election year of Barack Obama; award-winning French/Algerian documentary Here We Drown Algerians by Yasmina Adi about the vicious attack by French police on a peaceful march in Paris by Algerians supporting the independence of their country on October 17, 1961; Senegal/Switzerland/Luxembourg musical documentary Return to Gorée by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud which follows Senegalese musician and current Culture Minister of Senegal, Youssou N’Dour, as he recruits musicians to prepare for a concert on the Gorée Island that today symbolizes the slave trade and stands to honor its victims.

Also in the program are award-winning drama from Malawi Seasons of a Life by C. Shemu Joyah, a moving story about women who fights back using the Malawi legal system; award-winning short Swiss drama Objection VI by Rolando Colla about the life and death of an asylum seeker in Switzerland; the fascinating docu-drama set in French Guiana Aluku LibaMaroon Again by Nicolas Jolliet which follows a young maroon who leaves the mines to return to his roots and traditional lifestyle; the African drama newly released on DVD Borders by Mostefa Djadjam which is a companion piece to The Pirogue as both films focus on African immigrants travelling towards Europe looking for a better life; a multicultural, multigenerational vision and presentation of the Shakespeare play Tango McBeth by Philadelphia based independent filmmaker Nadine M. Patterson; the race film from Venezuela Mestizo by Mario Handler which follows the struggles of an emotionally tortured young man son of a white rich property owner and of a poor fisher woman; and the beautiful drama from Mozambique Nelio’s Story by Solveig Nordlund about the life and dreams of a young child soldier who escapes the war and becomes a healer.

The 11th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival-Chicago is made possible thanks to the generous support of the following institutions: Facets Cinemateque, ArtMattan Productions, The Alliance Française de Chicago, the Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University, The Dusable Heritage Association; the Quebec Government Office – Chicago and the Consulate General of Switzerland – Chicago.

The Alliance Française de Chicago is located at 810 North Dearbon Street. The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. For a full schedule and to order advance tickets online please call 773-281-4114 or 212-864-1760 or visit http://www.facets.org orhttp://www.NYADIFF.org. Tickets are $7 on Thursday, June 13 at the French Institute/Alliance Francaise, $15 for Opening Night at Facets Cinémathèque and $9 general admission at Facets Cinémathèque.

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