Out Of Africa: New York African Film Festival Returns For 31st Edition

The New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returns for its 31st edition, slated to be held from 8-14 May, 2024. 

This year’s theme, “Convergence of Time,” explores the intersection of historical and contemporary roles played by individuals representing Africa and its diaspora in art. With more than 50 films from over 25 countries, the festival invites audiences to delve into the convergence of archival and modern experimentalism, transcending space and time.

Speaking about the festival, Mahen Bonetti, NYAFF Founder and AFF Executive Director, said, The 31st New York African Film Festival has so much to offer in terms of honouring the origins of homegrown, beloved African and diaspora film industry, as well as celebrating their references in modern masterpieces.”

The Opening Night selection is the North American premiere of Over the Bridge, Tolu Ajayi’s feature about corruption in Lagos. It tells the story of Folarin, a successful investment banker whose company is contracted by the government to oversee a high-profile project, and who searches for answers in a remote fishing village when the project goes awry.

The Closing Night selection features the New York premiere of Dibakar Das Roy’s Dilli Dark, which shows the boundaries Nigerian MBA candidate Michael Okeke will push to succeed as he lives a double life as a student and drug dealer amidst the backdrop of India’s history of colonialism, racism, and xenophobia.

The festival will also host the North American premieres of Matthew Leutwyler’s Fight Like a Girl (depicting the true story of a young Congolese woman who finds liberation after joining an all-women’s boxing club in Goma, led by an ex-child-soldier coach) and Oyiza Adaba’s biographical documentary DELA: The Making of El Anatsui (which delves into the life of El Anatsui, the world-renowned sculptor from Ghana).

An exciting addition to this year’s festival is La Chapelle, Jean-Michel Tchissoukou’s classic feature shot in 1980s Congo, a surreal take on the relationship between Africa, Christianity, and colonialism. 

NYAFF will present an “Art & Activism” Town Hall at The Africa Center on Thursday 2 May, featuring artists Christian Nyampeta, Adama Delphine Fawundu, and Taiwo Aloba, moderated by cultural anthropologist, curator, and scholar Paulette Young.

This year’s Masterclass presented by AFF will feature veteran independent filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah, who will discuss the craft of utilising cinema as a tool for unmasking the dynamics of the socioeconomic status quo. The event takes place in the Amphitheater at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

Based in New York, the African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) is a registered nonprofit founded in 1990 as a dynamic platform dedicated to increasing exposure to African arts and culture through the screening of cinematic works made by and about the people of Africa and the African Diaspora. Its offerings include year-round programmes to provide its audiences with greater access to African films and culture.

AFF is dedicated to advancing an enhanced understanding of African culture through the moving image. It offers diverse platforms for the wide distribution of African media through its flagship annual film festival and complementary year-round programming. AFF is committed to increasing visibility and recognition for African media artists by introducing African film and culture to a broad range of audiences in the United States and abroad, bypassing economic, class and racial barriers.

The New York African film festival runs from 8th -14th May. See the full lineup of films for this year’s festival here.


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