The fall film festival beat marches on as the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), here in New York City, announces its 2012 dates, and expected highlights; we're looking forward to seeing what this year's lineup of films looks like, especially in celebration of the festival's 20th year - one of the oldest and most regarded diaspora film festivals in the country, if not the world.
20 years might not seem like a long time, but other than FESPACO in Ouagadougou, which was created in 1969, I'd say that most of the black film festivals we all know today (especially those here in the USA) were created in the last 20 years or less.
But that's a post that I'm working on - taking a look at black film festivals over the years.
In the meantime, here's a summary of what you can expect from this year's African Diaspora International Film Festival, via press release:
New York, September 18, 2012 - One of the most prestigious Afrocentric International Film Festival in North America, The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), was conceived in 1993 by current Co-Directors Reinaldo B. Spech and Diarah N'Daw-Spech with the intention of showcasing quality national and international cinema giving a voice to people of color all over the world.
Described by film critic Armond White as "a festival that symbolizes diaspora as more than just anthropology," ADIFF has managed to increase the presence of independent Afrocentric films from all over the world in the general American specialty movie scene by launching films such as The Tracker by Rolf de Heer (Australia), Kirikou and the Sorceress by Michel Ocelot (France), Gospel Hill by Giancarlo Esposito (USA), Darrat/Dry Season by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad), The First Rasta by Helene Lee (France/Jamaica), The Story of Lovers Rock by Menelik Shabazz (UK) and Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story by Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt), among others.
Attracting a wider cross-section of cinephiles and audiences of African-American, Caribbean, African, Latino and European ethnic backgrounds that share a common interest for good stories about the human experience of people of color, ADIFF is now a national and international event with festivals held in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, Paris, France and Geneva, Switzerland.
For its 20th New York City edition to be held in Manhattan from November 23 to December 9, ADIFF brings the US premiere presentation of the latest crop of short films promoted by the National Film Commission of Namibia, a body dedicated to supporting emerging filmmakers and fostering filmmaking in Namibia.
While the Namibia film industry is still small, new talents will be readily recognized while watching the work to be showcased during the upcoming Night in Namibia event, notably short film Dead River, a deep, moving historical drama about the daughter of a furiously bigot Namibian land owner who returns from exile to Namibia after many years in Germany where she founded a new family.
To mark 20 years of work, ADIFF will bring back some of the festival's critically and publicly acclaimed discoveries under the "Gems of ADIFF" program.
Other ADIFF 2012 highlights will include a spotlight on Senegal and the Women Indies Night premiere presentation of inspiring life after sex-slavery documentary film Survivor to be presented by Actress, Director and Survivor Brook Bello along with International Black Women's Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI) President Barbara Perkins.