The 2013 installment of the Women of African Descent Film Festival is right around the corner - a one-day film festival that takes place TODAY, Saturday, May 4th, right here in Brooklyn, NY, at Long Island University, in the Spike Lee Screening Room (on Flatbush and Dekalb Avenues).
Included in the eclectic lineup are Little Brother: A Do Right Man by S&A writer Jasmin Tiggett and producer Nicole Franklin (this is the 3rd chapter in their Little Brother series); also Faren Humes' intriguing Nazi Germany-set Our Rhineland, Shirley Bruno's coming-of-age Haitian family tale The Things I See, Barbara Rick's documentary on an academy for exceptional girls in Kenya, Girls of Daraja, and many more gems.
I attended the festival last year, and saw a handful of impressive films from across the diaspora; and I may stop by again this year. Of course, you're strongly encouraged to attend as well!
Courtesy of the Brooklyn Arts Council, here's the full lineup of events:
1pm: Opening Remarks and Introductions
1:15pm: 12th Annual WADFF Main Program
Little Brother: A Do Right Man
Director: Jasmin Tiggett, Executive Producer: Nicole Franklin, EPIPHANY Inc. US, 2013, 15 min
The third chapter in the Little Brother series, an interactive media project dedicated to giving Black boys a unique voice. In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting and the midst of a rocky political climate, we hear from young men in the state of Florida about the relationships in their lives that are helping prepare them for adult life and the challenges ahead.
[2pm: Global Films]Our Rhineland
Director: Faren Humes, US, 2011, 17 min
In 1937, under the Third Reich, Germans of mixed race are being rounded up and rendered sterile. The looming threat is dangerously close, yet two sisters struggle over how to react - Sofia yearns to fight, while Marta says cope. Their bond must be stronger than their differences if they are to overcome the horror of the Reich.
Director: Priscilla Anany, Ghana, 2013, 20 min
Hospitals is a contemporary drama about ailing maternal health in a remote village in the Volta region of Ghana, West Africa. With four female characters, the film summarizes the plight of hundreds of women who suffer due to the absence of regulated and accessible health-care.
The Things I See
Director: Shirley Bruno, UK, 2012, 10 min
A coming-of-age story about eleven year-old Matou who pretends to need glasses in order to be "seen" by her family. The eye glasses get her some attention, however, in wearing them her focus begins to shift literally and figuratively. With them she sees blurry but internally she begins to see sharper. A snapshot portrait of a Haitian family coping with life abroad.
[3pm: New Documentaries]
Girls of Daraja.
Director: Barbara Rick, Executive Producer: Deborah Santana, US, 2012, 14 min
Celebrating the unique and powerful Daraja Academy: a free secondary school for exceptional girls in rural Kenya. Daraja and its supporters believe educated girls can transcend poverty and change the world.
Why Do You Have Black Dolls?
Director: Samantha Knowles, US, 2012, 25min
Inspired by a question asked of Knowles as a child, the film, the first of its kind, focuses on the little-known black doll community and brings heart-warming and powerful story of the history, beauty, and pride that is the black doll.
Producer: Megan Ebor, US, 2012, 25 min
A documentary about the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among ethnic minority, older adults 50+. Defying the myth that HIV/AIDS is a gay or young person's disease, this revealing documentary depicts the devastating impact of this epidemic on the heterosexual, older adult population and communities of color.
[4:45pm: Closing Shorts and Feature Presentation]
Director: Hilliard Guess, Producer: Penelope Lowder, USA, 2013, 14min
Sheila Robinson, the ever-loving devoted wife who’s at her wits end, has some big decisions to make. But unbeknownst to her oblivious husband Leonard, he won’t be a part of the decision making. Will this wacky couple’s love survive? Or will it be lost, like their dream home in... ‘4Closure’?
Directors: Natalie Paul & Terence Nance, US, 2012, 11min
Maybe all she needs is good conversation. Everything Absolutely follows a lady out on a date with a guy. Pam Grier, parents, and pesto all somehow find its way into this simple, intimate journey, about 12 minutes long
Director: Wilkie Cornelius Jr., US, 2012, 75min
A young Brooklyn writer, fearful of serious commitment, sends his longtime girlfriend ambivalent messages about the status of their future. When she distances herself from their relationship, he realizes his loss and fanatically pursues her until his life spirals out of control. This romantic drama about love and loss, examines black male vulnerability as it relates to matters of the heart
Antonia Yuille Williams