The festival provides audiences with insight into the future of African film by spotlighting the filmmakers making waves on the Continent today. Hot new directors Lonesome Solo and David Tosh Gitonga bring a gritty and realistic view of street life in Africa's urban areas to their respective tales Burn It Up Djassa and Nairobi Half Life. Faouizi Bensaïdi's crime drama, Death for Sale, follows three friends as they embark upon a jewelry heist in a Moroccan port city to escape a hopeless future.
Some of Africa's biggest social issues are also tackled and highlighted in thought-provoking, controversial films. Land Rush and Fueling Poverty, to be screened jointly in their U.S. premieres, explore the sharp rise in foreign investors buying up African land and the failings of fuel subsidy management in Nigeria, respectively. Veteran filmmaker Licinio Azevedo draws on the stories of women who endured the Mozambican "re-education camps" in the 1970s for the New York premiere of Virgin Margarida, which premiered recently at the Toronto International Film Festival.
AFF will commemorate its long history of bringing the best of African film to New York audiences with the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the New York African Film Festival on Friday, April 5. The benefit gala will be held at the Macaulay Honors College directly following the 7:30 p.m. New York premiere of the special surprise screening 20th anniversary celebratory film, which will be presented by its director at the Walter Reade Theater. To purchase tickets, which are $150 and include entry to the film, call AFF at 212.352.1720.
From April 2 to 25, the Roy Furman Gallery will host EVERYDAY AFRICA, an art show that spotlights images of contemporary African life taken by smartphones from various photographers. The project is spearheaded and created by photographer Peter DiCampo and writer Austin Merrill.
All screenings will take place in the Walter Reade Theater on 165 West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam and Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, 144 West 65th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam). Tickets for New York African Film Festival screenings go on sale March 7, 2013 at the Film Society's box offices and online at www.FilmLinc.com. Single screening tickets are $13; $9 for students and seniors (62+); and $8 for Film Society members. Plus, save when you purchase tickets to three films or more with a special discount package. A three film package is $30; $24 for students and seniors (62+); and $21 for Film Society members. Visit www.FilmLinc.com for complete film festival information.
The festival continues at Columbia University's Institute of African Studies on Thursday, April 18 for a daylong, free scholarly public program, then heads to the Maysles Cinema Institute in Harlem May 2 to 5. NYAFF closes over Memorial Day Weekend May 24 to 27 at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music BAMcinématek-part of the dance and music festival DanceAfrica. For details, visit African Film Festival online at www.africanfilmny.org.