Women behind the camera are the focus of this month’s African Diaspora International Film Festival film program to be held at Teachers College, Columbia University from Friday, March 25 to Sunday, March 27, 2016. The selection is comprised of ten films from Senegal, New Zealand, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Canada, USA and Brazil.
One of the highlights of the program is the presentation of the US Premiere screening of Mina Shum’s film “Ninth Floor.”
The history of the Caribbean is not limited to the Caribbean region. “Ninth Floor“ is a film about the Caribbean experience in Montreal, Canada. In 1969, a group of Caribbean students held a massive rally at the Sir George Williams University to protest against the institutional racism to which they were subjected. After several disastrous missteps by the university, the school’s computer department was occupied and a lengthy standoff ensued. “Ninth Floor” is a thought provoking documentary about this little known chapter in the history of race relations in Montreal, Canada and the struggle against institutional racism in institutions of Higher Education. “Ninth Floor” is screening at Teachers College, Columbia University on Saturday, March 28 @ 7:30 p.m.
Other films in the program are White Lies by Dana Rotberg and White Like the Moon by Marina Gonzales Palmier, two films that received their US theatrical release two weeks ago to great popular and critical acclaim that explore issues of identity and self-definition; the drama Stand Down Soldier (see photo above) by Jeryl Prescott Sales that tells the story of Sergeant Stacy Armstrong who returns home from three deployments suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD, a panel discussion regarding mental health, women and communities of color will follow the film screening, Sexy Money by Karin Junger about poor Nigerian women who, after deportation from Europe, try to make a life for themselves back home; Cape Verde, My Love by Ana Lucia Ramos Lisboa a drama that takes a critical look at the dynamic between Cape Verdean men and women; Nelio’s Story that depicts the life of an orphan boy in Mozambique who escapes the civil war; and Abdias Do Nascimento by Aida Marques, about the Afro-Brazilian scholar, writer, activist and politician who was a significant figure in Brazil’s Black Movement.
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Opening the series is a free program celebrating the anniversary of Senegalese pioneer filmmaker Khady Sylla who was born on March 27, 1963. Khady Sylla’s work still resonates today. She belongs to a group of African female directors whose body of work has tremendously enriched the production of African films in the past 20-30 years.
Teachers College, Columbia University, 525 West 120th Street – 263 Macy
Train 1 to 116th Street, New York, New York, www.NYADIFF.org, (212) 864-1760