Catch The Caribbean Film Series At The African Diaspora International Film Festival In Harlem

April 11, 2024

The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF), in partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs at Teachers College, Columbia University in Harlem.

They are excited to announce the ADIFF Caribbean Film Series running from April 26 to 28, 2024. The event offers a cinematic exploration of the rich and diverse cultures of the Caribbean through the presentation of classic films, premiere screenings and conversations.

The series features an impressive lineup of 12 films from across the Caribbean and its diasporas, including Cuba, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Martinique, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and the Bahamas.

Highlights include

“You Can Read, Can’t You?” by Ananta Khemradj (Surinam/Netherlands): In Surinam, where a former dictator has been elected president with the support of young voters, journalist Ananta investigates why her generation remains uninformed about the atrocities of the 1980s.

“Fortune for All” by Yao Ramesar (Trinidad & Tobago) – NY Premiere: Following the death of their brother Addo, the Fortune siblings reunite at their family’s seaside estate to mourn, while their grieving mother stays close by.

“Claude McKay” by Matthieu Vermeil (France/Jamaica/USA): Embark on a thrilling 1920s journey from Marseille to Harlem, through Jamaica, Russia, and Morocco, tracing the steps of Claude McKay, a revolutionary figure of the Harlem Renaissance and a trailblazer for black literature and advocacy.

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“Man Up” by Kwame Lestrade (Barbados) – NY Premiere:  This film explores masculinity through six relationships, touching on themes of accusation, aggression, authenticity, dating dynamics, and manipulation. It challenges and deepens viewers’ understanding of gender interactions.

“Who in Da Morning” by Phillip Williamson Jr & Johnathan Isaac Jackson (Bahamas) – NY Premiere: Junkanoo in the Bahamas is one of Caribbean’s most celebrated and spirited carnivals. This documentary follows two Junkanoo veterans – Junkanno Goddess Angelique McKay and The Genesis Warhawks – preparing for Junkanoo for the first time in 2 years after COVID.  Post-screening conversations with the directors.

The series also honors the legacies of two towering figures in Caribbean Cinema who have recently passed.

Afro-Cuban filmmaker Sergio Giral was a pivotal figure in Cuban cinema, focusing on racial issues and Afro-Cuban culture throughout his career. His film “Maluala” – part of a trilogy exploring Cuba’s slave rebellions – marked a significant contribution to Afro-Cuban cinema. The screening of “Maluala” commemorates Giral, who passed away on March 12, 2024, at the age of 87.

In memory of Menelik Shabazz, a pioneering force in Black British Cinema with Barbadian roots who passed away in 2021, the series includes “Time & Judgement,” a sci-fi/documentary that combines biblical prophecy with events across the African diaspora between 1980 and 1987. With archival footage that includes Haile Selassie, Bob Marley, Kwame Nkrumah, Maurice Bishop, Walter Rodney, Kwame Toure and Bernie Grant, this documentary illustrates Shabazz’s influential work and its enduring impact.

Other notable films in the series include “Angelica” by Marisol Gómez-Moukard, a fiction film that explores the issue of colorism and racism in Puerto Rico; “The Mali-Cuba Connection” by Edouard Salter & Richard Minier, a touching and toe-tapping musical doc that recalls a moment of cultural exchange between two socialist nations, Cuba and Mali, in the early 60s.  “Sugar Cane Malice” by Juan A Zapata, a documentary about the working conditions of Haitian workers in one of the largest sugar cane plantations in the world, located in the Dominican Republic; “Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work” by Sheikh Djemai, the portrait of Frantz Fanon, a psychiatrist, originally from Martinique, who became a spokesman for the Algerian revolution against French colonialism and “The First Rasta” by Helene Lee, about Leonard Percival Howell, also known as the Gong, who established a Rasta community of 4,500 members in Jamaica, in the 1950’s, the first agro-industrial enterprise devoted to producing marijuana.

Tickets for the series are available for purchase on the ADIFF website (, with prices ranging from $11 to $13 per screening. A special weekend pass, which includes access to all films, is available for $45. Teachers College students and staff can attend the screenings for free with a valid ID.

For more information about the festival, including the full schedule and film descriptions, please visit the ADIFF website or contact the festival organizers at

The African Diaspora International Film Festival

The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural diversity and social understanding through the power of cinema. Founded in 1993, the festival has become a leading showcase for independent films from Africa, the African diaspora and beyond, presenting a wide range of documentaries and feature films that explore the richness and complexity of the human experience of people of color all over the world.

ADIFF CARIBBEAN FILM SERIES 2024 is made possible thanks to the support of the following institutions and individuals: ArtMattan Productions; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University and the New York City Council in the Arts.,, The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Photo credit: 1-3) ADIFF.

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