The 2013-14 AFF, Inc. Traveling Series package consists of nine films united by the underlying theme of young African voices in the age of new technology. These films reflect a new era of filmmaking, led by the emerging generation of directors whose work represents a new direction in African cinema thanks in part to increasingly affordable, ever-improving digital technologies. These young filmmakers are using new mechanisms and platforms that are developing within Africa and the diaspora, to move toward self-sufficiency, injecting the continent and diaspora’s cinematic conversation with renewed vitality, and recreating African/African diaspora cinema in the vision of their generation, with its unique tools and experience of the continent and the diaspora. The independence that this affords these filmmakers is invaluable, and the distance that they will take this new form of storytelling is immeasurable.
ABOUT THE SERIES
Since 1995, African Film Festival, Inc. has worked to increase access to African cinema by expanding its channels of distribution. In order to make the unique experience of watching African cinema available to a wider audience, AFF programs the annual National Traveling Series that travels to cultural institutions, museums, and universities in ten to thirteen cities in the U.S. including Puerto Rico. This package includes several feature films and shorts with promotional and education materials.
Ishaya Bayoko, Nigeria, 2012, 30min.
The oil subsidy placed on petroleum products in 2012 by the Nigerian government was meant to provide a much-needed relief on the cost of living for its citizens. However it was revealed that about seven billion dollars was stolen from the Nigerian people in one year from the same program that was meant to provide relief for them. It is quite possibly one of the most daring frauds in history. FUELLING POVERTY is a documentary that expresses and articulates this fraud. With music from Femi Kuti and Asa, FUELLING POVERTY is another collaboration between the award-winning team of writer/ director, Ishaya Bako and producer, Oliver Aleogena; a joint production between The Allied Film Company and Amateur Heads Media.
FAISAL GOES WEST
Bentley Brown, USA/Sudan, 2013, 34min.
Faisal and his family join the millions who have come to America in search of a better life. Too bad they chose to do so in the midst of an economic crisis, along with cultural and linguistic barriers. It also doesn’t help when Faisal puts the family in a tough spot, when he loses the family car. In a crunch for money, Tahir (the father, who was once a lawyer in Sudan), takes up work at a local auto shop. Faisal facing the reality that he is not prepared for his dream of attending an American University, begins looking for work. His Kenyan-raised, Sudanese-American friend Adil, promises to find Faisal a job. After a journey by bus and train, the two arrive at a chicken farm. Only through trials and hardship, can Faisal learn the tough lessons necessary to gain ground in his new homeland.
Akin Okunrinboye, Nigeria/USA, 2013, 6min.
Kemi has been with Femi for five years now. She is tired of waiting, especially since the relationship does not seem to be going anywhere. She loves Femi, but she feels he is playing games. It’s the New Year, and it is time for progress. She must have progress in the relationship arena. She thinks she is going to get what she wants, but little does she know that Femi has different plans.
Sunny King, Nigeria/UK, 2013, 10min.
Two days before Lola’s dream wedding, her maid of honor Sandra stumbles on a secret that could change all of their lives forever. UNSPOKEN is a story of commitment to love and friendship in the face of societal taboos we dare not confront or speak of.
Frances Bodomo, Ghana/USA, 2013, 13min.
An African family, lost in America, travels to a Louisiana church to find a cure for their troubled child.
BURN IT UP DJASSA
Lonesome Solo, Ivory Coast, 2012, 70min.
After his parents passed away, Tony made his way by selling cigarettes on Princess Street, famous in Abidjan for its bars, dance clubs and exciting nightlife. Now 21 years old he is desperate for a way out of the ghetto. His older brother Mike has found a job on the police force, while Ange their younger sister, is learning to become a hairdresser – but she secretly moonlights as a prostitute in order make ends meet. Looking for easy money, Tony eventually turns to gambling and is dragged further down into the seedy underworld of Wassakara – until he commits a shocking crime that irrevocably changes his life. Now an outlaw, he goes on the run and is relentlessly pursued by the police, his own brother among them.
Chinonye Chukwu, USA/Nigeria, 2012, 75min.
ALASKALAND tells the story of Chukwuma, an Alaska-raised Nigerian struggling to balance his cultural heritage with the pressures of the world around him. After a family tragedy forces a two-year estrangement from his younger sister Chidinma, the siblings reconnect in their hometown. Although their time apart has created new frictions, they find their reconciliation bringing them closer to each other and to their roots in this gorgeous, knowing debut film.
Jann Turner, South Africa, 2009, 93min.
White Wedding tells the story of a road trip adventure. The loyal, committed and very decent Elvis leaves Johannesburg to pick up his best friend and best man Tumi in Durban. The two will then journey on to Cape Town to begin rehearsals for Elvis’s wedding to the beautiful Ayanda. But things don’t always go according to plan. “White Wedding” is a feel-good movie about love, commitment, intimacy and friendship and the host of maddening obstacles that can get in the way of a happy ending.