Jim Chuchu, Afripedia and More: New York African Film Festival is Back

The New York African Film Festival is back for its 22nd annual edition. The festival will run from May 6-12 at the Lincoln Center in Manhattan and over 25 features and short films from Africa and the Diaspora will be screened. Are you excited? We sure are.

“We are thrilled by this year’s selection of films exploring the breadth and depth of the African experience both on the continent and beyond,” said Film Society of Lincoln Center Programmer Isa Cucinotta in a recent statement. “Through comedy, drama and documentary, the striving of a people on the move is vibrantly expressed. We are happy to be able to share the dreams and hard work of today’s artists.”

Featured Kenyan productions include Jim Chuchu’s newly released film “Stories of Our Lives,” which will be screened on May 11 at 4 p.m. The film is produced by the NEST Collective, a Nairobi-based arts initiative that Chuchu is the founder of, and focuses on the harsh realities of LGBTQ-life in Kenya. Chuchu will also be visiting Brooklyn in May for the 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair at Pioneer Works. Make sure to check that out as well.

Still from Jim Chuchu's "Stories of Our Lives"

Still from Jim Chuchu’s “Stories of Our Lives”

Other Kenyan productions include Teddy Goitom and Benjamin Taft’s “Afripedia” – a 28-minute short film on “Nairobi’s urban culture scene and its leading personalities and stars.” The film features familiar musical act Just a Band, visual artist Cyrus and 3D animator Andrew Kaggia and will be screened on May 9 at 6:30 p.m.

Cyrus in "Afripedia"

Cyrus in Goitom and Taft’s “Afripedia”

The festival’s centerpiece film is up-and-coming Ethiopian-Israeli director Bazi Gete’s “Red Leaves” – an 80-minute long documentary following 74-year-old Meseganio Tadel,  who emigrated from Ethiopia to Israel 28 years ago. The film centers on Tadela’s struggle to maintain his Ethiopian identity in a foreign country and will be screened on May 8 at 6:45 p.m. and on May 10 at 4:15 p.m. Both screenings will be followed by a Q&A with Gete, who himself is an Ethiopian immigrant living in Israel.


Tadela in Gete’s “Red Leaves,” which will be screened for the first time ever at this year’s festival

Tickets for the festival can be found on FilmInc. Make sure to get yours ahead of time. An amazing event like this sells out quickly.

Originally from Sweden, Chris is a journalist with an extensive interest for African culture and the arts.