The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will celebrate its 31st anniversary from Nov. 24 to Dec. 10 with 85 narratives and documentaries from 33 countries to be presented in five different venues in Manhattan and online nationwide.
ADIFF NYC 2023 will present to the audiences in the tri-state area a diverse array of comedies, compelling dramas, and thought-provoking documentaries hailing from major film festivals including Berlinale, Cannes, Toronto, Locarno, FESPACO, Trinidad Tobago and Durban. Alongside these offerings, the festival is featuring works by both independent American and international filmmakers. As a special addition to the main event, ADIFF NYC 2023 is set to introduce a Mini Virtual Festival, showcasing a curated selection of films accessible to audiences nationwide.
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The imagination and creativity of filmmakers from the Caribbean is celebrated in ADIFF 2023.
Highlights from the Caribbean to premiere in the festival this year include Shantaye’s World by Guillaume Rico and Mathurine Emmanuel (St Lucia), a historical drama chronicling the compelling journey of a young girl from St. Lucia, who, as a young woman, finds herself in war-torn England. Following a successful tour in the UK, director Mathurine Emmanuel will be in attendance for the Gala screening of her film. Written by Jamaican-Canadian Diane De La Haye, Fab 4 & the Silent Retreat is about four Caribbean women who are at crossroads about aspects of their lives (getting engaged, late-stage pregnancy, taking care of parents, Rastafarian-converted child)…hilariously debate each friend’s dilemma and argue about how to celebrate their impending 40th birthdays. Fearless by Noella Mingo is a heartwarming documentary that features six women aged between 77 and 89. As young women they left their homes in commonwealth countries to answer post WWII Britain’s call for workers. Now, these fearless women are almost invisible to modern society, but as the film shows, they are still vibrant, engaging and full of mischievous fun.
ADIFF 2023 honors key Caribbean thinkers like Claude McKay, the Nardal sisters, Léon Damas, and Leonard Percival Howell, who shared a fervent belief in Pan-Africanism, uniting people of African descent worldwide. They steadfastly opposed colonialism, advocating for independence. Within the vibrant mosaic of Caribbean culture, they explored the complexities of Caribbean and African heritage. Their actions sparked a cultural revival, leaving an enduring legacy. Films featuring these trailblazers include The First Rasta by Hélène Lee and Christophe Farnarier, Claude McKay from Harlem to Marseille by Matthieu Verdeil, The Nardal Sisters, the Forgotten Ones of Negritude by Marie-Christine Gambart, and Léon G. Damas by Sarah Maldoror..
ADIFF 2023 brings back the pioneering works of Caribbean filmmakers who were passionate about showcasing their homeland. These films explore the rich cultures, histories, and challenges of the Caribbean. These filmmakers have not only gained international recognition but have also paved the way for the next generation of Caribbean filmmakers. The lineup includes films by Sarah Malodor from Guadeloupe with Léon G. Damas, Sergio Giral from Cuba with Maluala, Christian Lara – regarded by many as “the Father of French Antilles cinema” – withYafa, Forgiveness, Black British filmmaker Menelik Shabazz, whose roots trace back to Barbados, with The Story of Lovers Rock and Felix De Rooy, a filmmaker from Curaçao with an incisive eye and a universal reach that will have three films presented in the festival: Ava & Gabriel, a Love Story; Almacita, Soul of DesolatoandDesiree, each offering a unique perspective on Caribbean cinema.
The strong African retention in the Caribbean is explored through the films Diaspora by Dominican filmmaker Héctor Valdez, a documentary that delves into the formation of Caribbean identity through the interplay of culture, ideas, and art within the migration to and from the region. The film includes insightful interviews with figures such as Julia Alvarez, acclaimed for “In the Time of the Butterflies,” and embarks on a visual odyssey across the Atlantic – from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, to the historic isle of Goree in Dakar, Senegal. Santiago of the Women (Santiago De Las Mujeres) by Puerto Rican filmmaker Rosamary Berrios Hernández is a documentary that narrates the daily drama and the impressive devotion of Loíza women to the image of Santiago Apostle and shows cultural practices, traditions, music, dance, familial relationships, community dynamics, and spiritual beliefs that are deeply rooted in the African heritage of the island.
In 1804, Haiti’s historic revolution against French colonial rule made it the first independent, black-led nation in the Western Hemisphere. This monumental event not only transformed Haitian history but also inspired movements for liberation and self-determination globally. Haiti’s 1804 revolution holds immense significance, symbolizing empowerment, and resilience, not just for the Caribbean, but for oppressed communities worldwide. Kafe Negro, Cuba and the Haitian Revolution by Mario Delatour, Haiti is a Nation of Artists by Jacquil Constant and Ludi by Edson Jean – an exquisite drama about a young Haitian nurse in Miami looking for extra work to send money back home – are three films that celebrate Haiti’s contribution to the world.
Suriname, situated in South America, shares strong cultural and historical ties with the Caribbean. Despite its mainland location, it’s often considered part of the Caribbean due to shared experiences and cultural bonds. In ADIFF 2023, two notable films from Suriname will be featured. Aluku Liba: Maroon Again by Nicolas Jolliet is a docu-drama following Loeti, an army veteran yearning to reconnect with his roots among the Aluku people, the first Maroons of French Guiana and Suriname. InYou Can Read, Can’t You? (Je kan toch lezen…) Ananta Khemradj, a young Surinamese journalist and filmmaker, delves into the history of her country against the backdrop of a high-profile trial involving the President’s alleged involvement in political violence in 1982.
For more information about the 31st Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, please e-mail email@example.com. Festival website: www.nyadiff.org, Facebook and twitter is @nyadiff, Instagram: ny_adiff