Traces of Africa


As the start of the Tribeca Film Festival approaches, many New Yorkers are unaware that another film festival has already been underway.  The African Film Festival is now in the third week of a two-month fete that celebrates and presents African arts and culture in all of its various hues.  This year marks the festival’s 18th season, which not only showcases films, but also features a gallery exhibit, fashion show, Q&As with directors and actors and live performances.  The festival kicked off on April 2 with a enlightening and inspiring panel discussion with screen legend and human rights activist Harry Belafonte, crochet artist and griot Xenobia Bailey and British-Nigerian filmmaker and former BBC journalist Zina Saro-Wiwa at the Museum of Art and Design, located on 2 Columbus Circle. The festival will travel to different locations throughout New York City before it concludes on May 31. 

The United Nations has proclaimed 2011 to be the “International Year for the People of African Descent.”  While I think it is wonderful that the achievements of Africans and people of African ancestry are celebrated for a month during the year or recognized by a global institution such as the UN, I would much rather applaud the efforts of African Film Festival, Inc. who have been assiduously pushing to make sure that the filmmakers of post-colonial Africa have a voice and a venue to display their talent as well as educate the public about the multiple faces of Africa.  The African Film Festival ensures that continent of Africa remains a relevant topic for dialogue not only in the arts and culture scene, but within the global community as well.

To learn more about the African Film Festival, its mission, the films screening this year, the locations and ticket prices, click

Logo courtesy of African Film