Pride, Determination & Resilience at the 24th Annual New York African Film Festival


The urge to reclaim stolen images and voices has been a motto for African filmmakers and artists since the 60s. Cinema has served as a megaphone for the African people to let the world know about their collective and individual struggles. As Frantz Fanon said:

Each generation must, out of relative obscurity, discover its mission, fulfill it, or betray it.

Today, filmmakers from Africa and the diaspora use creativity in its widest sense to free themselves from historical preconceptions and contemporary economic and sociopolitical constraints. Their films are characterized by formal experimentation while stressing the need to communicate powerful messages to their audiences. They offer us playful narratives where genres mix and dialogue with the arts and non-western filmic traditions subvert and surprise audience expectations. Issues such as human rights and civic duty, ecological concerns, technological interconnectedness, and ethical behavior find representation. These filmmakers show the immense possibilities of engaging in open experimentation with an engaged attitude that flees from univocal stories to map the diversity of the world.

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