African Film Festival

January 25th, 2014 – February 24th, 2014
Pacific Film Archive Theater, Berkeley

African_Dosunmu_Mother-of-George_002This year’s edition of our annual African Film Festival includes films from Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Senegal, Kenya, and the global African diaspora.
Highlights include Jean-Pierre Bekolo’s incendiary mock documentary Le Président, Andrew Dosunmu’s vibrant American indie Mother of George, and David Tosh Gitongo’s dynamic and humorous Nairobi Half Life. And families shouldn’t miss Zarafa, an animated film from France about the journey of a young Sudanese boy and his giraffe.

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Saturday, January 25, 2014
8:30 p.m. Mother of George
Andrew Dosunmu (U.S., 2012). Jim Jarmusch regular Isaach De Bankolé and Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) star as a couple with marital problems living in Brooklyn’s tight-knit Yoruba Nigerian community. “Ravishing . . . entices us with a world of abundant sensory riches” (Film Comment). (106 mins)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
7:00 p.m. Le Président
Jean-Pierre Bekolo (Cameroon/Germany, 2013). The newest work by boundary-pushing Cameroonian filmmaker Bekolo (Quartier Mozart, Les saignantes) uses split screens, true-life interviews, and staged fictions to present a fake documentary in which a president disappears. With Nigerian Ishaya Bako’s documentary Fuelling Poverty. (93 mins)

Thursday, January 30, 2014
7:00 p.m. Burn It Up Djassa
Lonesome Solo, a.k.a. Souleymane Bamba (Ivory Coast, 2012). Cinema vérité hits the ghetto in this noir and hip-hop–fuelled snapshot of the Abidjan streets, which merges the street-level, DIY aesthetics and energy of contemporary Nollywood with the particular realities of the Ivory Coast. (70 mins)

Sunday, February 2, 2014
3:00 p.m. Zarafa
Rémi Bezançon, Jean-Christophe Lie (France/Belgium, 2012). Recommended for ages 7 & up. The supervising animator behind The Triplets of Belleville brings viewers this family-friendly animated tale that moves from Africa to Europe, following a ten-year-old boy and his best friend, the first giraffe to ever set foot in France. “A pure wonder!” (FigaroScope). (78 mins)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014
7:00 p.m. Fidaï
Damien Ounouri (France/Algeria/China/Germany/Kuwait, 2012). Jia Zhang-ke’s Xstream Pictures served as coproducer of this elegiac portrait of a seemingly ordinary grandfather, who in reality was a freedom fighter during the Algerian War of Independence against France. “A striking advance in Arabic documentary filmmaking” (Variety). (83 mins)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
7:00 p.m. Tey
Alain Gomis (Senegal, 2012). American musician/slam poet Saul Williams stars in this dreamlike fable of one man’s last day on earth, as prescribed by fate. Part Senegalese fairy tale, part existential Sartre play, Tey is “spiritual, soulful and captivating” (Hollywood Reporter). (89 mins)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014
7:00 p.m. Between Cultures: Recent African Shorts
Three award-winning portraits of African life, both on the continent and in the U.S.: Frances Bodomo’s Boneshaker (starring Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis), Akosua Adoma Owusu’s spellbinding Kwaku Ananse, and Bentley Brown’s Faisal Goes West. (72 mins)

Wednesday, February 26, 2014
7:00 p.m. Nairobi Half Life
David Tosh Gitonga (Kenya, 2012). An aspiring young actor from the Kenyan backwaters heads to Nairobi to make it big, but soon discovers why the city is nicknamed “Nairobbery.” Created through Tom Twyker’s production initiative, this “affecting, funny narrative” (Variety) is Kenya’s first-ever Oscar submission for Best Foreign Language Film. (96 mins)

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