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The African Diaspora International Film Festival and Black Spectrum Join Forces for an Early Start of ADIFF 2013

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NEW YORK, (Oct.) 2013  – One of the most prestigious Afrocentric International Film Festival in North America, The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) – conceived in 1993 by current Co-Directors Reinaldo B. Spech and Diarah N’Daw-Spech with the intention of showcasing quality national and international cinema giving a voice to people of color all over the world – and 43 year old historic Queens based Black Spectrum Theatre – conceived to stimulate social and cultural consciousness through the production and presentation of message-oriented theatre and films – are joining forces for an early start of the 21st Annual African  Diaspora International Film Festival with screenings to be held at Black Spectrum starting in October 2013 until the end of the festival on December 15.

Films from many countries including Senegal, the USA, Guyana and Canada will be featured in ADIFF 2013 at Black Spectrum on October 12, November 30, December 7 and December 14.

Filmmakers are expected to attend the festival in Queens:  Maia Wechsler, director of MELVIN & JANE, AN AMERICAN STORYwhich revisits a 40-year-old American hijacking that led two former Black Panther Party members to relocate permanently to Europe, and New York based independent filmmaker Patrice Johnson who will present her two feature films NY’S DIRTY LAUNDRY, a comedy-drama set in the weeks after 9/11, when racial paradigms are shifted and hidden prejudices are revealed in heated and often hilarious exchange between the members of two immigrant families and HILL AND GULLY an urban Cinderella love story set during 2008, the historic election year of Barack Obama.

The African Diaspora International Film Festival and Black Spectrum Theater are 501(c)(3) not for profit organizations.

ADIFF 2013 COMPLETE SCHEDULE including information about Opening Film CHASING SHAKESPEARE will be posted on this site by October 15, 2013.

The 21st Annual New York African Diaspora International Film Festival is made possible thanks to the support of the following institutions and individuals: ArtMattan Productions; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University; the New York City Council in the Arts; New York City Council Member Inez E. Dickens; the French Cultural Services; The Consulate General of Switzerland in New York; The International Organization of La Francophonie, Black Spectrum, Thalia Cinema at Symphony Space and public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.  ADIFF is a proud member of the Harlem Arts Alliance.

AFRICAN DIASPORA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL @ BLACK SPECTRUM

SATURDAY OCTOBER 19 @ 6PM – AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN PARIS PROGRAM
JOSEPHINE BAKER, A BLACK DIVA IN A WHITE MAN’S WORLD
A tender, revealing documentary about one of the most famous and popular performing artists of the 20th century. Her legendary banana belt dance created theatre history; her song “J’ai deux amours” became a classic, and her hymn. The film focuses on her life and work from a perspective that analyses images of Black people in popular culture. It portrays the artist in the mirror of European colonial clichés and presents her as a resistance fighter, an ambulance driver during WWII, and an outspoken activist against racial discrimination involved in the worldwide Black Consciousness movement of the 20th century.
Annette von Wangenheim, Germany, 2006,  45min, documentary in English/French/German with English subtitles.

MELVIN & JEAN, AN AMERICAN STORY
Melvin and Jean McNair hijacked a plane from Detroit to Algeria in 1972 with their two babies on board, they called it an act of political resistance. The hijacking was also an act of desperation committed by two people in their early twenties who saw no other way to escape what they felt was the constant state of racial oppression in America. Living in Paris forty years after the hijacking and unable to return to the U.S., Melvin and Jean are still coming to terms with their crime and its lifelong consequences. Q&A with the director after the screening.
Maia Wechsler, USA/France, 2012, 59mins, documentary  in English and French with English subtitles.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30 @ 6PM – AN EVENING WITH PATRICE JOHNSON, AN  INDEPENDENT FILMMAKER
NY’S DIRTY LAUNDRY
In the weeks after 9/11, racial  paradigms are shifted and hidden prejudices are revealed in this heated and often hilarious exchange between the members of two immigrant families
(one Afro-Caribbean and the other Arab-Muslim) who clash in a crowded Brooklyn Laundromat and in an airless NYC taxicab. With mistrust already heightened, quarters are exchanged for political conversation as these “new” New Yorkers debate what it now means to be an American.
Patrice Johnson, USA, 2007, 117 min, comedy-drama in English
Q&A with the director after screening

HILL AND GULLY
Hill and Gully is an urban Cinderella story, set during 2008, the historic election year of Barack Obama.  With palpable ‘Change’ in the air, love pursues an unhappy single mother, and her dysfunctional family who become transformed through the efforts of a psychiatrist who challenges them to speak their secret wishes and to take a chance on opening their hearts to their deepest dreams.
Directed by Patrice Johnson Chevannes, 2011, 113 min, USA, Drama, English.

Q&A with the director after screening

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 @ 6PM – CARIBBEAN HISTORY PROGRAM

ALUKU LIBA, MAROON AGAIN
Loeti has spent years away from his village in French Guiana, working in extreme conditions. When the army cracks down on illegal gold mining in the Amazon forest, he is forced to flee and must use the skills he learned as a child to survive in the forest. His only hope is to find his way home to his people and reclaim his Maroon past and culture.
Directed by Nicolas Jolliet, 2009, 90 min, Canada/French Guiana/Suriname, Documentary/Drama

CATCH A FIRE
Catch a Fire tells the story of Deacon Paul Bogle, often described as a 19th century Malcom X. 30 years after the end of slavery in Jamaica, the Morant Bay Rebellion of 1865 provoked outrage in Victorian Britain shaping race and land attitudes. The story is constructed using extensive interviews with Paul Bogle’s grand son as well as archive material.
Menelik Shabazz, UK/Jamaica/ 1995, 30min, docu-drama

Shown with GRENADA: COLONIALISM AND CONFLICT
A chronicle of the philosophical and sometimes bloody struggles Grenadians have waged against colonialism and its long-lasting psychological influences. Grenadian leaders fought against colonialism in different ways. Julian Fedon freed 100 slaves to fight the British. Eric Gairy led the poor people in a massive strike and obtained many improvements for them. Maurice Bishop led a successful coup against Eric Gairy in 1979, promising education and societal reform. History tells the tale, however, that even as Grenadian leaders have struck blows at colonialism, they have at times employed the tools of oppression taught to them by their colonial masters. Valerie Scoon, Grenada/USA, 2012, 45min, documentary in English

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14 @ 6PM  – STORIES OF SENEGAL PROGRAM

RETURN TO GOREE
A musical road movie, Return to Gorée follows Senegalese singer Youssou N’Dour’s historical journey tracing the trail left by slaves and the jazz music they created. Youssou N’Dour is performing the last concert in Gorée, the island that today symbolizes the slave trade and its victims.
Directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud, 2006, 108 min, Senegal/Switzerland/Luxembourg, Documentary, English with French and English subtitles.

THE PIROGUE 
In Moussa Toure’s powerful epic fiction film, Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head towards Europe via the Canary Island, he reluctantly accepts the job. Leading a group of 30 men and a woman who don’t all speak the same language, some of whom have never seen the sea, Baye Laye will confront many perils in order to reach the distant coasts of Europe. Directed by Moussa Toure, 2012, 87 min, Senegal/France/Germany, Drama, French and Wolof with English subtitles

WHAT:  ADIFF 2013 at Black Spectrum
WHEN:  
Saturdays, Oct. 12, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 & Dec. 14 @ 8PM

WHERE:  Black Spectrum Theatre

177th St. & Baisley Blvd.

Jamaica Queens N.Y. 11434

Call  718-723-1800 / www.Blackspectrum.com
ADIFF 212-864-17060 / www.NYADIFF.org
PRICE: 
$12 / evening

Click here to purchase tickets online

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