Must See Films – Harlem’s 6th Annual African Diaspora International Summer Film Series

By Mico | HarlemTrends

The African Diaspora File Festival (ADFF) was created in 1993 and presents films that reflect images, life and culture from Africa and the African Diaspora to diverse audiences.  Films feature but are not limited to the work of emerging and established filmmakers of color.

“People from diverse races, nationalities and backgrounds come together to enjoy important cinematic works of creativity, intellectual expansion, identity, and equality. In this world there are no boundaries around people because they are embraced in a universal understanding of humanity. This is the element of commonality that weaves through this annual event of images from Africa and the African Diaspora.” – ADFF

This year’s festival includes a number of “must see” films highlighted below.  For more details and a complete festival schedule visit


6:30PM  Opening Reception, $20

7:30PM  Scheherazade, Tell me a Story

A surprising, engrossing and thoughtful film about modern gender politics in Egypt, Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story is a sharp observation of Egyptian society, using the classic Arabian Nights framework of a story within a story.

Directed by Yousry Nasrallah, Egypt, 2009; 134 mins. In Arabic with English subtitles

Theatrical Release! – Scheherazade also screening on Mon 8/15, Tue 8/16, Wed 8/17, Thu 8/18 at 7PM


3:30PM  Afro-Latino Music – double feature:

Sons of Benkos           

An entertaining documentary that explores the African culture of Colombia through music. The film presents the music of the “sons of Benkos,” the descendants of Benkos, one of the most important Black leaders in the fight for freedom during the time of slavery in Colombia.

Directed by Silva Lucas, 2003, Colombia/France52 mins,In Spanish with English subtitles

Susana Baca: Memoria Viva

Susana Baca is not only a champion in the performance and preservation of Afro-Peruvian heritage, but also an elegant singer whose shimmering voice sings of love, loss and life.

Directed by Mark Dixon, Peru/Belgium, 2003, 54mins, Spanish with English subtitles

6PM  Fire in Babylon    

The breathtaking story of how the West Indies triumphed over its colonial masters through the achievements of one of the most gifted teams in sporting history – the West Indian cricketers.

This is their story, told in their own words.

Directed by Stevan Riley, 2009, UK, 87 mins

8PM Scheherazade


2:00PM  Fire in Babylon

4:00PM Scheherazade


6:00PM  The Love Life of a Zombie, Presidential Candidate

NY Premiere       

A weirdly hilarious and provocative social commentary on Haiti’s corrupted politicians and resilient population, The loves of a Zombie, Presidential Candidate is FESPACO 2011’s winner of the Paul Roberson Award for the Best Diaspora Film.

Directed by Arnold Antonin, 2009, Haiti90 mins, In Creole with English subtitles

8:00PM Scheherazade


3:30PM David is Dying          

NY Premiere

A young, successful hedge fund manager has just been told that he is HIV positive. He is informed of the possibility that his unborn child could also be infected and so too the child’s mother, his long-term fiancée, Carla. a complex thriller by one of the new talented voices of Black British Cinema.

Directed by Stephen Lloyd Jackson, 2011, UK, 90 mins

5:30PM Directors on Directing

Film followed by a discussion with Woodie King and Carol Bush

A look at the development of filmmaking and its contribution to the social and political times from the perspective of Black filmmakers, featuring candied interviews with Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, Robert Townsend, Bill Duke, Fred Williamson, Melvin Van Peebles and other industry leaders.

Directed by Jamel Wade, 2009, USA, 100 mins               

8:00PM Scheherazade


1:00PM Scheherazade 

3:45PM Bouncing Cats – $20

Film followed by breakdance/hip-hop performance by Rhapsody James and Reception

The inspiring story of one man’s attempt to create a better life for the children of Uganda using the unlikely tool of hip-hop with a focus on b-boy culture and breakdance. This multiple award winning film features narration by Common and interviews with Mos Def, Will.I.Am, and K’Naan.

Directed by Nabil Elderkin, 2010, US/Uganda, 75 mins

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