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16th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) - Chicago June 8-14, 2018

Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba Poster

The Citizen is a "poignant drama" - Chicago Reader

FOREIGN BODY: French-Tunisian director-writer Raja Amari creates feminist thrillers.

ADIFF Chicago presents 19 documentary and fiction films set in The United States, Mexico, South Africa, Haiti, Barbados, Nigeria, Brazil, Malawi, Cuba and more!

"Kirikou and the Sorceress" - which celebrates its 20th anniversary - was called a "marvel for the eye and ear" by Ted Shen of the Chicago Reader. Not to be missed!”
— Diarah N'Daw-Spech - ADIFF Co-Director
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, USA, May 19, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- New York, May 14, 2018 – To celebrate its 16th Anniversary in Chicago, the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) – hosted by Facets Cinematheque and presented by ArtMattan Productionsts from June 8 to 14 – will present its most thought-provoking program to date in the Windy City. With 19 documentaries and fiction films set in The United States, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Haiti, Barbados, Nigeria, Brazil, The UK, Malawi, Cuba, Honduras, Tunisia, Hungary, the Virgin Islands and France, ADIFF Chicago will celebrate 16 years of great cinema and great talks with new films, special events and revealing stories!

FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS

Opening Night Film "Bigger Than Africa" by Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye (2018, 90min, USA, Chicago Premiere) is a fascinating documentary that follows the impact of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in the USA, Nigeria, Brazil, Republic of Benin, Trinidad & Tobago and Cuba to explore and find reasons for the survival of the Yoruba culture in the New World. Nigerian director Toyin Ibrahim Adekeye will be on hand to talk about his research in trying to understand why, of all cultures of Africa, the Yoruba culture is the one that has survived for centuries in the Americas.

"Streetlight Harmonies" by Brent Wilson (2017, 84min, USA, Chicago Premiere) is about Doo-wop and features stellar vocal harmonies sung a cappella, born on street corners in the 1950s. In Streetlight Harmonies, a who’s who of musicians trace the evolution of American pop music from doo wop and Phil Spector’s legendary ‘wall of sound’ up through Motown, surf music and the British Invasion. It’s a toe-tapping stroll down memory lane for music lovers of all ages.

In "Foreign Body" by Raja Amari, (2016, 92min, France/Tunisia, TIFF Official Selection, Chicago Premiere) a young woman (Sarra Hannachi) flees from Tunisia to France after informing on her brother, an Islamist radical. Adrift in a new country, she seizes on an opportunity to work for a glamorous widow (Hiam Abbass), and is uncertain how to respond when one of her brother's friends (Salim Kechiouche) shows a romantic interest in her.

"The Citizen" (Az Állampolgár) – Winner of the 2018 Chicago European Film Festival Audience Award for Best Film (2016, 109 min, Hungary) - is a timely narrative about a middle-aged African immigrant Wilson (first-time actor Cake-Baly, who brings breathtaking grace and nuance to the role) wanting to become a Hungarian Citizen. This touching humanist drama exposes the unwelcoming climate that greets many immigrants to Europe, as Wilson finds a sympathetic teacher and prospective lover in lonely abused wife Mari (Máhr).

Exquisite award-wining animation "Kirikou and the Sorceress" by Michel Ocelot (1998, 74min, France) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Kirikou and the Sorceress tells the tale of tiny Kirikou, born in an African village in which Karaba the Sorceress has placed a terrible curse.

Back by popular demand, "Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba" by Mika Kaurismäki (2011, 90 min, South Africa/Germany) is a powerful documentary that retraces the life, music and activism of international star Miriam Makeba, one of the first African musicians to win international stardom.

Closing Night screening of local documentary "70 Acres in Chicago: Cabrini Green" by Ronit Bezalel (2014, 53min, USA) - the story of a community displaced when their neighborhood is torn down in the name of progress - will be followed by a Q&A with the director and a reception.


THEMED PROGRAMS
The CENTERPIECE screening of MULTICULTURAL SHORTS "The Exception and the Rule" by Joel Zito Araujo about an Afro-Brazilian who won a discrimination lawsuit against his employer in 1992; "Jimmy Jean-Louis Visits Tijuana" by Todd Kellstein which follows Haitian actor and activist Jimmy Jean-Louis visiting Haitian immigrants in Mexico & "Scattered Africa" by Sheila Walker a documentary about scholars focusing on issues related to the African Diaspora. The screenings will be followed by a discussion with Dr. Sheila Walker, Ph.D, cultural anthropologist, filmmaker and Executive Director of Afrodiaspora, Inc. who will talk about the history and concept of the African Diaspora as presented in the films. The program will close with a reception.

THE AFRO-LATINO PROGRAM includes two films. "Revolutionary Medicine" by Jesse Freeston & Beth Geglia is an inspiring documentary that shows how a hospital’s alternative health model is not only transforming communities on Honduras’ Northern Coast, but also standing as an alternative to an increasingly privatized national health system. "The Invisible Color: Black Is More Than a Color" by veteran Afro-Cuban filmmaker Sergio Giral investigates the black Cuban exile community in South Florida, since the first wave of political refugees in the 1959 revolutionary aftermath, to today.


OTHER FILMS
Sponsored by the Dusable Heritage Association is the special screening of "When the Drum is Beating" by Whitney Dow that celebrates the resilience of one Haitian band that has seen it all: Septentrional. For six decades this 20 piece band has been making passionate, beautiful music — a fusion of Cuban big band and Haitian voodoo beats — through dictatorships, natural disasters, coup d’etats and chaos, navigating the ups and downs, the glory and the tragedy that is Haiti’s history. The screening will be followed by a reception.

"Timeless" by Ed La Borde, Jr. is a love story that transcends time from 19th Century Ghana to the modern day Caribbean. It explores the idea that hurricanes are really the souls of people that suffered in the “Middle Passage.” It is a story that highlights history and promotes the culture of the Virgin Islands with rich imagery and complex subject matter through unexpected twists and turns. The director will be in attendance to participate in a discussion after the screening.

The 16th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival-Chicago is made possible thanks to the generous support of the following institutions: Facets Cinemateque, ArtMattan Productions, the Center for Black Diaspora at DePaul University, Spotlight Cinema Networks, the Alliance Network and The Dusable Heritage Association. The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

Venue, complete line-up and tickets at http://nyadiff.org/adiffchicago2018/

Diarah N'Daw-Spech
African Diaspora International Film Festival
2128641760
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Mama Africa: Miriam Makeba Trailer

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