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The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival

From February 19 – 24, 2010, BAMcinématek will present The Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival, an event spotlighting the diversity of filmmaking in Africa and throughout the African Diaspora. The Festival presents an eclectic mix of urban, classic, independent and foreign films that depict the richness and diversity of the life experience of people of African descent and indigenous people all over the world.
 
This year’s festival brings together films from countries including Nigeria, Jamaica, South Africa, Bolivia, Cuba, Senegal, Martinique, Egypt, and the United States. The ADFF’s mission is to present these films to diverse audiences, redesign the Black cinema experience, and strengthen the role of African and African descent directors in contemporary world cinema.

Films include:

Amilcar Cabral (2001) 
Directed by Ana Ramos Lisboa
Cape Verde/Portugal
52min, in Portuguese with English subtitles. 
This documentary probes the life story of the revolutionary giant Amilcar Cabral, assassinated in Conakry in 1973, through rare archival footage, testimonies from important African figures, and the credible recreation of notable episodes of Cabral's life.

Frantz Fanon: His Life, His Struggle, His Work (Frantz Fanon: Sa Vie, Son Combat, Son Travail) (2001) 
Directed by Cheikh Djemai 
52min,
Martinique/France/Algeria/Tunisia, in French with English subtitles.
Frantz Fanon was a psychiatrist from Martinique who became a radical spokesman for the Algerian revolution. This documentary traces the life of one of the great thinkers of the 20th century.

Arugba (2008) 
Directed by Tunde Kelani
97min,
Nigeria, in Yoruba with English subtitles. 
The latest from Nigerian filmmaker Kelani (Abeni) is a political satire of contemporary Nigeria. Set against the backdrop of a corrupt society seeking rebirth, the film presents a world in which modernity and tradition exist alongside each other but seldom in equilibrium.

Black Nation (2009) 
Directed by Mats Hjelm
60mins, Sweden/U.S.
This look at the state of black manhood in America is seen through the prism of the streets of Detroit, MI, and its controversial Church of the Black Madonna. Swedish filmmaker Mats Hjelm draws on his deep personal connection to the church and the city to explore the racial, cultural, and political ramifications of a "black male genocide"—all within the context of the decomposition of a once proud city.

Blues March - Soldier Jon Hendricks (2009) 
Directed by Malte Rauch
78min
U.S./Germany
During World War II, 22-year-old Jon Hendricks, along with 900,000 other black GIs, fought wars on two fronts: one against the Nazis and another against racial discrimination. This documentary tells the story of Hendricks, later a world-renowned jazz musician, who deserted the army along with many other African Americans because of discrimination and harassment.

With A Stroke of the Chaveta (Con el toque de la chaveta) (2007) 
Directed by Pam Sporn
28min.
U.S., in Spanish with English subtitles. 
This documentary reveals the tradition of lectores, or readers, which was an integral part of the world of Cuban cigar makers from the 1800s to today.

Solidarity in Saya: An Afro-Bolivian Music Movement (2009) 
Directed by Maya Jensen
30min,
Bolivia, in Spanish with English subtitles. 
Through music and interviews with Afro-Bolivian economist Juan AngolaMaconde and others, this documentary explores the little known minority of Afro-Bolivian rural villagers in La Paz and the African-based music they use as a cultural tool of resistance.
 
Glorious Exit (2008) 
Directed by Kevin Merz 
75min, Nigeria/U.S./Switzerland, in English and German with English subtitles. 
A Swiss-Nigerian actor living in Los Angeles is summoned to Nigeria to bury his father. According to Nigerian tradition, the first-born is in charge of a father's burial. Although Jarreth accepts the responsibility, he struggles with the idea of being morally bound towards a family that he hardly knows and who has never been particularly interested in him.

Visibly Invisible (2008) 
Directed by Kurt Orderson
57min, Norway/South Africa
Promoting awareness about African culture, history, and identity in Norway, Afrikan History Week
represents the 50,000 strong African community living in that country. This documentary showcases their main activity, a platform for critical reflection on African cultural forms.

Making History (2008) 
Directed by Caecilia Tripp, Karen D McKinnon
10min
U.S/U.K.
This film mixes real time conversation between Linton Kwesi Johnson, considered the father of dub (reggae) poetry, and Nobel Prize nominee Edouard Glissant, one of the most important Caribbean writers of the last half-century, with a fictional narrative about a young woman cruising through night-time New York.

Anomaly (2009) 
Directed by Jessica Chen Drammeh
United States
47min.
This thought-provoking look at this country's multiracial identity uses spoken word and music to tell stories of navigating a complex racial landscape.

The Journey of the Lion (1992) 
Directed by Fritz Baumannz
Jamaica/Germany
90min
Brother Howie is a Jamaican Rastafarian who dreams of the land of his ancestors: Africa. On a journey in search of his roots and his identity he travels through three continents and—with great humor and sensitivity—discovers not only Africa, but the entire world.

Made In Jamaica (2006) 
Directed by Jerome Laperrousaz
110min,
Jamaica/France
This documentary explores the multifaceted reality of reggae and dancehall music through interviews and musical performances with artists like Gregory Isaacs, Bounty Killer, Toots & the Maytals, Vybz Kartel, Sly & Robbie, Elephant Man, Bunny Wailer, Lady Saw, Third World, Beres Hammond, Tanya Stephens and more.

Nothing but the Truth (2008) 
Directed by John Kani
South Africa
118min.
This drama explores the complex relationship between black South Africans who risked their lives in the struggle against apartheid and those who returned victorious after living in exile.

Pro-Black Sheep (2009) 
Directed by Clayton Broomes Jr. 
U.S.
109min,
When Rashad, a young man with an extraordinary intellect, is discovered sending anonymous emails criticizing black leaders for undermining the progress of black America, the leader who makes the discovery hires Rashad, setting him on a journey to find the voice he needs to make a difference. 

Stolen Kisses (Kobolat Masroka) (2009) 
Directed by Khaled El Hagar
Egypt,120min, in Arabic with English subtitles. 35mm
This portrayal of nine Egyptians in their 20s creates a picture of modern Cairo by focusing on family conflicts, unemployment, sexual frustration, prostitution, and violence—themes which are rarely touched upon in Egypt.

Up from the Bottoms: The Search for the American Dream (2009) 
Directed by James Schaub
U.S. 58min.
Cicely Tyson narrates this documentary about the massive migration of African Americans from the rural South to the prosperous North during the World War II years and beyond. The film also features civil rights activist, comedian, and author Dick Gregory and the scholar of Black Americana studies, Dr. Ben Wilson.

When The City Bites (Quand la ville mord) (2009) 
Directed by Dominique Cabrera
France
60min, in French with English subtitles
When Sara and her cousin arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport from Brazzaville, they are soon put to work in a prostitution ring. When Omar, the pimp, kills Sara’s cousin in a brutal beating, Sara decides to take matters into her own hands.

Youssou N'dour: Return to Gorée (2006) 
Directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud 
Switzerland/ Luxembourg/ Senegal
108min, in English and French with English subtitles. 35mm
Youssou N’Dour, the Senegalese singer, gives a jazz concert on the island of Gorée to commemorate those who started their journey in life as slaves in the New World and created one of the most important and celebrated musical expressions in the world.
 
Tickets: $12 per screening for adults; $9 for seniors (65 and over),  
$9 for children (ages five to eleven), and $9 for students (25 and under with valid I.D.) 
Monday–Thursday, except holidays; $8 BAM Cinema Club members
Tickets available by phone at 718.777.FILM
 
For more information visit: www.nyadff.org

Best of the African Diaspora Film Festival
Feb. 19 – 24, 2010
BAM Rose Cinemas
30 Lafayette Avenue
Brookylyn, NY 11217

Dance On Camera NY

The Film Society of Lincoln Center presents the 38th annual Dance on Camera film series running January 29-February 2, 2010 at the Walter Reade Theater in New York City, co-presented by Dance Films Association.

Special guests from the world of dance include the legendary Marge Champion and Donald Saddler, as well as Murray Louis, Phyllis Lamhut, Anne Bass, Claudia Gitelman, Mimi Garrard and Robert Johnson.

The highlight is an All Day Event: Celebrating Choreographer Alwin Nikolais.

An innovator in love with movement, Alwin Nikolais astonished the world of dance with his dazzling multimedia performances in the 1960s and ’70s. This unique program celebrates the beloved “Nik” with special guests, tribute films from former dancers turned choreographers, a documentary portrait of Nikolais and his muse/collaborator Murray Louis, and rare interviews.

The film series includes such offerings as:

Breath Made Visible - introduced by director Ruedi Gerber, who creates a stunning, inspiring account of one of the most important cultural icons in modern dance, Anna Halprin.

Dancing Across Borders - Anne Bass makes her directorial debut with this intimate and ultimately triumphant portrait of a young life in transition. On a trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia in 2000, Bass came across a supremely talented young man dancing a traditional temple dance. Struck by his grace and charm, she offered him the opportunity of a lifetime to follow a dream he could not have imagined - studying classical ballet in a private studio with master teacher Olga Kostritzky in New York.

Dancing for Disney
- Dance scholar Mindy Aloff hosts a discussion of the artistry and movement that distinguished Disney’s classic animations. Following the program, Ms. Aloff will be signing copies of her book Hippo in a Tutu.

Forty Years of One-Night Stands - Jeff McKay. The Royal Winnipeg Ballet went from humble beginnings to setting the ballet world on fire. RWB company members, past and present, recount the obsessive commitment and vision of those who brought the lofty art of ballet to the people.

Meredith Monk: Inner Voice
- directed by Babeth M. VanLoo. A Buddhist Foundation documentary on the much-admired composer/choreographer/filmmaker Meredith Monk, with excerpts from her films.

Also screening are several excellent short films, including:

Keep Dancing - Douglas Turnbaugh and Gregory Vander Veer
Since they appeared in Follies together on Broadway, Marge Champion and Donald Saddler have been fast friends and informal dancing partners. Although both have hit the 90 year mark, they still get together weekly in a studio, warm up, do a barre, and indulge in their favorite pastime, dancing. The film seamlessly blends nine decades of archival film and photos to give an intimate glimpse of two extraordinary and beloved artists for whom the aging process is only a statistic.

Dance Shorts for the Camera - The best new short-form unions of movement and film.

Beguine - Douwe Dijkstra, Netherlands, 2009; 5m
This surreal short based on a poem by Giza Ritschl features one man's strange response to losing his lover.

The Last Martini
- Vickie Mendoza
The rain-soaked reveries of a man whose psyche is tangled in a broken dance of passion and heartbreak.

Danse Macabre
- Pedro Pires
An inventive look at life after death.

Jackie & Judy - Phil Harder
New York-based choreographers Rosanne Chamecki and Andrea Lerner’s ode to Canadian animator Norman McLaren.

Little Ease (Outside the Box) - Ami Ipapo and Matt Tarr
A new take on a classic piece of choreography conceived by extreme action pioneer Elizabeth Streb.

Becoming - Joseph Johnson Camí and Ayelen Liberona
An ancient woman lures Man into one final battle.

Sunscreen Serenade - Kriota Willberg
This innovative homage to Busby Berkeley celebrates the merits of skin protection. Commissioned by EMPAC. Introduced by Bob Sikoryak, project animator.

Cinetica - Ana Cembrero
A woman inhabits, searches, dances, fights, and plays without separating what is lived from what is dreamed.

A reception hosted by New York Women in Film and Television and DFA will follow the Sunday, Jan. 31 screening.

The Tiny Dance Film Series
In the Furman Gallery, adjacent to the Walter Reade Theater

In four darkened kiosks, very short and very small dance films screen for an audience of one. A collaboration between choreographer Peter Kyle and sound artist James Bigbee Garver.

For further information, visit www.filmlinc.com

Dance on Camera
January 29-February 2, 20010


Walter Reade Theater
Lincoln Center
West 65th Street at Amsterdam Avenue
New York City

SHOWWX™ Film Festival at Sundance

The SHOWWX™ Film Festival at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, A Mobile Program of Films, Documentaries, Shorts, and Animated Shorts screening on multiple unique surfaces using Microvision’s SHOWWX™ Laser Pico Projector for Mobile Devices, is screening January 22–23 at The Sidecar Bar, 333 Main Street, 2nd Level in the Main Street Mall.

The SHOWWX™ Film Festival at The 2010 Sundance Film Festival, a creative collaboration between cloudzero, a San Francisco–based transmedia company and Microvision Inc., the Redmond, Washington–based pioneer in innovative ultra-mini projection technology whose CES 2010 Innovations Honoree–winning SHOWWX™ laser pico projector for mobile devices projects DVD-quality images up to 200 inches onto any surface. The SHOWWX™ Film Festival matches Microvision's revolutionary device with expertly curated content chosen by seasoned programming director Shade Rupe.

The SHOWWX™ Film Festival boasts three unique screening stations:

an Ice Theater with films projected onto an ice-screen sculpture;

the Sistine Chapel Lie-in Theater where rugs and pillows are arranged on the floor so that the audience can watch films on the ceiling;

the BYOMS AKA Bring Your Own Multiplex Screen! station, where cloudzero will demonstrate how the movie screen is evolving into a platform of creative DIY possibilities including a "hard-boiled egg screen."

The self-focusing SHOWWX™ can project onto any surface, including an egg, without losing any of its sharp DVD-quality resolution.

A special prize will be awarded to the audience member who comes up with the most original “spontaneous screen” for the SHOWWX™ laser pico projector. The audience will vote for the best screen creation.

“The SHOWWX Film Festival 2010 is where visionary micro-imaging technology meets cutting-edge independent filmmaking,” says Alexander Besher, CEO, and partner with filmmaker Maria Karpoukhina, of cloudzero. “We’re in the early days of a new era when it’s possible for anyone to curate their own film festival, anywhere. You can have your films screened on a coconut or on the side of a volcano. ‘You are the Film Fest’ is one of our credos. ‘Stream your dream’ is another. We're excited to partner with Microvision on this road to new forms of filmmaking."

The SHOWWX™ Film Festival Highlights:

The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle (US, 2009). A breathtaking blend of comedy, thriller, horror, and romance, this mind blower was written and directed by David Russo. After he loses his high-paying job, Dory takes a gig as a night janitor in order to pay rent. Alone late at night inside a market research firm, he soon discovers the company is experimenting on their entire staff of janitors including him.

Katie Turinski’s incredibly funny and fiery Sissyboy (US, 2009), a documentary about the outrageous lives of twelve “in your face” yet deeply sensitive drag queens.

The unbelievably talented Floria Sigismondi celebrates her Sundance feature debut The Runaways featuring Kristen Stewart (Twilight), with her personal short film Postmortem Bliss.
 
The SHOWWX™ FILM FESTIVAL delivers unique visual mindbursts such as iconic British bad boy Ken Russell's (The Who’s Tommy, Altered States) Boudica Bites Back (UK, 2007), a cine-opera retelling of the legend of Boudica, warrior queen, played by Ken’s wife Elize Russell.

The astonishingly beautiful Delphinium (US, 2009) by Matthew Mishory, a lyrical coming-of-age portrait of famed director Derek Jarman’s artistic, sexual, and political awakening in post-War England.

A Panel Discussion is held Friday, January 22  at 2:30 pm.
Where is the Future of Film Going -- And Who’s Going to Direct?

Participants:

Alexander Tokman, CEO & President, Microvision, Inc.
Lance Weiler, (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma, HiM), Chief Story Architect of Seize the Media
Scilla Andreen, CEO and cofounder of IndieFlix.com
Srini Vasan, Founder & CEO, iDIstribute whose flagship product is Gigaplex, an iPhone app and content distribution platform for streaming movies
Shade Rupe, Director of Acquisitions and Festivals for cloudzero
Alexander Besher and Maria Karpoukhina, Cofounders of cloudzero
 
For more information, visit www.cloud-zero.com.  

The SHOWWX™ Film Festival
January 22–23, 2010


The Sidecar Bar
333 Main Street

2nd Level in the Main Street Mall.

Slamdance 2010

At one time, 16 years ago, the festival season began in New York with the Independent Feature Film Market and three hopefuls, Jon Fitzgerald, Shane Kuhn and Dan Mirvish, who had befriended each other, decided to get their films seen there, But they flopped at getting in. So they sent their films to the United States Film Festival -- unofficially called “Sundance" at the time. Their films flopped there too so in January 1995, they set up shop in a spare room at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

After a day of being cramped, they moved to Park City 32 miles away, flipped Sundance the bird, made their own festival called Slamdance. The rest is history.

Slamdance has since gone on to become a major festival in its own right (though Robert Redford once called it parasitical). Ensconced in the Treasure Mountain Inn (255 Main Street) since 1998, it’s an entirely different experience than its bigger analog. in some ways it's better, and in others, it's not.

The festival is primarily confined to the first floor, where two large meeting rooms are converted into makeshift theaters. The hallways are always packed with people waiting on line for the next screening. It’s a great way to meet people.

Around the corner from the main venue is the game room; Slamdance has been championing the art and science of videogames since the turn of the current century. And at least since last time I was there, they didn’t charge to play them.

There’s one official party, at the Star Bar (268 Main St.) about a 30 feet from the hotel on the first night. They have free beer, which is always nice, but it’s crowded, which is what Slamdance is all about -- the lack of personal space.

Once the party is over and done with, there’s the movies. ah, the movies!

Oren Peli’s Paranormal Activity, which made over 100 million bucks, premiered here, as did Seth Gordon’s King of Kong, one of the great documentaries of all time. Lots of major movie stars have shown up to promote their films, and some of the best films to come out of here have gone nowhere such as Michael Davis’ Eight Days A Week and Lance Mungia’s Six String Samurai. (But both are worth sticking on your Netflix queue).

Going to Slamdance is well worth taking time off from the big show. This year, award-winning director Steven Soderbergh will premiere his latest documentary, And Everything Is Going Fine, at the fest.

So what is there to see here? Well, besides the Soderbergh film, America’s undead humor magazine, the National Lampoon, is sponsoring a screening of their latest film Snatched, which may or may not suck (NatLamp’s films haven’t been good since the magazine was real) and 16 other features.



What little buzz has been generated so far has been mostly for Candyman (directed by Costa Botes) -- a look at the rise and fall of David Klein, inventor of Jelly Bellies; General Orders No. 9 (Robert Persons) An experimental doc that contemplates loss and change in the American South; and William Burroughs: A Man Within (Yony Leyser) A portrait of the Beat author and American icon.

And on the horror front. for some reason, programmers are into Cthulhu as well -- The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu (Henry Saine) is like the third film in the genre to be produced in the last 10 years.

Then there's Yellow Brick Road (Jesse Holland & Andy Mitton) a horror film set in the wilderness and finally, Gerard Johnson's UK horror-drama Tony, which is playing out of competition.


 The full list of features in Competition:



Cummings Farm
directed by Andrew Drazek
Cast: Laura Silverman

World Premiere


This is a disturbing comedy about an orgy at a lakeside strawberry farm. Three couples at the end their twenties give group sex a go, naively hoping it will grant them enlightenment.

Drones
directed by Amber Benson & Adam Busch

Cast - Angela Bettis, Jonathan M. Woodward 

World Premiere

When Brian walks in on his best friend’s closet time, he discovers a universal threat to his life, job and the Earth itself!

The Four-Faced Liar
directed by Jacob Chase
Cast - Emily Peck, Marja-Lewis Ryan, Todd Kubrak  

World Premiere

When small town couple, Molly and Greg, meets best friends Trip and Bridget, unexpected sparks fly. As friendship slides into passion, Molly must choose between a guy she took for granted, and the girl she can't resist.



The Last Lovecraft: The Relic of Cthulhu
directed by Henry Saine

Cast - Devin McGinn

World Premiere

Jeff is an ordinary guy that is stuck at a dead end job with a boring life, but when a strange old man gives him an Ancient relic and tells him that he is the last bloodline of H.P. Lovecraft. He and his friend Charlie embark on an adventure to protect the relic piece from falling into the hands of the Starspawn and his minions that wish to reunite the relic and release Cthulhu back into the world.

One Hundred Mornings

directed by Conor Horgan

Cast - Ciaran McMenamin, Alex Reid, Rory Keenan 

US Premiere

Set in a world upended by a complete breakdown of society, two couples hide out in a lakeside cabin hoping to survive the crisis.


Scenesters

directed by Todd Berger

Cast - Sherilyn Fenn, Suzanne May, Blaise Miller 

In this dark comedy, when a serial killer starts picking off beautiful young hipsters on the east side of Los Angeles, a group of crime scene videographers hatch a plan to catch him.



Snow and Ashes

directed by Charles Olivier-Michaud  

Cast - Rhys Coiro, Lina Roessler, Frederic Gilles
World Premiere

A War Correspondent covers an armed conflict in Eastern Europe. When he wakes from a coma, Blaise discovers that his collaborator is missing and sets out to recapture the events that led to his friend’s disappearance.

URFrenz
directed by Jeff Phillips
Cast - Lily Holleman, Gayla Goehl, Carole Anne Johnson

World Premier
e
High school girls and their parents collide over the use of a popular social networking site when the identity and motives of an on-line boy come into question.

The Wild Hunt
directed by Alexandre Franchi

Cast: Kaniehtiio Horn, Mark Anthony Krupa, Ricky Mabe
World Premiere
A medieval re-enactment game turns into a Shakespearean tragedy when a non-player crashes the event to win back his girlfriend.

YellowBrickRoad
directed by Andy Mitton & Jesse Holland

Cast: Cassidy Freeman, Lee Wilkof, Anessa Ramsey 

World Premiere
An expedition looks for answers to something horrible in the forest, but the forest finds something horrible in them.


Documentary Competition (all films are from the US unless otherwise noted):

American Jihadist 

directed by Mark Claywell. 

US Premiere 

What makes a man willing to kill and die for his religion?

Biker Fox
directed by Jeremy Lamberton  

World Premiere 

By taking the road less traveled, Biker Fox leads you to another dimension by "cogitating positive vibes to the cortex of your cerebellum" in this part documentary, part self-help testimonial.


Candyman

directed by Costa Botes
World Premiere

Candyman is the story of the rise and fall of David Klein, the man who invented Jelly Belly jelly beans. With Weired Al Yankovich

General Orders No. 9
directed by Robert Persons  

Take one last trip down the rabbit hole before it gets paved over. A history of the State of Georgia or Anywhere. Deer trail becomes Indian trail becomes county road becomes...

Mamachas Del Ring

directed by Betty M. Park

US Premiere

Bolivian women wrestlers throw down in the ring in this documentary about what it really means to fight like a girl. Carmen Rosa the Champion is their passionate leader, and is faced with a brutal decision when she is forced to choose between her love of sport and love of her family.

Mind of a Demon: The Larry Linkogle Story

directed by Adam Barker
Narrated by Lemmy

The birth of freestyle motocross became the demise of the sport's most infamous legend.

Rocksteady: The Roots of Reggae

directed by Stascha Bader
With Rita Marley

US Premiere
The singers and musicians of Jamaica’s Golden Age of music, who made the rocksteady sound, come together after 40 years to record an album of their greatest hits, to perform together again at a reunion concert in Kingston, and to tell their story.

William Burroughs: A Man Within

directed by Yony Leyser
With David Cronenberg, Gus Van Sant, Peter Weller, Iggy Pop, Laurie Anderson
World Premiere

Leyser paints a tender portrait of the Beat author and American icon, whose works at once savaged conservative ideals, spawned vibrant countercultural movements and reconfigured 20th century culture.

With Soderbergh premiering his latest documentary here, those friends who met all those years ago at the IFFM  finally have the perfect revenge.


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