A semester-long series exploring recent, innovative and cutting edge
film works in the fields of documentary, experimental and narrative


Thursday, February 20, 2014
a screening of


(France/Senegal, 2009, 82 min.)

and a talk with director Mama KEÏTA

Time: 6:30 pm

Location: Cinema Studies Dept-Tisch-NYU
721 Broadway, 6th floor Michelson Theater
(Free and open to the public. Space is limited.)


After brilliant studies in France and an absence of almost seventeen years, Adama, a trained engineer, hastily comes back to his native country, Senegal. He received an alarming message informing him that his grandmother is seriously ill. On his arrival, he discovers that his grandmother is in perfect health. Who sent the message? For what purpose?

Adama and his younger sister Aïcha, who is born deaf, are orphans and were brought up by their grandmother. Naturally, Aïcha and her grandmother are overjoyed when they welcome Adama after such a long absence. They have been expecting this blessed moment for so long! While everyone is enjoying the meal prepared in celebration of his return, Adama announces that he is going to settle in France. Aïcha and her grandmother are distraught.

Like thousands of students from the Third World who benefit from a scholarship or whose relatives fund their studies go to the West to further their education, most of them will not go back home after completing their studies. During this short stay, Adama discovers that Aïcha is a prostitute. This is a devastating shock for Adama. He reacts with violence. This return re-emerges a family drama hidden for so long.

“New Directions in African Cinema” – Screenings for Spring 2014
Please save these dates for future screenings on:
● February 27th
● April 11th

New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs, the Department of Film and Television, Cinema Studies and the Africana Studies Program have partnered to devote a semester-long exploration of the new directions in African cinema, with a particular emphasis on film form and the representation of the female gender. The idea is to give students, faculty, as well as the larger New York metropolitan communities, a rare opportunity to view and discuss with the films’ directors the works that stand out, not only through the contemporary social issues they address, but also in the innovative and cutting edge manners they engage the medium in the fields of documentary, experimental and narrative. Directors for this fall semester include Alain Gomis, Pocas Pascoal, Ousmane William Mbaye, and Apolline Traoré. Dates to come. Space is limited and will be given on first come fist serve basis. More films will be added to this series in the spring semester.

Past Screenings

All Is Well (Por Aqui Tudo Bem)

Screening date: November 22nd Friday – 6:30pm


In the late summer of 1980, Alda and her sister Maria, at the age of 16 and 17, arrive in Lisbon to escape the civil war in Angola. Left to themselves, they must learn to survive in a foreign city. Alda and Maria, from scratch, will build a new life and become women. When problems nearly become unbearable, dreadful news fall upon them. Paradoxically, it’s those terrifying news that gives them the strength to decide their own fates.

ALL IS WELL is the first feature film directed by Pocas Pascoal. Intimate and semi autobiographical, the film relives a very specific moment in Portuguese history: the years that followed Angola’s independence. The independence of former colonies in 1975 marked a new wave of African immigration that continues to this day. In the late 70’s, this African migration dramatically increased with the beginning of Angola’s Civil War and thousands of Angolans arrived in Lisbon in highly precarious conditions. How did Lisbon cope with this demographic explosion? How did these new communities secure their survival? And what about their integration? In the early 80’s, thousands of young people lived in a sort of no man’s land, between a past that they could no longer return to and a future that didn’t seem to exist. And it is precisely at that time of great uncertainty, when only survival seems to matter, that we find the characters in this film. But they represent one of the less visible sides of that community that hugely increased with the years, and that participated and contributed to the great revolution of customs that Portugal lived in the early 80’s.

I, Zaphira   (Moi Zaphira)

Screening date: November 15th-Friday – 6:30pm

In a village where traditions are retrograde, a young woman Zaphira expresses her discomfort and unease in a spineless world. One day she encounters a piece of paper from a fashion magazine that will change the course and destiny of her life. Her conviction will be directed to a single goal: make her daughter as radiant as the models in the fashion magazines. Despite the misgivings of her daughter and the outrage of the whole village, Zaphira will break all obstacles to accomplish her goal. At the end, is all that worth it?

•Sélection Officiel du Fespaco.
•Prix de la meilleure interprétation féminine
•Sélection officiel de Vue D’Afrique.
•Prix OIF du meilleur long métrage Afrique connexion
•Selection officiel Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
•Prix de la meilleure lumière
•Prix du meilleur film en langue africaine
•Sélection officiel de cinéma Africain de Khouribga.
•Prix de cinéphile Marocain (Don Quichotte)
•Sélection officielle du Grand prix Africain du Cinéma de la Télévision et des TIC. Prix Africain du meilleur long métrage TV.

Tey (Today)

Screening date: October 4th-Friday – 6:30pm

At the same time joyous, subtle and tragic, Tey is a powerful fairytale. In a village outside Dakar, the gods—or the stars, or destiny, have spoken: Satché must die by the end of the day. Until nightfall, the film follows him making his goodbyes to those around him—his family, his friends, his lover, his children, his wife. Initially fêted by his community with an enthusiasm tainted by melancholy, Satché, the one chosen to disappear, soon finds himself set apart from those closest to him, in beautiful scenes that seek to show those elements of friendship, desire, sadness, affection and anger that are usually left unsaid.

In his third feature, director Alain Gomis takes a well-worn topic in Senegalese cinema and turns it on its head: unlike other films, many of which choose to focus on emigration and neo-colonialism, Gomis’ work instead tells the story of a man who leaves America to return to the land of his birth.

Mère-Bi, La Mère (Mother)

Screening date: November 1st-Friday – 6:30pm

Filmed by her son, this is the portrait of Annette Mbaye d’Erneville, also known as “Mère-bi” (Mother). Born in Sokone in 1926 as a child of the colonial period, she is “torn” by her education “vieille France” and her love for her country of origin and Serer tradition. Originally trained to become a teacher, she moved to Paris after the war, formed ties with the African intelligentsia and studied journalism. During her university education in Paris in 1947, she immersed herself in the intellectual circles of the 50s and met those who built independence throughout Africa. There, she founded a family, recorded her first radio programs, and obtained a journalism diploma. In 1957, she returned to Senegal to become the first female journalist there and to serve her country. She started a magazine, directed radio programming, created the Dakar Film Festival and is also a poet, scriptwriter, and talent scout. A pioneer fighting for the emancipation of African women, she created a women’s museum in Gorée, the first of its kind in Africa. The Senegalese writer, Boubacar Boris Diop, described Annette d’Erneville, as follows: “It is that having lived our century as a true communication woman, a lot of other destinies encountered hers . . . her memory is still sharp and

when we listen to her, it is so surprising to hear her recount so many famous historic characters or unknown people and most of all, from so many different generations.” In her late 80s, this woman dreams of opening a printing house.

•Special Mention: Character Award – Journées Cinématographique de Carthage 2008 Special Mention: Ecrans Noirs Yaoundé Cameroun, 2009
•Best documentary: Afrique Taille XL Bruxelles 2009
•Best documentary: Festival Image et Vie Dakar 2009
•Opening African Film Festival Khouribga Maroc 2009
•FEMI d’OR 2010 du Documentaire au Festival International du Cinéma de Guadeloupe Prix du Meilleur Documentaire au FESTICAB (BURUNDI )2010