The New York African Film Festival returns to Lincoln Center with a daring program that both redresses misconceptions about Africa's collective historical past, and explores social, political and economic realities affecting the continent today. Centered on the theme of "The People's Revolution," this year's NYAFF presents narratives, shorts, and documentaries from a new wave of artists throughout Africa and its diaspora seeking reform via sociopolitical action.
Distinct notions of identity, culture and one's origins posit a new generation of African filmmakers that exist at the intersection of civic duty and the democratic, unrestricted power of technology. Akin Omotoso's Vaya (2016), a triptych narrative intertwining the trajectories of three distinct characters in Johannesburg, reflects a non-essentialist take on contemporary realities of African cities. Sifiso Khanyile's South African documentary Uprize!, Ethiopian director Sewmehon Yismaw's Ewir, and Amora Kelabi—a portrait of an ex-soldier of Ethiopia's Dergue regime— employ similarly experimental storytelling methods, offering plural visions of an African past rather than a hegemonic objective reality. Q&A's with filmmakers follow many of the screenings.
The 24th New York African Film Festival runs May 3 - May 29 at Lincoln Center.