Why this year’s New York African Film Festival must be on your itinerary

BY Nii Ntreh May 8, 2024 7:54 AM EDT
The New York African Film Festival is from May 8 to 14, 2024.

More than 50 films from across 25 countries will be showcased at the 2024 New York African Film Festival, organizers have said. The 31st annual festival is running from May 8 to 14.

Film at Lincoln Center and the African Film Festival Inc. announced that the lineup of features includes the North American premiere of Over the Bridge, director Tolu Ajayi’s narrative feature set in Lagos, Nigeria. On the closing night, participants will see Dilli Dark, a film debut by Dibakar Das Roy. It tells the story of a Nigerian MBA student in Delhi, India.

This year’s festival is on the theme “Convergence of Time”. The occasion explores the historical and contemporary roles played by Africans and the African diaspora in filmmaking. The organizers say the festival invites audiences to delve into the convergence of archival and modern experimentalism, transcending space and time.

“The 31st New York African Film Festival has so much to offer in terms of honoring the origins of homegrown, beloved African and diaspora film industry, as well as celebrating their references in modern masterpieces,” said Mahen Bonetti, NYAFF Founder and AFF Executive Director.

The festival will also host the North American premiere of Matthew Leutwyler’s Fight Like a Girl, depicting the true story of a young Congolese woman (Ama Qamata from the hit Netflix series Blood and Water) who finds liberation after joining an all-women’s boxing club in war-torn Goma.

Oyiza Adaba’s biographical documentary, DELA: The Making of El Anatsui, which delves into the life of El Anatsui, the world-renowned sculptor from Ghana, will also be premiered.

A Yajaira De La Espada documentary, Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense, about the life and empowering legacy of the founding father of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, and the recent presidency of the late Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, will be shown. Clive Will’s Time Spent with Cats Is Never Wasted, a slow-burning cinema featuring a small-town worker who finds success after selling a helicopter he made out of scrap and found objects, will also be premiered.