The New York African Film Festival Preview In Photos

15 photos from the upcoming 2015 New York African Film Festival

All images courtesy of the NYAFF

The 22nd edition of the New York African Film Festival is just upon us. This year's series, which has a special focus on the short format and digital technology, will see 50 narrative features and documentaries from 25 countries screening throughout the month of May, first at the Lincoln Center before heading to Maysles Cinema in Harlem (May 14-17) and finally the Brooklyn Academy of Music's BAMcinématek as part of the DanceAfrica festival (May 22-25).

The festival officially gets underway tomorrow with the New York premiere of Carey McKenzie's South African cop thriller Cold Harbour. The neo-noir film, which features an original soundtrack by Spoek Mathambo and composer Chris Letcher, follows a township cop by the name of Sizwe (played by Tony Kgoroge) who discovers police corruption linked to the illegal abalone trade in Cape Town. McKenzie and the film's producer Tendeka Matatu will both be speaking at a Q&A on opening night .

Thursday will see the screening of Nairobi-based visual artist Jim Chuchu's five-part anthology film about queer life in Kenya, Stories Of Our Lives (one of our Top Films of 2014).

The festival's centerpiece on Friday is Ethiopian-Israeli director Bazi Gete's debut, Red Leaves. The film looks at the life of a 74-year-old recent widower and Ethiopian immigrant in Israel who, following the death of his wife, sells his apartment and plans to live with his sons' families, where his traditional values are put into question.

On Saturday, 100% DAKAR, a documentary about the creative arts scene in Senegal's capital, which features the likes of Didier Awadi, Moona, Baay Sooley, Omar Victor Diop, Selly Raby Kane, Madzoo, Docta, Ben-J, Doulsy, Andreya Ouamba and Fatou Cissé, will make its U.S. debut with filmmaker Sandra Krampelhuber in attendance. After, Swedish production collective Stocktown's five-part Afripedia series will screen segments on creatives in Angola, Senegal, Kenya, Ghana and South Africa. Stocktown's Teddy Goitom will be present for a Q&A.

Ivorian director Phillipe Lacôte's debut feature film, which premiered earlier this year at Cannes (making it the very first film from Côte d'Ivoire selected to screen there), is making its New York premiere on Monday. Told through flashbacks, the coming-of-age-tale Run follows the life of a man hiding out after assassinating the prime minister of Côte d'Ivoire.

Nicole Mackinlay Hahn's stunning look at inspired women in Burkina Faso will make its worldwide premiere as a part of the festival's "Women in the Media" shorts program on Tuesday, May 12th. The 11-minute short, titled Burkina, All About Women, features a series of intimate portraits of a group of Burkinabé women– including a firefighter, a rapper, an astrophysicist, a mechanic, a swimmer and a mushroom biologist.

Closing out the Lincoln Center segment is Senegalese director Safi Faye’s 1996 drama Mossane, which tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who, though promised at birth to a wealthy man, refuses to go through with the marriage.

The 2015 New York African Film Festival runs throughout May at the Lincoln Center (May 6-12), Maysles Cinema (May 14-17) and BAMcinématek (May 22-25). In the gallery above we take a look at a selection of 15 films that will be screening this year. Head here for the full listing.


Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.

''I'm having the time of my life,'' says Adekunle Gold over a Zoom call while seated in his office in Lagos. ''I'm making songs that are so true to my current energy, my current vibe.'' When I got on the call with the 34-year-old artist on a Wednesday afternoon, the first thing I noticed was his hair tied up in little braids, the second was his wide smile. As we speak, the crooner laughs multiple times but it's his aura that shines through the computer screen, it lets you know better than his words that he's truly having the time of life.

Born Adekunle Kosoko, the popular Nigerian singer got married barely two years ago to fellow artist Simi. Last year, the power couple welcomed their first child. As we talk, Gold points to his journey as a father and a husband as some of the biggest inspirations at the moment not just as far as music goes but as his perspective in life and how he now approaches things.

''My [artistry] has changed a lot because being a father and being a husband has made me grow a lot and more.'' Adekunle Gold tells OkayAfrica. ''It has made me understand life a lot more too. I'm feeling more responsible for people. You know, now I have a kid to raise and I have a wife to support, to be a real man and husband and father for.'' He credits this journey with both his newfound happiness and a newfound freedom as an artist.

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