6th Annual Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival

Tuscaloosa will host its 6th Annual Evening of African Films, now re-named Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival (TAFF) to include films from the broader African Diaspora as well as the continent itself. Screenings of this year’s selection will occur at the familiar setting of the Bama Theatre on Saturday, February 3rd 2018. This year’s film festival will be part of the Tuscaloosa Heritage Festival, a weekend of cultural activities hosted by the West Alabama Multicultural Alliance (WAMA).

Saturday, February 1-3, 2018

Russell Hall, UA & Bama Theatre, Tuscaloosa, AL

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM (Children’s movie)

6 PM – 11 PM (Scheduled African movies)

The opening event of TAFF will be a workshop entitled “Arts in Activism” with guest speaker and filmmaker Tyrik Washington.  Mr. Washington is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker from Brooklyn, New York.  He will lead a discussion on the critical role of film and its influence on activism and social change.  He will also present a short version of the film Under the Heavens.  The event will be held on Thursday February 1, 2018 at Russell Hall, Room 159 on the campus of The University of Alabama.  The workshop is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the African Students Association of the University of Alabama.

On February 3, 2018, four movies will be presented on the special night of Africana movies at the Bama Theatre.  The TAFF program begins as usual with a children and youth program of dance and film at 2:00 pm. This year’s Children’s movie is “Liyana” set in Swaziland where a Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Swaziland. Their fictional character’s journey is interwoven with poetic and observational documentary scenes to create a genre-defying celebration of collective African storytelling. This 2016 movie is directed by Amanda and Aaron Kopp. Animation is by Sofela Coker.

Regular programming for the film festival will run from 6:30 to 10:30 pm. This year’s festival will include local Tuscaloosa content. The first short will feature the winner of the Tuscaloosa Career & Technology Academy’s Film & Digital Media Program’s Film Competition, followed by two other award winning shorts and 1 feature film.

The next short will be “Moving forward” by local Tuscaloosa filmmaker, Santo Moss. This will be followed by “90 Days” A riveting story of love, integrity and compassion, which explores a beautiful couple’s relationship and their life altering decision after ninety days of dating. Fueled with gripping performances by an extraordinary cast of actors led by Teyonah Parris and Nic Few, 90 DAYS is a groundbreaking cinematic piece of art that confronts the human experience of overcoming one of life’s greatest perceived challenges. Written by Nathan Hale Williams and directed by Williams and Jennia Fredrique Aponte, the film is entertaining, authentic and a visual masterpiece.

This year’s feature film is “The African who wanted to fly” a 2016 production, by Samantha Biffot, in French and Chinese with English sub-titles. It begins in 1979 Gabon, Central Africa. Luc, a 9-year old boy sees for the first time a Kung Fu movie and it’s a revelation: Chinese can fly. It becomes Luc’s obsession to fly like them. Luc has now been living for 31 years in China, mastering wushu, acting in Kung Fu movies. How did this little boy manage to become the first African to enter the Shaolin temple at the age of 14 in 1985, master traditional secret techniques and follow his dream?

Gabonese director and screenwriter Samantha Biffot was born in Paris in 1985. She grew up abroad between Asia and Africa and came back to Paris to follow cinema studies. After working in several productions companies in Paris, she went back to Gabon in 2010 where she started her own production company developing TV series, documentary and movies. Her accolades include the prize for “Best African Series” at FESPACO 2013.

The Tuscaloosa Evening of African Film is presented by the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation (EAUMF) and Afram South Inc., two non-profit organizations supporting education and public health initiatives in Ghana, West Africa and West Alabama respectively. It is also co- sponsored by The College of Community Health Sciences (CCHS) at UA and Tuscaloosa Sister Cities. Tuscaloosa is a sister city of Sunyani –Techiman in Ghana.

Tickets are:

  • General admission – $15.00;
  • Seniors – $10.00;
  • Students – $8.00

Tickets are available online at Brown Paper Tickets.

Or at the Bama Theatre box office (205 – 758-5195) only on the day of the event.

For more information contact eaumfoundation@gmail.com  or call Bill Foster at 334-322-0824 or Thad Ulzen at 205-552-6078.