Film and Media Studies

African Film Series 2008

The African Film Series 2008 brings the national traveling series of African Film Festival (AFF) for two weeks of screenings across the campuses of Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  This series is free and open to the public.


Although you might not find it playing in local multiplexes or even in local art houses, African filmmaking is dynamic, diverse, and global!  It's not just Sembène or Mambéty.  It's not just the award-winning productions from South Africa.  It's not just the bling of Nollywood.  It's all of these types of filmmaking and much more!  The films selected for this year's national traveling series demonstrate that Africa has always been global, says AFF founder Mahen Bonetti; now, it's the rest of the world's turn to catch up.  The African Film Series 2008 continues the commitment begun last year to bring the latest in African filmmaking to the Five Colleges.

Scheduled for 06 – 20 November 2008 on campuses of the Five Colleges, the series includes five shorts and four features by filmmakers working on the African continent and in the African diaspora—from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, France, Guinea, Mauritania, Nigeria, Sénégal, South Africa, Sudan, United Kingdom, United States, Zaire, and the Africans and Africaphiles of the AfricaLab Collective.

For additional information on this series, see schedule of screening dates, times, and venues, as well as descriptions of the films and biographies of the filmmakers.

Under the banner theme "Cinema & History: Africa & the Future," the 15th New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returned to the Walter Reade Theater at Lincoln Center in April 2008 and to the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in May 2008.  African Film Festival was proud to collaborate for the first time with French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in May 2008.  This year’s festival featured internationally acclaimed guests who have made landmark contributions to African Diaspora arts and culture history, including acclaimed filmmaker Charles Burnett and Nobel Laureate for Literature, Wole Soyinka.  The 2008 NYAFF featured six films from the Panafrican Film and TV Festival of Ougadougou (FESPACO) that have received the coveted Étalon de Yennenga grand prize for film.  AFF continues to believe that the future and long term success of African cinema is linked to all of our efforts to expand the bases of distribution and also, to remain committed to the continued cultivation of new audiences.  In an attempt to make the unique experience of watching African cinema available to a wider audience in the United States, AFF regularly schedules a film program that travels to cultural institutions, museums, and universities in ten to thirteen different cities around the country.  Amherst College was proud to join these institutions last year and to facilitate bringing AFF's national traveling series back to the Five Colleges again this year.


This series is sponsored by the Five College African Studies Council, Department of African American and African Studies (Mount Holyoke College), Department of Anthropology and Sociology (Amherst College), Department of Black Studies (Amherst College), Department of Film Studies (Mount Holyoke College), Department of Film Studies (Smith College), the Humanities Program (Hampshire College), Interdepartmental Program in Film Studies (University of Massachusetts Amherst), the support of the African Studies Program (Smith College) and W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies (University of Massachusetts Amherst), and the generous sponsorship and support of the Department of English (Amherst College).

For information on last last year's series, see African Film Series 2007.