Contact: Cynthia Kirkpatrick
212 - 741-9454
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 1997
5TH ANNUAL CONTEMPORARY AFRICAN DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL SET
NOV. 28 - DEC. 14 AT CINEMA VILLAGE
THE GLOBAL EXPERIENCES OF PEOPLE OF COLOR REVEALED IN
MORE THAN 40 FILMS FROM OVER 26 COUNTRIES
New York, New York... For two weeks beginning November 28th and continuing
through December 14th, the Contemporary African Diaspora Film Festival
(CADFF) will celebrate the 5th year of its unique showcase of works by
filmmakers from the African Diaspora with screenings at the Cinema Village
Theatre (12th Street between 5th Avenue & University Place). There is also
new initiative, CADFF UPTOWN, which will feature screenings at the Harlem
Victoria V Theatre (125th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) and at
Columbia's Miller Theatre (116th Street and Broadway).
This year's 5th anniversary event includes over 40 different feature films
and shorts, dramas and documentaries, classics and new releases that
highlight the multifaceted lives of people of African descent. Films from
North Africa (Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria), the Caribbean (Cuba, Puerto Rico,
Guadeloupe), Europe (France, Great Britain, Spain, Belgium), North America
(United States, Canada), South America (Uruguay, Venezuela, Brazil) and many
sub-Saharan African countries including Ethiopia, Gabon, Cameroon, South
Africa, Cape Verde, Guinea, Senegal and Burkina Faso will be screened.
Conceived and developed by ArtMattan Productions who created the festival in
1993, the Contemporary African Diaspora Film Festival (CADFF) has developed
into the largest annual specialized film festival on the East Coast.
Organizers expect this year's film offerings to attract an estimated 15,000
Since its inception, the festival has secured major corporate sponsors
including Western Union, Philip Morris, Island Records, the Francophonie
Agency (ACCT.), Village Voice, the Senegal Tourist Bureau and BET Movies
Festival founders, Reinaldo Barroso-Spech, a professor of foreign languages
and his wife Diarah N'Daw-Spech, a financial consultant, might seem an
unlikely pair to have conceived of such a timely idea, but they are
and on a mission with a purpose.
"Originally I thought that foreign language films from the African Diaspora
would be an excellent way for my students to learn French and Spanish
conversation and idiomatic expressions, especially if these films expanded
their view of world cultures," notes Professor Barroso-Spech, who was born
Cuba and educated in Cuba, Paris, Spain and the United States. "However,
when we began looking for films to use as examples, there were few choices
available in the American market."
"We both love movies," adds Diarah N'Daw-Spech whose parents are from France
and Mali. "So when we began searching for films, we attended a number of
film festivals. We made contact with directors and producers we had heard
about from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, South America, and the United
States. Many of the filmmakers we met were eager to have their films
screened in the States but were concerned about how their work would be
positioned in larger festivals. Our specialized festival gave most of them
showcase they hadn't had before. The rest is history."
Some of the films that have enjoyed great success since being part of the
Contemporary African Diaspora Film Festival are "The Keeper," "The Journey
the Lion," and "Sankofa."
To celebrate its fifth anniversary, five special nights are being organized
each featuring a new release from a different country from Africa and the
African Diaspora. Each special night will celebrate the culture and cinema
of the selected country with special screenings, guest filmmakers,
discussions, and a catered reception.
This year, ArtMattan Productions will launch a new initiative, CADFF UPTOWN,
in collaboration with the Center for Outreach and Innovation at Teachers
College, Columbia University; Morningside Area Alliance; and the Miller
Theatre School of the Arts at Columbia University. CADFF UPTOWN was
conceived as a community outreach program to serve the Upper West Side
communities which traditionally did not benefit from the international
exposure the festival afforded the Greenwich Village area where all
screenings had previously been held.
CADFF UPTOWN will feature screenings at the Harlem Victoria V Theatre (125th
Street between 7th and 8th Avenues) and Columbia's Miller Theatre (116th
Street and Broadway). In addition, a series of panel discussions with guest
filmmakers from around the world as well as film scholars and industry
professionals will take place on December 12 and 13, at Columbia
Teachers College. To close the festival and the CADFF UPTOWN, ArtMattan
Productions has organized a December 14th concert hosted by the Miller
Theatre featuring women artists from Africa and the African Diaspora.
YOUNG PEOPLE'S PROGRAM
As in previous years, the Contemporary African Diaspora Film Festival will
have a special Young People's Program and, with select films appropriate for
its Children and Young People's Section, will coordinate with schools from
the five boroughs to arrange for junior high and high school classes to
attend special morning screenings.
For further information about the Contemporary African Diaspora Film
Festival, to order advance tickets, or to be put on the Festival mailing
list, please write ArtMattan Productions, 535 Cathedral Parkway, New York,
10032 or call 212 - 749-6020.
NEW YORK: 345 HUDSON STREET, 16TH FLOOR
NEW YORK, NY 10014
(212) 741-9454 FAX (212) 741-9434