April 13, 2024


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The 31st Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival Best Of (BEST OF ADIFF) returns with a curated selection of ten films at Teachers College

 The 31st Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival Best Of (BEST OF ADIFF) returns to Teachers College, Columbia University, featuring a curated selection of ten films that garnered both critical acclaim and popular recognition during the festival. Additionally there will be a selection of ten films that will screen virtually. Established in 2005, the Best Of ADIFF provides an opportunity to revisit or catch up on the standout films from the previous year’s festival.

Highlighting diversity and women’s contributions, six of the ten films in the selection are directed by women filmmakers. Shantaye’s World by Mathurine Emmanuel and Guillaume Rico (St Lucia), winner of the ADIFF 2023 Public Award for the Best Film Directed by a Woman of Color, is a historical drama chronicling the compelling journey of a young girl from St. Lucia who, as a young woman, finds herself in war-torn England.

Shantaye’s World

Spotlighting significant yet lesser-known historic African American stories, Move When the Spirit Says Move: The Legacy of Dorothy Foreman Cotton by Deborah C. Hoard and Ry Ferro unveils the powerful jouney of Dorothy Foreman Cotton, a charismatic and courageous figure overlooked in the annals of the Civil Rights Movement. Hope of Escape by Amy Gerber, ADIFF 2023 Opening Night Film, narrates the true story of an enslaved mother and daughter’s incredible journey to escape before facing permanent separation.

In Big Little Women, director Nadia Fares pays tribute to her beloved Egyptian father, offering a chronicle of the condition of women in Egypt and Switzerland while engaging in a dialogue with Egyptian feminist intellectual Nawal El Saadawi, linking past and present feminist struggles. Otiti by Ema Edosio Deelen (Nigeria) follows a seamstress with commitment issues who cares for the ailing father who had abandoned her as a child, while her half-brothers position themselves to take over his property. I Am Berta by Katia Lara (Honduras) unravels the incredible story of Berta Cáceres, an indigenous leader fighting for justice in Honduras.

Also included in The BEST OF ADIFF is The Survival of Kindness (Australia), Rolf de Heer’s latest cinematic venture after almost a decade. Inspired by the dual forces of the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, the film emerges as a poignant reflection on the current social and political landscape. Nome by Sana Na N’Hada (Guinea-Bissau) skillfully blends astute political commentary with breathtaking cinematography, immersing viewers in Guinea-Bissau’s turbulent socio-political environment. Claude McKay from Harlem to Marseille by Matthieu Verdeil (France) celebrates the life and work of Caribbean writer and poet Claude McKay.

Shaka Ilembe

Closing out the program are two episodes from the super popular South African TV Series Shaka ILembe by Angus Gibson that retells the story of one of the greatest African warriors, King Shaka, and his quest to fight for his throne.


Friday, Jan. 13 – Chapel
6:00pm Hope of Escape
8:30pm Otiti

Saturday, Jan. 14 – Chapel
1:00pm Berta Soy Yo
3:30pm The Survival of Kindness
5:30pm Nome
8:00pm Shantaye’s World

Sunday, Jan. 15
1:00pm Big Little Women
3:00pm Move When the Spirit Says Move: The Legacy of Dorothy Foreman Cotton
5:30pm Claude McKay, de Harlem à Marseille
7:30pm Shaka iLembe

TICKETS: $11 & $13

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