The 2017 New York African Film Festival Opens Next Week


Ewir Amora Kelabi

The 2017 New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) opens on Wednesday, May 3rd at the Walter Reade Theater of Film Society of Lincoln Center. Join AFF for the 24th edition of its flagship festival which is presented under the theme, The Peoples’ Revolution. This year’s festival taps into the pulse of protest stirring throughout the peoples of the world – a reform declaration championed by a new wave of artists in Africa and its diaspora. The festival will feature screenings, panel discussions, performances, a digital art exhibit and more.

The NYAFF continues throughout May at Lehman College (May 10), Maysles Cinema (May 19 – 21) and the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMcinématek (May 26 – 29). For tickets and the full schedule line-up, visit

A 3+ film discount package is available for films at Film Society of Lincoln Center (minimum of 3 films required). Tickets just $8 Members / $9 Students & Seniors / $11 General Public.

Opening Night Film: “Vaya.” Akin Omotoso, South Africa, 2016, 115m. Zulu with English subtitles.

Three strangers on a train traveling from the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal to Johannesburg are bound by interlocking destinies. Nkulu (Sibusiso Msimang), charged with retrieving his father’s remains from the capital for burial, is unaware that a whole other set of relatives have their own plans. Zanele (Zimkhitha Nyoka), chaperoning a young girl en route to reuniting with her singer mother, is given an exciting offer to appear on television that may be more than meets the eye. Nhlanhla (Sihle Xaba), excited by the prospect of getting rich quick, gets caught up in criminal activities. Imagine a South African spin on Amores Perros and you’re on the right path. U.S. Premiere

Wednesday, May 3, 7:00pm (Q&A with Akin Omotoso). Walter Reade Theater, 165 W 65th Street

Also screening Friday, May 5, 2:00pm – Francesca Beale Theater, 144 W 65th Street


Centerpiece Night Film: “Ewir Amora Kelabi.” Sewmehon Yismaw, Ethiopia, 2016, 85m. Amharic with English subtitles.

Based on a true story, this film chronicles the life of Major Tibebu Mesfin, who worked for the Dergue Regime in Ethiopia. During this time of ideological struggle and infighting among the regime’s leadership, Tibebu disappears and his wife is captured, imprisoned, and tortured. Years later, fueled by a deep-seated desire to help his ailing mother, Tibebu’s son leaves the town of Gonder to search for work. The result is an unpredictable adventure, the story of how far one man will go to fulfill his destiny, and a tale for the ages about the resilience of the human spirit. U.S. Premiere.

Screening with: “Hairat”

Jessica Beshir, Ethiopia, 2016, 7m

Harari and Oromiffa with English subtitles.

For the past 35 years, Yussuf Mume Saleh journeys at night to the outskirts of the walled city of Harar to bond with his beloved hyenas. New York Premiere

Friday, May 5, 6:30pm (Q&A with Zekarias Tibebu Mesfin, and Jessica Beshir)

Francesca Beale Theater, 144 W 65th Street

Also screening Tuesday, May 9, 1:30pm


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *