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African Diaspora Film Festival of New York


African Diaspora Film Festival to open November 28th , 2008





will open the 16th Annual African Diaspora Film Festival to be held
in six venues in Manhattan
from November 28 to December 14, 2008.
The directorial debut of Giancarlo Esposito, this year’s ADFF Opening Night
film will be one of 50 New York City
premieres among 86 titles representing 40 countries.

this romantic drama with a stellar cast that includes Danny Glover, Angela Bassett, Samuel
L. Jackson, Julia Stiles, Adam Baldwin, RZA
and Giancarlo Esposito. Mr. Esposito narrates a story
of greed, jealousy and adultery that explores the morals and temptations of

Greed and
idealism collide in this powerful narrative set in the small southern town of Julia as preparations are
made to memorialize the
fortieth anniversary of the assassination of
civil rights activist Paul Malcolm. Paul's son John, played with quiet
intelligence by Danny Glover, is urged on by his wife Sarah, the remarkable
Angela Bassett, to continue the mission to save the neighborhood of Gospel Hill
from developers intent on buying up black owned homes in order to create a golf
course for the rich. Actor-director Giancarlo Esposito adds nuance as the
ambitious Dr. Ron Palmer, a man willing to seize opportunity at the expense of
his community. Tensions of the past resurface, as a town and its people
struggle with age-old issues of the politics of prejudice. Images of past and
present blend seamlessly as reminders of lessons yet to be learned. (Barbara
Pokras, A.C.E.)

Barroso-Spech, Co-Director of the African Diaspora Film Festival explains:
“Gospel Hill is an astounding contemporary film that manages to address, in an
intimate and powerful way, timeless issues within the historical context of the
struggle of African-Americans during the Civil Right Movement. We first saw
this film while attending the Berlin
film festival last February and it became an immediate contender for the
Opening Night slot of the festival. We are
delighted to open the 16th edition of the African Diaspora Film
Festival with this remarkable film.”

Other highlights of ADFF 2008 include:

2008 Centerpiece screening of the New
York premiere of HBO documentary The Black List: Volume One by
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders which made its world premiere at 2008's Sundance Film
Festival. In this startling collection of interviews conducted by former New
York Times film critic Elvis Mitchell, prominent athletes, authors,
actors, musicians, politicians and many others recount their personal journey
with bracing warmth, eloquence and candor. Variety called the film "an
impeccably mounted survey of voices from across the spectrum of
African-American accomplishment...a rich and revealing work of
portraiture." With Tony Morrison, Chris Rock, Sean Combs, Al
Sharpton, Keenen Ivory Wayans, Vernon Jordan, Susan Rice, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar,
Faye Wattleton, Serena Williams, Lou Gossett Jr., Suzan-Lori Parks, Richard
Parsons and many others.

2008 Gala screening of New York Premiere
of Prince
of Broadway
by Sean Baker, winner of the Jury Award at the 2008 Los
Angeles Film Festival and of the Best
Narrative Feature at Woodstock in October 2008. Prince of Broadway follows
two men whose lives converge in the underbelly of New York’s wholesale fashion district. Through
the story Levon -
Armenian-Lebanese immigrant who operates an illegal storefront with a concealed
back room full of counterfeit goods -
and Lucky - an illegal immigrant from
Ghana, who must cope with a new domestic dilemma
when a child is thrust into his life by a woman who
insists the toddler is his son – this charming
comedy-drama takes a rare look at
immigrant lives in a city where all blend and nobody really does.

- The feature-length
documentary The End of Poverty? which won critical acclaim at the 2008
Cannes Film Festival and is narrated by actor Martin Sheen The End of Poverty? Is a
daring, thought-provoking and very timely documentary by filmmaker Philippe
Diaz. The film takes a hard look at
world poverty and challenges capitalism and the American way. In a world of
plenty, why are so many families around the world still living in abject
poverty? Looking beyond the popular ”solutions” for poverty, The
End of Poverty?
asks if the true causes of poverty today stem from a
deliberate orchestration of resource misallocation started in colonial times.

- Special
Event A Night in Egypt with
the New York Premiere of the last film directed by internationally renowned
Egyptian Director Youssef Chahine who sadly passed on July 27, 2008 after making
over 40 films that moved generations of filmgoers all over the world. The
screening of Chaos, -Chahine's
last masterpiece co-directed with Khaled Youssef, part of official
selection Venice and Toronto
film festivals in 2007 - is a poignant portrait of Choubra,
a cosmopolitan neighborhood of Cairo.
Hatem, a corrupt cop, controls the place as his personal farm. Nour, a young
woman he is in love with dares standing up to his abusive behavior. Built
around this strange love story, directors Chahine and Youssef created a film
that reveals a chaotic society
and a population struggling to keep some
degree of sanity.

The African Diaspora Film Festival presents an eclectic mix of
foreign, independent, classic, and urban films that focus on the humanity of people
of African descent across the world through an extraordinary range of subjects
and artistic approaches. This 17-day event showcases 70 to 90 films every year,
including numerous US
and NY premieres. Created in 1993 by ArtMattan Productions, a company that
produces a collection of programs and events promoting Afrocentric theme
cultures, ADFF has long been
delighting audiences with US and world premieres of independent films,
including features, documentaries, animation, and shorts.

During an
interview on Positively Black on NBC4, writer, filmmaker Nelson George,
indicated that “the African Diaspora Film Festival is probably the most
comprehensive vision and view of African-American, African-Caribbean, African
World culture in New York City
every year.” “The
ADFF is a bridge,” say the Spechs,
“between diverse communities looking for works that cannot be found in other
festivals, and talented and visionary filmmakers and works that are part of the
African Diaspora.”

The 16th Annual New York
African Diaspora Film Festival
is made possible thanks to the support of the following
institutions and individuals: ArtMattan Productions; ‘Organization
International de la Francophonie, the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 2008 Award; The Office and Diversity and
Community and the Office of Outreach and Innovations at
College, Columbia University; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs;
New York City Council Member Inez E. Dickens; New York State Senate
Representative Bill Perkins; the French Cultural Services; The Swiss Consulate;
The City College of New York Adult and Continuing Education department, L’Oreal
USA, The Village Voice; WNYC, and public funds from the New York State Council
on the Arts, a state agency.

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