Under the banner “Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present,” the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returns virtually December 2-6 with a spotlight on the cinema of two nations: Nigeria and the Sudan. Presented by Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF), this year’s regional NYAFF will screen six features and eight short films in the FLC Virtual Cinema, as AFF celebrates its 30th anniversary.
The festival will transport audiences to the Sudan and Nigeria, two nations whose film industries were disrupted in their nascency — in Nigeria by an economic decline in the late 1970s and early 1980s; in Sudan by the dictatorship of Omar al-Bashir, whose 30-year grip on the country was ended by the 2019 uprising. In recent years, Sudan’s film industry has been revived by an emerging crop of filmmakers, who are also dedicated to restoring the works of the veterans on whose shoulders they stand. Nollywood can claim the mantle of being Africa’s homegrown film industry, which has influenced filmmakers globally and provided the template for other nations to jump-start their own nascent motion picture businesses.
The event includes films from some of each nation’s trailblazing directors and latest wave of filmmakers.