About the Festival

The Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF) is sponsored by the E. Desmond Lee Professorship in African/African American Studies, Studies International studies and Program, and University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The AWDFF has as its objective the promotion of knowledge and culture of the people of Africa, in a Pan-African context.

In promotion of the Pan African context, public viewings of submission accepted by AWDFF shall also occur in Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Though the AWDFF is non-competitive, prizes of $1,000 and $500 shall be awarded to two documentaries in Full-length and Short categories, respectively judged by the AWDFF committee as furthering understanding and contributing significantly to knowledge of the African World.

Director’s 2015 Festival Message


Welcome to the 8th E. Desmond Lee Africa World Documentary Film Festival (AWDFF), sponsored by the E. Desmond Lee Professorship in African/African-American Studies, International Studies and Programs at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis.

Through the art of documentary filmmaking, the AWDFF is committed to the promotion of knowledge, life and culture, of the people of Africa worldwide.   This year, in our eighth season, we shall be presenting 40 films submitted by filmmakers from Antigua, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Netherlands, Oman, Portugal, Rwanda, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tanzania, United Kingdom, Uganda, USA and Zambia. 

We celebrate and congratulate the extraordinary group of talented filmmakers who have employed their craft and skills in the exploration of African subjects.  Some of the major subjects covered in these documentary films are Culture, Socio-Economic, Environment, History, Gender, Legal, Music & Performing Arts, Religion, Politics, Race, Sport as well as Human Rights issues.

Once again we are grateful to continue our important collaboration with our partners, the Missouri History Museum in Saint Louis; St. Louis University’s Sam and Marilyn Fox Atlas Week Program; the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies in Philadelphia, PA; the University of Yaoundé in Yaoundé, Cameroon; the IRepresent International Documentary Film Festival in Lagos, Nigeria;  the University of the Western Cape in Bellville, South Africa; the Universities of West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica and Cave Hill, Barbados; as well as “I Will Tell” International Film Festival in London, England. This year we are thrilled to announce a new partnership with the Institute of African Studies, at the University of Ghana, Legon and Better Family Life, Inc. in St. Louis, MO. We welcome our new partners to the growing family of AWDFF.

I wish you an enjoyable Festival

‘Niyi Coker, Jr.
E. Desmond Lee Professor
Festival Director