The Africa World Documentary Film Festival was conceived 14 years ago in Saint Louis Missouri and sponsored by philanthropist E. Desmond Lee (1917-2010).

There are very few festivals dedicated to the life and culture of people of African descent around the globe. As an academic, a theatre practitioner and a film maker I envisioned the need to focus on developing a documentary film festival that would underscore the cultural unity of African people, unhindered by global dispersal. Since the inception of the festival we have received and screened submissions from almost every corner of the world. These documentary films have undoubtedly enhanced understanding of the cultural unity inherent in the African experience.

To date the festival has been previewed around the USA in Saint Louis -Missouri, Lawrence- Kansas, Birmingham - Alabama, Philadelphia PA, Houston -Texas, New Haven- Connecticut; in the West Indies in Bridgetown -Barbados, Kingston-Jamaica, Port of Spain – Trinidad; on the African continent in Yaounde- Cameroon; Ibadan, Lagos, Ile-Ife - Nigeria, Cape Town, Stellenbosch - South Africa; London, UK & Bangkok, Thailand.

We ensure that documentaries submitted and accepted by AWDFF are viewed around the world through our large network of festival partners. We have concentrated our partnership at Universities. We find that this is a very appropriate fit for the appreciation of documentary films, which by their nature are research based and contribute to advancing education and the existing body of knowledge. And so the work continues...

‘Niyi Coker, Jr.
Festival Director

2023 Sponsors