SDSU : Virtual Event, San Diego, California

Tuesday, Feb 23, 2021

7:00 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

Sapeurs en Danger: The Congo's Best Dressed Man - 30min
Director - Michael James Matthews (Australia; Congo)

Following the life of Maxime Pivot, the Congo's best dressed man, as he tries to teach the youth of Brazzaville how to dress impeccably, without destroying their lives or culture.

7:30 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

The Greatest Battle Lies Within - 10min
Director - Connor Price, Producer - Gerard Wilkie (Australia)

Prior to his migration to Australia, Congolese playwright Future D. Fidel witnessed the deaths of both his parents and narrowly avoided being massacred alongside other villagers by rebel soldiers. His debut play and novel, Prize Fighter, draws on several of his experiences while using a boxing ring as a metaphor for his character Isa’s struggles with violence. The play has become a hit around Australia and for the La Boite Theatre Company. By detailing his story, Future is able to provide an example of how works of art and entertainment can be powerful tools of self-expression.

7:40 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

Chasing Mandela's Rainbow - 86min
Director - Gary Janks (United Kingdom; South Africa)

Life in Mandela's South Africa has been an unrelenting struggle between utopian hope - and painful reality. Three school students, aided by their teachers, want to join the success story this country was meant to become, post-Apartheid. They strive for recognition, dream of their place within a society, meant to work for all. Their dissimilar backgrounds and battles illustrate why Mandela's vision never materialised and is still, a haunting and illusive rainbow. These are no fairy tales; only honest stories of real lives inside an unfair, two tier system that needs a drastic change. Their backgrounds still reflect the deep inequalities of the past, but woven into their lives is a common thread: the guts to achieve, regardless of the situation. Who will prosper, despite a broken education system and who will fail because of it, where half a nation’s youth are unemployed? And why? This is a moving, contrasting and conflicted study of epic challenges facing the “born free” children of Mandela.

9:10 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

The Giverny Document (single channel) - 40min
Director - Ja'Tovia Gary (France, United States)

Filmed on location in Harlem, USA and in Claude Monet’s historic gardens in Giverny, France, The Giverny Document is an experimental, multi-textured cinematic poem that meditates on the safety and bodily autonomy of Black women. Filmmaker Ja’Tovia Gary unleashes an arsenal of techniques and materials including direct animation on archival 16mm film, woman on the street interviews, and montage editing techniques to explore the creative virtuosity of Black femme performance while interrogating the histories of those bodies and lives as spaces of forced labor and commodified production.

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2021

7:00 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

Ayiti: The Awakening - 26min
Director - Sage Love (Haiti, United States)

A young man is driven to find his Ancestral roots and the trouble history of Ayiti after discovering no real relief efforts was made in the aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

7:26 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

Bamba, The Taste of Knowledge - 21min
Director - Brian Valente-Quinn (United States; Senegal)

Bamba, The Taste of Knowledge explores the use of theater as a tool for disseminating Sufi stories and knowledge in the West African country of Senegal. The film follows the work of theater professionals who take the stage to enact the life of Senegalese Sufi saint Cheikh Amadou Bamba. It considers the fine line they must walk between staging religious narratives and respecting norms of representation when dealing with the image and story of a beloved national hero. Through interviews and performance footage, we meet stage artists with a cosmopolitan outlook on their craft. We also discover a vibrant Sufi culture with roots in local West African customs and a global view of Islam in today’s world.

7:47 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

Black Suns: An Astrophysics Adventure - 46min
Director - Kelvin Z Phillips, Writer - Jarita Holbrook (United States, Japan, Australia)

Two African-American astrophysicists travel across three continents, praying for clear skies and hoping to capture the elusive, magical moment of totality during a total eclipse. Just in time for the August 21, 2017 Great American Eclipse, comes the documentary: 'Black Suns: An Astrophysics Adventure.'

8:35 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

They Say I'm Your Teacher - 9min
Director - Catherine Murphy (United States)

Bernice Robinson, a beautician from South Carolina, was the first teacher in the Citizenship Education Schools that taught literacy in order to pass voter registration requirements in the South during the mid-1950s and 1960s. She taught adults to read and write as part of Citizenship, understanding that registering to vote and engaging people in the issues that affect their lives was a key step toward changing the system. This helped to set the stage for the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

8:45 PM - AWDFF Live - Tickets via Eventbrite

Chèche Lavi (Looking for Life) - 76min
Director - Sam Ellison (Haiti, Mexico)

Two Haitian migrants find themselves stranded at the US-Mexico border, strangers in a strange land. With no way forward and no one to depend on but each other, difficult choices lead the two friends towards very different futures. Lyrical and patient, with a careful eye for cultural and linguistic detail, this is a film about longing for a place to fit in, longing for a stable life, for connection and companionship. It isn’t about crossing borders; it’s about how it feels when you can’t get across. It’s about what happens when you end up in a totally unexpected place. When you have to start over.

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