Public Program:
17th Annual New York African Film Festival at the New Museum: One Small Step
May 16 2010
The New Museum is excited to continue its partnership with African Film Festival, Inc. by participating in the 17th Annual New York African Film Festival. This co-presentation includes three days of film screenings, which celebrate the technical innovation that is contributing to a new level of independence in African cinema. Each film in the series not only reveals the experimental and creative elements of contemporary African cinema, but also pays special attention to the distinct aesthetics of the African camera.


Bon Voyage Sim, Dir. Moustapha Alassane, Niger, 1966, 5 min
This 1966 animation presents a charming narrative of politician frog Sim, president of “toad republic” and the wonders of traveling to countries during his presidential trip.

Adieu Sim, Dir. Moustapha Alassane, Niger, 2001, 5 min
Revisiting his film from the mid-1960s, Moustapha Alassane is able to employ a new cinematic technique and develop an alternate ending to what was censored during the colonial period.

The Toad Who Visits His In-Laws/Le Crapoud Chez Ses Beaux-Parents, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1990, 8 min
Rooted in the oral tale recounted by the Tetela in Sankuru, Democratic Republic of Congo, this story explains how it came to be that the fox ate the chicken, the chicken ate the termite, the termite ate the stick, and the stick ate the toad.

Black September in Kinshasa/Kinshasa, Septembre Noir, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 1991, 7 min
An animated documentary about children’s drawings from the military pillaging that hit their community in September 1991, this short uses limited animated techniques interspersing the children’s drawings with drawings from Kibushi himself.

Prince Losena/L’Heritier, Dir. Jean-Michel Kibushi, Democratic Republic of Congo, 2004, 30 min
Seeking to fulfill his role as leader, King Ngolo is troubled by the infertility of his three wives. This story follows his search for a solution to the problem.

The Colonial Friend/L’Ami Ya Bon, Algeria/France, 2004, 9 min
In 1940, France went to war against Germany and announced not only the mobilization of its territory, but also of its colonies. Senegalese family man Aby enlists in the army, distinguishes himself in battle, and is captured. But when he returns to his country, the French army refuses to pay him for his services. This beautifully animated film records the 1944 incident in which Senegalese veterans were gunned down after demanding payment for their military service.

One Small Step, Dir. Remi Vaughan-Richards, Nigeria, 45 min
One Small Step is a fusion of documentary and drama. Using entertainment to educate, this story follows Grace Fidelis as she tries to save her community from disaster.

My Lost Home/Ma Maison Perdue, Morrocco/France, 2002, 19 min
The filmmaker recounts his childhood memories, exploring the complexly intertwined history of France and Morocco through the eyes of Moroccan immigrants living in France.

Lightning Strikes, Dir. Theo Eshetu, Italy/Ethiopian, 2010, 8 min
Lightning Strikes narrates the events surrounding the return of the Axum obelisk to Ethiopia. The obelisk was taken during the Italian occupation as a war trophy and placed in Rome where it stood for over seventy years. It was much debated as to whether it should be return to Axum or not. The decision to finally return it was made only after it had been struck by lightning and was in need of restoration.

The Voice on the Moon*, Dir. Goddy Leye, Cameroon, 2005, 3 min
A man alights on the moon. Neil Armstrong is there. In a steady stream of dance steps, to the sound of Cameroonian music, the man— Goddy Leye—saunters toward the American astronaut. Slowly, Leye merges with Armstrong, becoming one with his body in a short burst of Afrofuturist invasion.

Kempinski*, Neïl Beloufa, Algeria, 2007, 14 min
Welcome to Kempinski. The inhabitants of this mystical/mythical place explain: "Here, we have a center for the exploration of outer space. Soon, we will be firing rockets into the heavens and placing satellites in orbit; this will allow us to know much more about other, similar space stations and about other planets, beyond."

Shelley Barry Selected Experimental Shorts, Shelley Barry, South Africa, 2000-2010, 26 min
Presentation by filmmaker Shelley Barry about her work.

Courtesy the Artist and New Museum