The New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) is a month-long celebration of the best cinematic offerings from Africa and the Diaspora. This year’s theme is “Modern Days, Ancient Nights: 50 Years of African Filmmaking,” in reference to 2016 being the 50th anniversary of “Ousmane Sembène’s La Noire De (Black Girl).”


Throughout May, the NYAFF will screen 25 feature-length and 27 short films from 26 countries in Africa and the Diaspora. There will be programs, Q&A sessions with directors and actors, as well as art shows.


Here are some films from the amazing lineup to watch:

“Price of Love” is the centerpiece night film and will be premiering in New York during the festival. Directed by Hermon Hailay, “Price of Love” is a feature film set in Addis Ababa and is about Teddy trying to move on from his dark past by working as a taxi driver. Teddy gets caught up with a sex worker, Fere, and loses his taxi. In the process of trying to find it, a relationship develops between the two. A Q&A session with Hermon Hailay will take place on May 6 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center.



“Rain the Color of Blue with a Little Red in it” is a literal translation of Purple Rain in Tamasheq, the Tuareg language, which has no word for purple. This homage of Prince’s “Purple Rain” by Christopher Kirkley was shot in Niger and tells the story of a musician Mdou Moctar trying to make it. Mdou Moctar is a musician off-screen, so expect quality music from Tuareg guitars and a glimpse into Agadez. There will be a Q&A with Mdou Moctar on May 7 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center.



“Ọya: Something Happened on the Way to West Africa!” by Seyi Adebanjo is a short film that follows the director’s spiritual quest to Nigeria as a queer and gender non-conforming person. Adebanjo seeks to connect with Orisha, deities of the Yoruba tradition as well as their family while revealing the power of traditional Yoruba spirituality. Adebanjo’s Q&A session will take place on May 14 at the Maysles Cinema.



“Queen Nanny: Legendary Maroon Chieftainess” is a film in Jamaican patois and English by Roy T. Anderson. It reveals the little-known story of Nanny, one of the foremost heroines from Jamaican history. Nanny was a chief and warrior among the Maroons, formerly enslaved Africans, in Jamaica. She led the Maroons in a victorious battle against the British army in the 18th century. Roy Anderson will be around for a Q&A sessions on May 8 at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, Film Society of Lincoln Center



Will you be attending NYAFF? What films are you looking forward to? Let us know in a comment below or on Twitter @rafeeeeta