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ADIFF Celebrates Women in Film with Screening Series

Tambay Obensen | Shadow & Act   in  ·
March 25, 2015

Set to take place this weekend is the African Diaspora International Film Festival’s celebration of women in film, which runs from March 27 to 29, at Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.

The lineup of shorts, features and documentaries by independent women filmmakers from all over the world, includes 11 films from six countries (Cuba, Haiti, Brazil, USA, Senegal & Cape Verde). Two of those films are from late Senegalese filmmaker, Khady Sylla, a great filmmaker talent despite a rather short filmography with just 5 total films, most of which haven’t been seen widely enough. The 2 that will screen this weekend are: “Colobane Express” (2000), which captures the often comical societal microcosm in Dakar cars rapides (essentially quick public transportation), focusing mostly on passengers who are of low or middle income, and “The Silent Monologue” (2008), which, reminiscent of Ousmane Semebene’s “Black Girl,” documents the inner thoughts of a girl from a rural area of Senegal who works as a domestic for a well-to-do family in Dakar. Sylla would never see her last completed film, “Single Word,” co-directed with her sister, also a filmmaker, Mariama Sylla Faye.

Sylla died in October 8, 2013.

The Women in Film celebration also includes the work of Afro-Cuban director Gloria Rolando, whose career as film director spans over 35 years at ICAIC, the Cuban national film institute. She also heads an independent film-making group, Imágenes del Caribe, based in Havana. Two of her films will be showcased on Friday, March 27: “Reembarque” (or “Reshipment”), made in 2014, which tells the story of Haitian immigrants in Cuba, in the early 20th century, and their forced repatriation after the sugar market crashed; and “Oggun: An Eternal Present,” made in 1991, which centers on the Orisha Oggun, the god of war and peace, metals, and civilization, as experienced in the life of Lazaro Ros, the prominent Cuban Yoruba singer.


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