What’s The 411’s Kizzy Cox interviewed New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) Founder Mahen Bonetti; at the Opening Celebration for the 20th NYAFF.

Ms. Bonetti discusses the genesis of the New York African Film Festival, the brilliance of Ousmane Sembène, the Father of African Cinema; up-and-coming African filmmakers, and the next 20 years.

The Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF) teamed up once again for the 20th New York African Film Festival (NYAFF), presented under the banner theme LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD: 20 YEARS OF THE NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL.

This year’s lineup will pay homage to master Senegalese director Ousmane Sembène.

Opening Night includes a screening of Guelwaar, Sembène’s powerful and politically charged 1990s film that cemented his reputation as the Father of African Cinema and opened the very first NYAFF—and the first generation of African filmmakers, while passing the baton to a new generation of African visual storytellers.

Some of the VIPS in attendance were: Samba Gadjigo, Professor of French at Mount Holyoke College and Ousmane Sembène’s biographer; African Filmmakers Abderrahmane Sissako (Life On Earth and October) and Frances Bodomo (Boneshaker); and the legendary dancer, choreographer, actress, and mentor, Carmen de Lavallade.

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