FORMAL NAME: African Diaspora Film Festival / ADFF

LAUNCH DATE: November 1993

OWNERSHIP: African Diaspora Film Festival, Inc. - 501C3 not-for-profit Corporation.

DESCRIPTION: The African Diaspora Film Festival (ADFF) is proud of its 18-year history of firsts in presenting, interpreting and educating about films from throughout the world that depict the lives of people from Africa and the African Diaspora. The festival features world and US premieres, recent popular titles, classic movies, foreign and independent releases. Post-screening question-and-answer sessions and panel discussions that include filmmakers, critics, academics, and audiences present the most current discourse on filmmaking in Africa and the African Diaspora.

TIMING: The festival begins every year on the last Friday of the month of November during the Thanksgiving weekend and runs for eighteen days. ADFF 18th anniversary will be celebrated from Friday, November 26 through Sunday, December 14, 2010.

LOCATION: Various locations in Manhattan, NYC including Anthology Film Archives, The Thalia Cinema, The Riverside Theater, the Schomburg Center & Teachers College, Columbia University

TRAVELING FESTIVALS: ADFF holds events at the Jersey City Museum in January, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in February, At Facets Cinematheque in Chicago in June, at National Geographic in Washington DC in July and at the Riverside Theatre in Manhattan in August.

ADFF CINE-CLUB: Since 2003, the African Diaspora Film Festival holds monthly community screenings at Teachers College, Columbia University that are free and open to the public.

AUDIENCE: Since 1993, over half a million people have attended the film festival and its related activities. ADFF’s media reach was over 13 million people in 2008.


The festival has premiered the following titles:

* Gospel Hill by Giancarlo Esposito
* Sankofa, by Haile Gerima
* Cachao by Andy Garcia
* Bleeding Hearts by Gregory Hines
* The Dinner by Bernie Casey
* Orpheu by Carlos Diegues
* Kirikou and the Sorceress by Michel Ocelot
* Funny Valentines by Julie Dash
* Manderlay by Lars Von Trier
* Tsotsi by Gavin Hood
* The Tracker by Rolf de Heer

The following titles signed cable TV deals as a result of festival participation:

* Le Magique by Ezzedine Fazai (Tunisia)
* Haramuya by Drissa Toure (Burkina Faso)
* El Mestizo by Mario Handler (Venezuela)
* Lotto Land by John Rubino (USA)
* A Litany for Survival: The Life and Work of Audre Lorde by Ada G. Griffin (USA)
* Faraw!Mother of the Dunes by Abdoulaye Ascofare (Mali)
* Tasuma, the Fighter by Daniel Kollo (Burkina Faso)

Past Participants in ADFF include

* Gloria Rolando (Oggun)
* Leslie Harris (Just Another Girl in the IRT)
* Raoul Peck (Haitian Corner, Lumumba)
* Joe Brewster (The Keeper)
* Bernie Casey (The Dinner, Once Upon a Time When We Were Colored)
* Stanley Nelson (The Black Press, Marcus Garvey, The Murder of Emmett Till)
* Horace Ove (Pressure, Playing Away)
* Ayoka Chenzira (Zajota & The Boogie Spirit ,Alma’s Rainbow)
* Reginald Hudlin (House Party, Boomerang)
* Melvin Van Peebles (Sweet Sweeback’s Baadassss Song, A Belly Full)
* Isaach de Bankole (Otomo, Chocolat)
* Sheryl Lee Ralph (Secrets, The Mistress, Moesha)
* Charles Burnett (Killers of Sheep, To Sleep with Anger, The Annihilation of Fish )
* Yasmine Guy (A Different World, Kla$h)
* Roger Guenveur Smith (A Huey P. Newton Story)
* Eric Ebouaney (Lumumba)
* Nina Henderson (VP BET)Stanley Crouch, writer
* Cassandra Wilson, Jazz vocalist
* Sonia Sanchez, poet activist
* Warrington Hudlin (Founder, Black Filmmakers Foundation)
* Delroy Lindo (Wondrous Oblivion, Get Shorty, The Cider House Rules)
* (Lynn Whitefield (Redemption, The Josephine Backer Story, White Chocolate)
* Danny Glover (Manderlay, To Sleep with Anger, Lethal Weapons franchise)
* Nelson George (Smart Black People)
* Amiri Baraka aka Leroy Jones, writer and poet
* Giancarlo Esposito (Gospel Hill)


"It surpassed my expectations. The quality of the films presented was outstanding. Thank you very much."

"Excellent quality; beautiful cinematography; wide variety of films; films with positive messages and important educational value."

“Diverse selection. (I am ) interested in francophone films and I had plenty to choose from."

“Diversity, talent, choice."


"The films were interesting and dealt with issues that are rarely explored in American films. The exposure to different cultures was very fascinating."

“I had no expectations because it was my first festival. I thought it was wonderful."

"Did not have any real expectations. Happy to see some films of substance as opposed to commercial releases."