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Heartbeat of Africa in Newmarket

For one magical week, April 9-15, African Film Festival New Zealand 2015 (AFFNZ) will bring the heartbeat of Africa to the heart of Newmarket with remarkable films representing diversity, innovation and creative achievement from across the continent….Lesotho, Senegal, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Mali, Chad, Nigeria, and Malawi. Tickets are now on sale at Rialto Cinemas Newmarket.

“Each year, Auckland hosts many well-known film festivals —French, Documentary, International, Italian, South American, Spanish, Brasilian, etc.  Our inaugural celebration of African cinema in NZ will expand the experience of cinema-lovers by presenting some of the very best African films, many previous award-winners from festivals around the world,” says Boubacar Coulibaly, Chairman of the African Film Festival New Zealand Trust.

The Kaupapa is three-fold: (1) to advance the exposure and edification of New Zealand audiences to understand and appreciate 21st Century African cultures through the medium of film; (2) to help foster positive cultural relations and tolerance between the many diverse communities of Auckland; (3) to expand the current roster of cinema festivals to include African cinema.

Marilyn McFadyen, AFFNZ Producer/Director says, “AFFNZ will showcase African drama, comedy, documentary, music and children’s genres that will entertain, inspire, and inform Auckland cinema-lovers, about 21st Century Africa and African people beyond the lenses and filters of mainstream news media.”

“Through the media, all we hear are the sad stories about Africa and one of the things I am really enjoying about these films is that they show us the real Africa, they show life going on as normal for millions of people in these countries”

“We are confident this event will become an annual favourite on the New Zealand film festival calendar, and the African Film Festival circuit around the world,” says Ms. McFadyen

Witi Ihimaera, writing in the festival programme on behalf of AFFNZ Patrons (who are 12 of the country’s most well-known cultural icons), puts it best:

“Expect provocation, revelation and passion. Be assured of boldness, vibrancy, and vitality. Expect to come away visually enriched and understanding just a little better, some of the profound geographies and experiences of African people who now live in many New Zealand communities.”

AFFNZ Trust expects this festival to grow and develop over the years. Importantly, AFFNZ will help newly migrated and first-generation families of African descent to remain connected with the African Diaspora, thus fostering a strong sense of identity and self-confidence as they engage with and assimilate into New Zealand society.

“AFFNZ has long been a dream for the African Diaspora represented in New Zealand, and lovers of African culture from many different backgrounds. My fellow Trustees and I are so happy to see this dream finally realised”, said Mr Coulibaly.

AFFNZ is already generating great excitement here in New Zealand and internationally, and we are pleased to partner with prestigious African Film Festivals around the world.

  • Festival Pan-African du Cinema et de la Television (FESPACO) in Burkina Faso who host the largest African film festival in the world;
  • The Royal African Society in London and their Film Africa which last year screened more than 80 films from nearly 30 countries;
  • New York City African Film Festival, now in its 15th year and one the oldest and most successful; and
  • Tokyo’s African Film Festival which in the last four years has attracted a very strong following

WHO: African Film Festival New Zealand Trust
WHAT: First Ever African Film Festival in New Zealand
WHEN: 9-15 April 2015
WHERE: Rialto Cinemas, Newmarket, Auckland

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