Press Release


Co-Director Mary Holmstrom, 503.292.3685,

The Nineteenth Annual Cascade Festival of African Films presents Family Film Day on Saturday, February 21, 2009 at 2pm in Moriarty Arts & Humanities Bldg 104, Portland Community College Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth, Portland, Oregon. The event is free of charge.

Family Film Day will showcase Azur & Asmar: The Princes' Quest directed by Michel Ocelot, also director of Kirikou and the Sorceress and Kirikou and the Wild Beasts. This original fairytale, inspired in part by the folklore of A Thousand and One Nights, as well as by the decorative art of North Africa and the Middle East, tells the story of two boys, raised as brothers, who are enchanted with the story of a fairy waiting to be released from her chamber by a heroic prince. The boys are later separated, and upon growing up, set out individually to find her - but only one can be successful in his quest. Ocelot's film is an unusual combination of 3D computer animation with two-dimensional painted backgrounds and non-photorealistic rendering.

Azur & Asmar is rated PG (Parental Guidance suggested). The film is recommended for children from ages 5-6 and older.

Local artist and storyteller Baba Wague Diakite will host the event and tell several folktales from his homeland of Mali, West Africa. Diakite is the author/illustrator of several children's books including The Magic Gourd: A West African Folktale, a Library of Congress Africana Book Award Honor Book. The Hunterman and the Crocodile was named a Coretta Scott Honor Book. Diakite is also known internationally for his ceramic pottery. He has created large-scale installations for the Oregon Zoo, Oregon State University, and Disney World.

For children in attendance at Family Film Day, drawings will be held for Diakite's books.

Family Film Day is co-sponsored by Portland French School and Catlin Gabel School.

The Nineteenth Annual Cascade Festival of African Films, held in honor of both Black History Month and Women's History Month at Portland Community College Cascade Campus, will run from February 6 to March 7, 2009, and offers films from the African continent and the Diaspora. Since its inception in 1991, the festival has been organized and run by volunteers and offered to the public free of charge.

For complete information about the festival and descriptions of the films, visit the festival Web site: or phone 503-244-6111, extension 3630, for a brochure. For ongoing media updates, including visiting filmmaker information, visit the Press Page of the Web site.

# # #