Festival Highlights

Welcome to the NINETEENTH Cascade Festival of African Films! We are pleased again to bring you fascinating, award-winning films (23 in all!) from every region of the African continent, along with several excellent filmmakers. This year's festival again runs from the first week of February through the first week of March, allowing us to celebrate both Black History Month and Women's History Month.

Feature films will be shown on Friday and Saturday evenings (with most features also being screened on Thursday afternoons), documentary films on Thursday evenings and on two Saturday afternoons, and a Saturday afternoon Family Film Day program. Each evening screening will be followed by a discussion session led by individuals from the area shown in that evening’s film or by individuals with expert knowledge of the region.

Thanks to the ongoing support of Portland Community College, most of this year’s programs will be held at PCC’s Cascade Campus in the auditorium of the Moriarty Arts & Humanities Building. Other films will be screened at McMenamins Kennedy School and at the Hollywood Theatre.

19th Festival Opens at the Kennedy School

This year’s Festival opens on February 6 (at 7 and 9 pm) with two screenings of Zaina: Rider of the Atlas, a beautiful, timeless tale from Morocco about a girl who discovers her power and her destiny alongside the horsemen of the Atlas mountains. (Note: Viewers of the 9 pm screening must be 21 and over to attend.)

Director Kevin Arkadie Presents FESPACO at Saturday Matinee

Prolific Hollywood writer, editor, producer, and director Kevin Arkadie will present and discuss his 2007 documentary about Africa’s pre-eminent film festival, held every other year in Burkina Faso, at PCC-Cascade on February 7 at 2 pm.

Producer Alrick Brown Presents Death of Two Sons

For our screening of this powerful documentary (about the tragic and brutal death of Amadou Diallo at the hands of policemen in this country and the death of a young American Peace Corps volunteer who happened to live with Amadou’s family in Guinea), we welcome the film’s producer, Alrick Brown. Recently named one of America’s top young documentary artists, Alrick will answer questions and discuss the film’s quest for cross-cultural understanding.

Director Charles Burnett and Actor Charles Lumbly Present Namibia: The Struggle for Liberation

It is with great pride that we welcome the great director Charles Burnett (Killer of Sheep, To Sleep with Anger, Nightjohn, The Glass Shield) to present his new film from Namibia at the Hollywood Theatre as the Festival’s Centerpiece Film. He will be accompanied by Charles Lumbly, star of that film and many others. They will also be on hand for our screening of Nightjohn (see below).

Burnett and Lumbly Come to “StudentFest”

StudentFest presents films with special appeal to students of high school and college age in a matinee program. This year’s StudentFest will be at noon on Thursday, Feb. 19, and will feature Charles Burnett’s powerful, beautiful Nightjohn. Director Burnett and actor Charles Lumbly will be on hand to discuss the film with the audience. StudentFest will then continue with Bab’Aziz - The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul by Tunisian director Nacer Khemir.

Family Film Day at PCC-Cascade

This year’s Family Film Day will be on Saturday, February 21, 2 p.m., at PCC-Cascade. Featuring films that appeal to younger audiences (ages 5 and up), this year’s selection is Azur and Asmar: The Princes’ Quest, an animated feature film by the director of the ever-popular Kirikou series. Artist/storyteller Baba Wagué Diakité of Mali will again preface the films with a traditional story from West Africa.

Documentaries on Thursday Evenings and Saturday Afternoons:

This year’s documentary series will feature films from Guinea, Tanzania, Congo, Mauritania, South Africa, and Liberia, covering a variety of subjects: the tragedy of Amadou Diallo, Cuba’s role in Africa’s struggles for independence, the Taarab music of East Africa, traditional women’s decorative art on the border of the Sahara Desert, the abuses experienced by women during the civil wars of Congo, the Pan-African Film Festival, and the the remarkable team of women brought into the government of Liberia by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first freely elected female head of state in Africa.

CFAF 19 Concludes with Women Filmmakers Week

The final week of the Festival again features a variety of films by women directors, with documentaries and feature films made in Algeria, South Africa, Congo, Mauritania, and Liberia.