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Nigerian Films, Documentaries To Be Screened At New York African Film Festival

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African Film Festival (AFF) will celebrate the 31st edition of the New York African Film Festival in grand style, with an array of Nigerian films and documentaries, among other African titles, set to be screened.

The festival will open with a North American premiere of Tolu Ajayi's “Over The Bridge.” The film, which is set in Lagos, highlights themes of self-discovery, identity and mental health in metropolitan Lagos. It tells the story of Folarin (played by Ozzy Agu), a successful investment banker on a quest to discover purpose amidst internal and external pressures.

When Folarin's company receives a government contract to oversee a grand project which goes askew, the young man tries to find a solution during his visit to a remote village.

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Cinema Kpatakpata's “This Is Lagos,” which debuted last year at the Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF), will also be screened at the New York African Film Festival.

Based on a short story by Crispin Oduobuk-Mfonabasi and directed by Kenneth Gyang, the dark comedy is about a street-smart up-and-coming artiste, Stevo (played by Gabriel Afolayan), and his attempts to navigate survival in Lagos while pursuing his musical dreams.

Nigeria's presence at the anticipated festival extends to Uche Aguh's Dynamite, with Ifeoma Nkiruka Chukwuogo playing the lead role of a songstress called Kiki.

Managed by her overbearing husband, Kiki is set to release a new album when a new bassist, Kofi, joins Kiki and her band for a rehearsal.With emotions soon enveloping the two, Kiki has to make a tough decision concerning her love commitment.

Another Nollywood film, “A Quiet Monday”, makes it to the festival. directed by Dika Ofoma, with Blessing Uzzi and Maryann Eziekwe , as producers, the film is about two siblings, Kamnonu and Ogbonna, who face trouble for violating a Monday sit-at-home order imposed by loyalists of a secessionist leader.

From the diaspora is Indian-Nigerian dark comedy Dilli Dark. Directed by Dibakar Das Roy, the story provides insights on racism and identity through the experiences of an India-based Nigerian MBA student. While living in New Delhi, Michael Okeke's (played by Samuel Abiola Robinson) part-time job as a drug dealer threatens his studentship in a predominantly racist society.

Part of the festival's lineup of films are Umar Turaki's Bege (Yearning), Dolapo Marinho's Wèrè, Oyiza Adaba's biographical documentary DELA: The Making of El Anatsui, and Matthew Steven Leutwyler's sport-based drama Fight Like A Girl, among others.

Founded in 1993, African Film Festival has been at the forefront of celebrating the unique storytelling of filmmakers in Africa and the African diaspora. The theme of the current edition, Convergence of Time, delves into the historical and contemporary roles of individuals in the representation of art in Africa and its diaspora.

The 31st New York African Film Festival will take place from May 8 to May 30, 2024.


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