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ADIFF NYC 2023 Closing Night Film: Nome

Restored copy of “Mapantsula” to premiere at ADIFF NYC 2023

ADIFF NYC 2023 celebrates its 31st anniversary from Nov. 24 to Dec. 10 with 85 films from 33 countries to be presented in five different venues in Manhattan.

ADIFF NYC 2023 presents additional programs that will cater to different interests including the Black Women of Excellence Program, the ADIFF School Program, and a line-up focused on African Youth”

— ADIFF NYC 2023

NEW YORK, USA, October 25, 2023 / — The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will celebrate its 31st anniversary from Nov. 24 to Dec. 10 with 85 narratives and documentaries from 33 countries to be presented in five different venues in Manhattan.

ADIFF NYC 2023 will present to the audiences in the tri-state area a diverse array of comedies, compelling dramas, and thought-provoking documentaries hailing from major film festivals including Berlinale, Cannes, Toronto, Locarno, FESPACO, Trinidad Tobago and Durban. Alongside these offerings, the festival is featuring works by both independent American and international filmmakers.

As a special addition to the main event, ADIFF NYC 2023 is set to introduce a Mini Virtual Festival, showcasing a curated selection of films accessible to audiences nationwide.


• “Hope of Escape” by Amy Gerber (USA), ADIFF 2023 Opening Night Film. This historical docudrama tells the true story that follows the incredible journey of an enslaved mother and daughter who must escape before they are sold and separated forever. A star-studded “cast” of historic characters include abolitionist Julia Williams; famous orator Henry Highland Garnet, and renowned abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Lewis Tappan.

• “The Survival of Kindness” by Rolf de Heer (Australia). Centerpiece of ADIFF 2023, this award-winning film will screen in presence of first-time actress Mwajemi Hussein described by Variety as “riveting.” This film – which had its world premiere at Berlinale 2023 – is a wordless parable that follows BlackWoman’s journey as she treks across a plague-ravaged wilderness in search of those who left her to die.

• “Shantaye’s World” by Guillaume Rico and Mathurine Emmanuel (St Lucia) is a historical drama chronicling the compelling journey of a young girl from St. Lucia, who, as a young woman, finds herself in war-torn England. Following a successful tour in the UK, Director Mathurine Emmanuel will be in attendance for the Gala screening.

• “Nome” by Sana Na N’Hada (Guinea-Bissau) – an ACID Selection at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival – will have its US premiere screening as the Closing Night film of ADIFF NYC 2023. NOME, skillfully blending astute political commentary with breathtaking cinematography, immerses viewers in Guinea-Bissau’s turbulent socio-political landscape, capturing the interplay between individual struggles and the weight of political decisions in a visually arresting and thought-provoking cinematic masterpiece.


The South African film industry is one of the oldest and most significant on the African continent. The festival is showcasing a selection of 14 South African films that explore the evolution of South African cinema over time. The films are curated to take the audience on a journey through different eras, starting with films made during the Apartheid Era (pre-1994), then during the early to mid-90s, a transition period for South Africa right at the end of Apartheid, and contemporary cinema. The selection includes a newly restored copy of the 1988 classic crime drama “Mapantsula” directed by Oliver Schmitz, “Marigolds in August” by Ross Devenish, a drama based on the play “Marigolds in August” written by Athol Fugard, who in the early 1980s was South Africa’s most celebrated playwright, and Nothing But the Truth written and directed by acclaimed South African actor-director John Kani.

ADIFF 2023 will present four Egyptian films that feature women both in front of and behind the camera. This carefully curated program highlights the depth and range of the productions, as well as the quality of the stories. The program will conclude with a Q&A session with Egyptian director Nadia Fares after the screening of her film “Big Little Women” presented at the 2023 Locarno Film Festival. The film is a tribute to the director’s beloved Egyptian father and a chronicle of the condition of women in Egypt and Switzerland featuring Egyptian feminist intellectual Nawal El Saadawi who engages in a dialog with the filmmaker and a group of young women linking past and present feminist struggles.

Films by independent filmmakers not to be missed include “Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani (Cannes 2023) about Mona — a northern Sudanese retired singer in a tense marriage — who tries to make amends for covering up a murder by taking in the deceased’s southern Sudanese widow, Julia, and her son, Daniel, into her home; “Move When the Spirit Says Move: The Legacy of Dorothy Foreman Cotton” by Deborah C. Hoard and Ry Ferro, the portrait of Dorothy Foreman Cotton, a charismatic, courageous and consistently overlooked key player in the Civil Rights Movement who was the only woman on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s executive staff; “In Search of Bangali Harlem” by Aladdin Ullah and Vivek Renjen Bald which follows Ullah from the streets of New York City to the villages of Bangladesh to uncover the pasts of his parents. This film offers a transformative journey, not just for Alaudin Ullah, but for our understanding of the complex histories of South Asians and Muslims in the United States and “Music Pictures: New Orleans” by Ben Chace which presents legacy portraits and a rare backstage access into the lives and craft of four New Orleans music legends: Soul Queen of New Orleans Irma Thomas, Little Freddie King, Ellis Marsalis, and The Tremé Brass Band.

ADIFF 2023 presents additional programs that will cater to different interests including the Black Women of Excellence Program, a spotlight on the work of Curaçao filmmaker Felix de Rooy, the ADIFF School Program, a First Nation focused line-up and the African Youth: Films and Society Program offered in collaboration with the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

For more information about the 31st Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, please e-mail [email protected]. Festival web site:, Facebook and twitter is @nyadiff, Instagram: ny_adiff

The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.

The 31th Annual New York African Diaspora International Film Festival is made possible thanks to the support of the following institutions and individuals: ArtMattan Films, New York State Council on the Arts, The Harlem Community Development Corporation, The New York City Council in the Arts, West Harlem Development

Dirah N’Daw-Spech
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