2nd Annual Yale Africa Film Festival

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Yale University

149 York St.

New Haven, CT 06520

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The Council on African Studies and the Yale African Graduate & Professional Students are excited to present the second annual Yale Africa Film Festival (YAFF). YAFF is a platform to showcase African Diaspora films with visionary stories and new narratives re-framing African Diaspora experiences and identities through innovative, future-facing, empowering lenses. The festival features film screenings, director Q+As, panel discussions and a networking cocktail. Through a partnership with NOIR FEST, a Yale-grown film tech startup, the festival will also feature a digital art exhibit sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Arts and Media.

Films to be screened include Ravneet “Sippy” Chadha’s Subira, Kenya’s official nomination for the 92nd Academy Awards (Best International Feature), Peau de Chagrin by Congolese musician and director Baloji, To Be Free by Adepero Oduye (Twelve Years a Slave, When They See Us) among others. Speakers include acclaimed playwright, filmmaker and novelist Biyi Bandele; acclaimed filmmaker, interdisciplinary artist and lecturer Thomas Allen Harris; curator, artist and Forbes 20 Youngest Power Women in Africa recipient Jepchumba.

For filmmaker and speaker bios and detailed schedule, see program.


Film Synopses & Trailers

TO BE FREE (12 min)

Synopsis: In a tiny after-hours club, Nina Simone finds a way for one moment to be free. (Click for trailer)

Screening: Friday 6:30PM


PEAU DE CHAGRIN / BLUE DE NUIT (10 min)

Synopsis: “A dreamscape of electric hues and intriguing characters, Peau de Chagrin / Bleu de Nuit follows a bride and groom during the hours leading up to their wedding. Drawing on Pygmy culture and its visually rich wedding rituals, Baloji emphasises the pain felt by the lonesome character waiting at the altar and transforms a conventionally celebratory occasion into a harrowing betrayal. Peau de Chagrin / Bleu de Nuit is an aesthetic triumph; vibrant, atmospheric and undeniably compelling.” - It’s Nice That


“Intoxicating” - AFRO PUNK (No trailer)

Screening: Friday 7PM


WHITE COLOUR BLACK (1hr 23 min)

Synopsis: Leke, a young, successful photographer living a hedonistic lifestyle in London, has been estranged from his father for many years. He hasn't returned to Senegal since his childhood. When his father becomes ill and suddenly dies, Leke has to make the journey back to bury his father and to rediscover a culture he has long forgotten. (Adult only film, Rated R for sexual content). (Click for trailer)

Screening: Friday 7:30PM


SUPA MODO (1hr 14 min)

Synopsis: Jo is a young girl living in a small village in Kenya. It's her dream to become a super-heroine, but unfortunately these ambitions are hindered by her impending terminal illness. As an attempt to make her desires possible the whole village is plotting a genius plan with the goal to make her wish come true. (Click for trailer)

Screening: Saturday 1PM


SUBIRA (1hr 39 min)

Synopsis: Subira is a free spirit, a young Muslim girl born to be in the water. She loves to swim and go fishing with her father – much to her mother’s dismay. In her element in the ocean, Subira dreams of swimming competitively, as the boys do. But when her father dies in a boating accident, suddenly she’s not allowed to swim at all anymore. Subira now finds herself firmly in the clutches of her traditional mother, Mwana, whose single-minded aim is to arrange a good marriage for her daughter. Though matched with the sensitive, progressive-minded Toufiq, marriage does not quell Subira’s longing to swim and her problems are just beginning. (Click for trailer)

Screening: Saturday 5PM



Event Schedule


Friday, Nov 1

Yale Center for Collaborative Arts & Media

149 York St


5:30PM - 10PM

Welcome reception (Hors d'Oeuvres served)

Digital Art Exhibit: Black Glory: Once Upon a Future

Black Glory: Once Upon a Future is an Afrofuturist exhibit featuring original works by digital artists at the forefront of an artistic movement which has been likened to Cubism. The collective images to be exhibited exude Black power, Black joy, Black strength, depth and beauty. Through experimental collages, bold colors, and the use of sharp shapes and contrasts, these artists evoke the memory of ancient African civilizations and summon a future in which African innovation and glory are known ubiquitously.


Introduction to NOIR FEST: Lolade Siyonbola

Afro-Futurism Dialogue with Jepchumba, Founder of African Digital Art and Future Lab Africa.

Screening: To Be Free (12 min), Filmmaker Q+A

Screening: Peau de Chagrin: Blue de Nuit (10 min), Filmmaker Q+A

Screening: White Colour Black (1hr 23 min), Filmmaker Q+A


Saturday, Nov 2

Yale Whitney Humanities Center

53 Wall St.


1PM - 7:30PM

Screening: Supa Modo (1hr 14 min), Filmmaker Q+A


Panel // Film, Art, Impact: The Role of Storytelling in Sustainable Development

{ Featuring: Biyi Bandele, Thomas Allen Harris, and Mojisola Sonoiki }


Screening: Subira (1hr 39 min)


9 PM

Cocktail + Closing celebration (After Party)



YAFF is supported by Timothy Dwight, Jonathan Edwards and Benjamin Franklin Colleges.

Visuals for the festival posters are part of the digital exhibit, Black Glory: Once Upon a Future and feature the art of @Rickiily. Original shown above is titled "God is a Black Woman"

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Yale University

149 York St.

New Haven, CT 06520

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