The 11th annual Africa World Documentary Film Festival, sponsored by the E. Desmond Lee Professorship in African/African American Studies at the International Studies and Programs office, University of Missouri-St. Louis, will take place Friday, February 9 to Sunday, February 1 at the Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd. (63112).
The international festival, which is committed to the promotion of knowledge, life and culture of the people of Africa worldwide, in a Pan-African context through cinema, will feature 24 films from 16 different countries, including South Africa, Norway, Nigeria, South United Kingdom, Brazil, Haiti and the U.S. during its official opening in St. Louis. Afterward, the festival travels to different venues in the U.S. and around the world, including Philadelphia, Ghana, Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
For its eleventh season, the festival selected 50 excellent documentaries out of the 185+ submitted by filmmakers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Cape Verde, Central Africa Republic, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Jordan, Liberia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sudan, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, Uganda, and the U.S. Some of the major subjects covered in these selected documentary films are art, business, crime and violence, culture, education, gender, history, human trafficking, immigration, identity, music and dance, traditional religion, personal biographies, politics, poverty, race, society, sports and women’s issues.
The festival is free and open to the public and includes discussions with some of the filmmakers and experts in the subject areas following the screening of the films. Middle and high school students from St. Louis area, including students from Pamoja Preparatory Academy (an African-centered St. Louis Public School) and Grand Center Arts Academy (a confluence Charter School that focuses on dance, orchestra, band, visual arts, choir, and theater), are expected to attend the opening day of the festival.
Popular St. Louis DJ, Dee Jay Wiz will provide live entertainment for the audience to commemorate legendary Chicago radio personality Herb ‘The Cool Gent’ Kent prior to viewing the documentary on Kent, titled “Froze in my Clothes” on Saturday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m.
Documentaries screening on Saturday include “The Honest Struggle,” which is about a devout Muslim ex-offender from Chicago Southside and his journey re-entering society after being incarcerated three times. “Afia Attacks” is a story about the hardships faced by Biafran women during the Nigerian Civil war. “Covered in the Blood of Jesus,” explores the conditions of oil, poverty and Christianity in the Nigerian Niger Delta.
A variety of short films will screen as part of the daylong festival on Sunday, February 11.
For a complete list of the documentary films that are showing at the Missouri History Museum from February 9-11, check the festival website at www.africaworldfilmfestival.com or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AfricaWorldDocumentaryFilmFestival. For additional information, please contact the festival director, Dr. Niyi Coker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 314 516 4852.