African Film Festival: eight films from eight nations

The third African Film Festival will be held March 27-30. The series consists of four feature films and four short films from eight different African nations, touching on themes of love, gender, family and the effects of globalization. It also will include a new youth program March 26-27.

“The festival is an excellent opportunity to experience various African cultures in one weekend,” said Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo, Ph.D., assistant dean and senior lecturer in African & African American Studies in Arts & Sciences.

“Each year, the films offer something very new and exciting to St. Louis audiences. I think more important than the story line of each film is the glimpse into the everyday lives of important African cities and towns,” she said.

All screenings are free and open to the public and begin at 7 p.m. each evening in Brown Hall, Room 100. A postshow discussion and reception will follow Sunday’s films.

Senior Olawale Hassan, president of the African Students Association, said the festival has been an amazing way to connect the campus with the social, political and cultural experiences of many African countries and individuals. “Each of the films gives a unique view into the diversity of our world and conveys a message that our wants and needs as human beings are the same for all of us,” Hassan said.

The youth program was created in conjunction with the La Crèche St. Louis and supported by the Saint Louis Art Museum to cultivate younger audiences by introducing elementary and high-school students to African film. Teachers will receive a curriculum guide for the films shown at the youth program. Films include “Les Arbre Aux Espirits” at 9:30 a.m. March 26 and “Hop” at noon March 27.

Most of the films in the series have been provided by the African Film Festival, a New York-based not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting African arts, literature and culture.

The Traveling Film Series, now in its 12th year, highlights an often-neglected part of international film culture — and one frequently overlooked by major film distributors.

Each year, the series travels to about a dozen cities, reaching thousands of viewers who would otherwise have little or no opportunity to view African cinema.

This year’s festival is made possible by a grant from the Missouri Arts Council and support from the National Endowments for the Arts, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Campus sponsors include Film & Media Studies and African & African American Studies, both in Arts & Sciences; the African Students Association; and the African Students of the George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Additional support is provided by a grant from the Women’s Society of Washington University.

Brown Hall is located near the intersection of Forsyth Boulevard and Chaplin Drive.

For more information, visit or call 935-7879.