Thierry Michel's 'Katanga Business' is a "thriller-like documentary set in a diamond-rich region of Congo. Photograph courtesy the filmmaker
Thierry Michel's 'Katanga Business' is a thriller-like documentary set in a diamond-rich region of Congo. Photograph courtesy the filmmaker

National Geographic’s All Roads Film Project has teamed up with the TransAfrican Forum and the African Diaspora Film Festival to host the fifth annual Washington D.C. African Diaspora Film Festival. The Festival runs from July 22-25 and all films are screened at the Grosvenor Auditorium at National Geographic, 1600 M Street, NW. Over four days, ten films will be shown, including the Washington D.C. debut of eight films.

Each of the ten films approaches Diaspora and the idea of Diaspora in a different way.  The dynamism of the concept of Diaspora is displayed through films that take place in Japan, Jamaica, during the Civil Rights movement in the US, Nigeria, and all across the globe.

The full program can be found here. At $10 each, the films on offer should satisfy cosmopolitan film buffs and the casual moviegoer.  Check out a few of the highlights below:

In Made in Jamaica the evolution of reggae and its development in Jamaica is explored in through documentary and performance. The film includes concert footage by musical heavyweights, Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs, Toots & the Maytals. Watch: Made in Jamaica Trailer.

The “African Griots Program” will show two documentary films, each under an hour, that cover the lives and work of Sotigui Kouyate and Wole Soyinka. As sub-Saharan Africa’s first Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka‘s work as a playwright, novelist, and activist is worth checking out; the film, Wole Soyinka: Child of the Forest will likely be a good introduction to a living legend of letters. The film Sotigui Kouyaté: A Modern Griot is a documentary about the life of acclaimed actor Sotgui Kouyate, who recently died in April. The film features interviews with Kouyate himself and other notable directors, actors, and artists.

Belgian director, Thierry Michel, has worked all over Africa with a particular focus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The D.C. premiere of Katanga Business will make for a thought provoking Saturday night. The film has been well received for its complex depiction of the race for resources taking place in DRC’s southeast corner. Watch the trailer here (en français).

Home Culture African Diaspora Film Festival comes to D.C.