In a celebration of cultural richness and cinematic brilliance, the African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) is gearing up to mark its 31st anniversary, taking place from November 24 through December 10, 2023. This grand event promises an exquisite cinematic feast with 85 narrative and documentary films hailing from 33 countries. The festival will unfold across five prestigious venues in Manhattan, transforming the city into a hub of global storytelling and creative expression.

ADIFF NYC 2023 has a diverse selection of films, ranging from captivating comedies and compelling dramas to thought-provoking documentaries. The lineup includes cinematic gems that have played at Berlinale, Cannes, TIFF, Locarno Film Festival, FESPACO, Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival, and Durban International Film Festival. Additionally, ADIFF proudly features works by both independent American and international filmmakers, ensuring a vibrant and inclusive cinematic experience.

A groundbreaking addition to this year’s festivities is the Mini Virtual Festival, a special segment that will showcase a curated selection of films accessible to audiences nationwide. This innovative approach opens the doors to cinematic exploration for viewers from all corners of the United States.

The opening night film, “Hope of Escape” by Amy Gerber (USA), sets the stage for ADIFF 2023 with its powerful historical narrative. This docudrama recounts the incredible journey of an enslaved mother and daughter striving to escape from bondage before being sold and separated forever. The film boasts a star-studded cast of historic figures, including abolitionist Julia Williams, orator Henry Highland Garnet, and renowned abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Lewis Tappan.

The festival’s centerpiece offering, “The Survival of Kindness” by Rolf de Heer (Australia), promises a mesmerizing experience. This wordless parable, which premiered at Berlinale 2023, follows BlackWoman’s journey through a plague-ravaged wilderness in search of those who left her to die. The film introduces first-time actress Mwajemi Hussein, described by Variety as “riveting.”

“Shantaye’s World” by Guillaume Rico and Mathurine Emmanuel (St. Lucia) takes the audience on a captivating historical journey. This drama chronicles the compelling life of a young girl from St. Lucia finding herself in war-torn England. Director Mathurine Emmanuel will be present for the Gala screening, adding depth to the festival experience.

The festival will culminate with the closing night film, “Nome” by Sana Na N’Hada (Guinea-Bissau). This Cannes Film Festival selection skillfully combines astute political commentary with breathtaking cinematography, immersing viewers in Guinea-Bissau’s turbulent socio-political landscape. The film explores the interplay between individual struggles and political decisions, creating a visually arresting and thought-provoking cinematic masterpiece.

ADIFF 2023 pays homage to the rich legacy of South African cinema by showcasing 14 films that traverse different eras, providing a unique glimpse into the country’s cinematic evolution. From the Apartheid era to contemporary cinema, this selection paints a vivid picture of South Africa’s complex history.

Egyptian cinema takes center stage with four films, celebrating the talent of women both in front of and behind the camera. The carefully curated program delves into the depth and range of these productions, offering viewers an immersive experience that concludes with a Q&A session with director Nadia Fares.

Independent filmmakers shine brightly in this year’s lineup. “Goodbye Julia” by Mohamed Kordofani (Cannes 2023) explores the story of Mona, a retired northern Sudanese singer attempting to make amends for covering up a murder. “Move When the Spirit Says Move: The Legacy of Dorothy Foreman Cotton” by Deborah C. Hoard and Ry Ferro pays tribute to Dorothy Foreman Cotton, a key player in the Civil Rights Movement. “In Search of Bengali Harlem” by Aladdin Ullah and Vivek Renjen Bald takes audiences on a transformative journey, uncovering the complex histories of South Asians and Muslims in the United States. “Music Pictures: New Orleans” by Ben Chace offers backstage access into the lives and craft of four New Orleans music legends.

For festival updates and to explore the diverse world of global cinema, visit

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *