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BAMcinématek and New Voices Arts & Media Present the Eighth Annual New Voices in Black Cinema, Apr 26—29

BAMcinématek and New Voices Arts & Media Present the Eighth Annual New Voices in Black Cinema, Apr 26—29

From Thursday, April 26 through Sunday, April 29, BAMcinématek presents the eighth annual New Voices in Black Cinema, one of a variety of New Voices Arts & Media programs presented in partnership with BAMcinématek since 2009. The series provides a showcase of new and established voices in black independent cinema reflecting the wide spectrum of stories by and about African diasporic communities in the United States and beyond. This year's series includes 10 feature length films and three short film programs comprising diverse work from up and coming talent.

The series opens with Rungano Nyoni's debut feature I Am Not a Witch (2017-Apr 26). Set in modern-day Zambia, the film centers on a nine-year-old girl accused of being a witch. She must decide whether to accept life as a witch or be turned into a goat. The film uses satire and magical realism to explore questions of fate and freedom. Closing the festival is Sam Pollard's documentary Sammy Davis, Jr.: I've Gotta Be Me (2017-Apr 29), which examines the life and politics of the color barrier-breaking performer. Also by Pollard, Maynard (2017-Apr 29), is a documentary delving into the life of the first black Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, Maynard Jackson, Jr. The film shows how through strengthening affirmative action and voter turnout, Maynard changed ATLANTA from the "heart of the confederate south" to an inclusive cosmopolitan city.

Another documentary making its New York premiere is Geoffrey Pingree and Rian Brown's The Foreigner's Home (2018-Apr 28). Produced by the late Jonathan Demme, the documentary expands upon the question "Who is the foreigner?"-originally asked by Toni Morrison in her 2006 exhibition at the Louvre. Using archival footage, animation, and exclusive interviews with Morrison the film explores themes of identity, race, and art. Rehad Desai's documentary The Giant is Falling (2016-Apr 27), captures the political events that have led to the unraveling of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. While the ANC has been in power since Nelson Mandela's 1994 election, the film chronicles the party's failure to deliver on its promises of equality in South Africa.

Making its New York premiere in New Voices is Nijla Mu'min's Jinn (2018-Apr 28), which won a special jury prize at this year's SXSW Film Festival. In this bittersweet coming of age story questions of identity, faith, and family are triggered after the 17-year-old protagonist's mother converts to Islam. Also making its New York premiere is the comedy, La Vie de Chateau (Ido & Barry, 2017-Apr 28), which follows a quick-witted hustler (Charles) trying to start his own business. The film is rooted in the struggle of the immigrant experience in the Parisian African neighborhood Château d'Eau.

Romantic relationships are the focus of Darien Sills-Evans' New York premiere of One Bedroom (2017-Apr 27), which takes place during a single afternoon as a long-time couple reflect on their past while contemplating separation. Aminah Abdul-Jabbaar's Muslimah's Guide to Marriage (2016-Apr 26) is a romantic-comedy set in Inglewood, California about an African American orthodox Muslim woman trying to mend a fractured marriage. The series also includes Brooklyn director Eden Marryshow's Bruce!!!! (2017-Apr 26). Made on a shoestring budget, the film follows a man-child who refuses to grow up until he meets and falls in love with a woman.

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