STORY BY BUDDHA BLAZE, IMAGES BY LUMZ LENZ
ANGOLAN ACTOR OF VIVA RIVA AT NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL
What great timing to be in New York just in good time to catch the opening gala for the prestigious New York African Film Festival http://africanfilmny.org in the Walter Reade Theatre at the Lincoln Centre. This is an event attended by the top names of the African film industry both from the motherland and the Diaspora. I’m here with Kenyan Vibe TV www.KenyanVibe.com the team is amped and we get busy at work quick. The one thing that’s clear is that the crowd doesn’t ever come more Afrelegant than this.
NEW YORK AFRICAN FILM FESTIVAL FOUNDER MAHEN BONETTI
This is the gala of the 18th New York African Film Festival held in the Walter Reade Theatre at the Lincoln Centre on Broadway. This is the biggest African Film event in the world, everyone is smashingly Afrelegant. We’re welcomed by the festival’s founder Mahen Bonetti an amazing Sierra Leonean woman dedicated to African film. She moved to New York 20 years ago, worked in advertising and journalism at Weekly News. Due to necessity she started an African film club which later became the New York African Film Festival in 1993 due to popularity. It’s been growing strong here ever since. http://www.danaroc.com/inspiring_041706mahenbonetti.html
FOUNDER MAHEN BONETTI WITH VIVA RIVA ACTORS PATSHA & HOJI
The gala starts with screening of this year’s star film; Viva Riva’ a Congolese and Angolan collaboration film by Congolese film director Djo Tunda Wa Munga. Riva acted by Patsha Bay is a local Kinshasa, DRC hoodlum who goes to Angola featuring and steals a truck of gas belonging to a gangster acted by Angola actor Hoji Fortuna. The story unfolds when the truck arrives in Kinshasa, a city that is in dire need the gas and so does the owner. The search is on and drama unfolds when the search for gas in the city turns into suspense, greed, intrigue, lust, corruption and violence. What a Great film.
VIVA RIVA CO STAR HOJI FORTUNA WITH THE STAR PATSHA BAY
CASSANDRA GOINES (PUTAMAYO RECORDS), BADUU (KENYAN VIBE) www.kenyanvibe.com
ZAWADI'S AFRELEGANCE, WAIRIMA'S BEAMING, STACY'S SMILE & CREW
After the screening there was a question and answer session hosted by the festival. We were later treated to a sumptuous African dinner as the crowd starts to mingle with each other into the later hours of the evening. It was time for press briefings, interviews and just plain old African networking. I bump into Kenyan bred Tanzanian director Ekwa Msangi-Omari of Taharuki and her US based cast Miriam Chemoss, Gilbert Owuor and Chris Kamau http://taharukithefilm.com they are at the festival to promote the film. This is a film to watch and you will be hearing so much about it soon. Keep it here.
STAR OF TAHARUKI MIRRIAM CHEMOSS, DIRECTOR EKWA MSANGI-OMARI, GABRIEL OWUOR & CHRIS KAMAU
ENYINNE OWUNWANNE (FAR RIGHT) OF HERITAGE 1960 WITH CREW
KOJO LOOKING AFRELEGANT
BUDDHA BLAZE CHILLING WITH GHANAIAN ACTRESS MAAMEYAA BOAFO
The gala is filled with every other film name that you can imagine from South Africa, Mali, Senegal, Nigeria and the Diaspora. I can’t meet everyone but the ones that stand out. And here at the New York Film Festival gala I would like to introduce to you an actress that you will be seeing on your screens very soon; the New York based afrelegant Ghanaian theatre actress and radio host MaameYaa Boafo who has appeared in a long list of Shakespearean productions of Hamlet and Comedy of Errors. She is currently playing one of the principals at George Street Playhouse's educational tour, and she's modeled for MTN - West Africa division, Hats So Me, and BHF Magazine. Check her out in the new Les Nubians music video 'AfroDance', and is the executive director of a non-profit called Shaggae’s Song Performing Arts Collective, INC. Miss Boafo is gearing up to hit the film scene - watch out Genevieve. This is one actress I personally hope to be seeing in a starring role in with Majid Michel very soon. It’s her time support her: http://casting.benetton.com/profile/1328341-maameyaa