Africana Film Series

About the Series

Launched in 2005 by ACPHS Associate Professor of Africana Studies Kevin Hickey, the annual Africana Film Series has developed into a signature event on the College calendar.

The series features three films shown on successive Tuesdays that are built around a theme selected by Dr. Hickey. A discussion follows each screening exploring the various elements of that evening's film and how it fits into that year's theme.

Each show includes food and drink, a write-up on each film, and a post-film discussion. The entire series is free and open to the public.

On this page, you can view the themes and films from the series' history.

2024: Independence and Justice—Africa and Its Diaspora

Please join us for the nineteenth annual Africana Film Series, which has the theme of Independence and Justice—Africa and Its Diaspora. The screening will start at 7:00 PM in Room 201 of the Student Center, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

  • February 6, 2024: Twist à Bamako (Dancing the Twist in Bamako) Mali, 2021.
  • February 13, 2024: Un Fils (A Son) Tunisia, 2021.
  • February 20, 2024: Marighella Brazil, 2019.

Our first film, Twist à Bamako (Dancing the Twist in Bamako) is a colorful, invigorating, multi-layered film that looks at the complex currents flowing through the country of Mali soon after its 1960 independence from France. This is a dizzying coming-of-age story both for its young characters and the country as all are pulled in multiple directions by American music, socialism, Pan-Africanism, capitalism, changing gender roles, education, language, greed, fear, and love.

Our second film, Un Fils (A Son) is a tense, emotionally complex film that also takes place in the aftermath of a political revolution: the summer after the 2011 Tunisian Uprising (aka the Jasmine Revolution) that ignited the Arab Spring. In some ways like Twist à Bamako, this film uses the relations of a single family to explore the larger forces and tensions of a nation responding to the upheavals of political, religious, and class tensions in the aftermath of one of the most important political events of recent history.

Our third and final film for 2024, Marighella, is about the Afro-Brazilian poet, politician, and (depending on whom you ask) freedom fighter or terrorist Carlos Marighella. Released in 2019 both to acclaim and controversy, Marighella continues this year’s theme of freedom, independence, and justice by looking at the forces of repression and freedom in 1960s Brazil that continue today.

All three films look at aspirations to make the world a better place.

Series history

2023: "African Music and Dance in Diaspora—Erased Roots"

2022: Africa's Youth and the Environment

2020: Africans in the Caribbean

  • La Playa DC (Columbia)
  • Maluala (Cuba)
  • Ava and Gabriel (Curacao)

2019: Africans in Europe — Our Human Migrations 

  • Corps Étranger (Foreign Body)
  • Az állampolgár (The Citizen)
  • 100% Arabica

2018: North Africa and Music — Bridges Not Walls

  • I Love Hip Hop in Morocco
  • Daresalam
  • Transes (Trances)

2017: Senegal

  • Borom Sarret (The Wagoner) and Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
  • Sembène!
  • La Noire de...   (Black Girl)

2016: Love in Africa

  • Sabriya and The Gaze of the Stars 
  • Surrender, A Barber's Wisdom, and The Father (three films)
  • Woubi Chéri 

2015: Global Exchanges

  • Dôlè (The Money)
  • Mother of George
  • Fintar O Destino (Dribbling Fate)

2014: Three Favorite Films of the Series' First Decade

  • La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
  • Forgiveness
  • Faat Kine

2013: On the Margins

  • La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
  • Pièces d’Identités (Pieces of Identity)
  • Tableau Ferraille (Scrap Heap)

2012: Traditions

  • Umgidi (Shadow Dancing)
  • Si-Gueriki (“The Queen Mother”)
  • Long Night’s Journey into Day: South Africa’s Search for Truth & Reconciliation

2011: Gender

  • Umgidi (Shadow Dancing)
  • Taafe Fanga (Skirt Power)
  • A Walk in the Night

2010: The State

  • Thomas Sankara: An Upright Man
  • Ezra
  • Forgiveness

2009: Hopes

  • And So Angels Die (Ainsi Meurent Les Anges)
  • Shake Hands with the Devil
  • Mahaleo

2008: Heroes

  • Le Silence de la Forêt (The Forest)
  • State of Denial
  • O Heröi (The Hero) [This film was the grand prize winner of the World Dramatic Competition at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.]

2007: Colonial Inheritances

  • Le Malentendu Colonial (Colonial Misunderstanding)
  • Everyone’s Child
  • Zulu Love Letter

2006: Rising Up 

  • Allah Tantou (God’s Will Be Done)
  • Ndeysaan (Oh Life!)
  • Karmen Geï

2005: Wellness and Intentions

  • Le Grand Blanc de Lambaréné (The Great White Man of Lambaréné)
  • Faat Kine
  • La Vie Est Belle (Life Is Rosy)