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

Scroll below to view the themes and films from the Series' history.

The Seventeenth Annual Africana Film Series at

Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences

"Africa's youth and the environment"

Two catastrophic trajectories have dominated the first two decades of the 21st century: the trajectory of increasing environmental destruction and the trajectory of increasing numbers of displaced people. The effects of these mounting problems will be especially long-lived in today’s youth. This year’s ACPHS Africana Film Series looks at these mutually reinforcing problems through the lives of young people living in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Ghana. Acting on James Baldwin’s statement that “nothing can be changed until it is faced,” this year we will face and discuss these problems through the visions of three films.

The Invisible City (Kenya)

Tuesday April 5, 2022,   7:00 pm,  Student Center Rm# 201

Most of the 84 million displaced people in the world live in refugee camps. Filmmaker Lieven Corthouts spent 4 years documenting the lives of children in Kakuma UNHCR camp where over 185,000 refugees live in the middle of the Turkana desert in Kenya. Join us to experience the inventive hopefulness of children living in the harsh conditions of one of the world's largest refugee camps.

After The Invisible City, there will be a showing of "Four Years--Crossing Africa by Bike" (photo slideshow with music) followed by a short period for questions.

Anbessa (Ethiopia)

Tuesday April 12, 2022, 7:00pm, Student Center Rm# 201

Sight & Sound magazine describes Anbessa as an "eloquent new documentary [that] explores the subject of urban development and Westernisation in Ethiopia through the eyes of one captivating ten-year-old boy." Focusing on a displaced boy and his mother living near a large condo development in a formally rural district outside Addis Ababa, this film helps us not only to understand but also to feel the effects of the increasing privatization and foreign investment in this second-most-populous country of Africa.

Welcome to Sodom (Ghana)

Tuesday April 19, 2022, 7:00pm, Student Center Rm# 201

We end our film series for 2022 with what Roger Ebert.com describes as “This impeccably lensed picture takes an unflinching look at the place where our laptops and smartphones will likely end up—a sprawling waste dump in Ghana populated by 6,000 men, women and children." This is a study in determination and hopes living in an environmental inferno.  "Through jaw-dropping artistry, this stunning film” (Filmmaker Magazine) is essential viewing for anyone concerned with children, Africa, and the global need for a different trajectory into the 21st Century. 

2022

THEME: Africa's Youth and the Environment

2020

THEME: Africans in the Caribbean

  • La Playa DC (Columbia)
  • Maluala (Cuba)
  • Ava and Gabriel (Curacao)
2019

THEME: Africans in Europe — Our Human Migrations 

  • Corps Étranger (Foreign Body)
  • Az állampolgár (The Citizen)
  • 100% Arabica
2018 

THEME: North Africa and Music — Bridges Not Walls

  • I Love Hip Hop in Morocco
  • Daresalam
  • Transes (Trances)
2017

THEME: Senegal

  • Borom Sarret (The Wagoner) and Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
  • Sembène!
  • La Noire de...   (Black Girl)
2016 

THEME: Love in Africa

  • Sabriya and The Gaze of the Stars 
  • Surrender, A Barber's Wisdom, and The Father (three films)
  • Woubi Chéri 
2015

THEME: Global Exchanges

  • Dôlè (The Money)
  • Mother of George
  • Fintar O Destino (Dribbling Fate)
2014

THEME: Three Favorite Films of the Series' First Decade

  • La Petite Vendeuse de Soleil (The Little Girl Who Sold the Sun)
  • Forgiveness
  • Faat Kine
2013 

THEME: 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

THEME: Traditions

  • Umgidi (Shadow Dancing)
  • Si-Gueriki (“The Queen Mother”)
  • Long Night’s Journey into Day: South Africa’s Search for Truth & Reconciliation
2011

THEME: Gender

  • Umgidi (Shadow Dancing)
  • Taafe Fanga (Skirt Power)
  • A Walk in the Night
2010 

THEME: The State

  • Thomas Sankara: An Upright Man
  • Ezra
  • Forgiveness
2009 

THEME: Hopes

  • And So Angels Die (Ainsi Meurent Les Anges)
  • Shake Hands with the Devil
  • Mahaleo
2008

THEME: 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

THEME: Colonial Inheritances

  • Le Malentendu Colonial (Colonial Misunderstanding)
  • Everyone’s Child
  • Zulu Love Letter
2006

THEME: Rising Up 

  • Allah Tantou (God’s Will Be Done)
  • Ndeysaan (Oh Life!)
  • Karmen Geï
2005

THEME: Wellness and Intentions

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