16th UR African Film Weekend 2023

First Features of Young African Filmmakers

September 8-9, 2023 | Ukrop Auditorium

Guest Presenter: Mamadou Dia
Award-winning Senegalese film director, screenwriter, and co-founder of the production company, Joyedidi.

The New Generation of African filmmakers. For some African film critics, filmmaking in Africa has evolved in four major stages: the colonial era, the Post-Independent era with the towering and pioneering figures such as Ousmane Sembène, Mel Hondo, Souleyman Cissé, the Post-colonial area with filmmakers such as Abderrahmane Sissako, Mahamat Saleh Haroun, Mweze Ngangura and Balufu Kanyinda, and the youngest generation of filmmakers who are just coming of age and who are entirely set into a futuristic mode. After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s session of the African Film Weekend will focus on the issues raised by this newest generation of filmmakers as its members—three are women—reflect on the ways African and African Diasporan communities depict themselves in facing the challenges generated by various internal and external social, political and economic dynamics specific to the global society.

Hosted by the Department of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures and the Office of International Education with support of the Departments of Latin American, Latino, & Iberian Studies; Political Science; Geography, Environment, & Sustainability; Theatre & Dance; A&S Dean’s Office; and the Cultural Affairs Committee.


You Will Die at Twenty

September 8 | 3 & 7:30 p.m. (103 minutes)

Directed by Amjad Abu Alala


At his naming ceremony shortly after his birth, the local sheik predicts that Muzamil has a curse over him and that he will die at age 20. Life turns into a countdown to the fatal day and the wait and see is lived intensely. Heeding to the holy man’s prediction and gradually unable to stand the pressure, Muzamil’s father abandons the family to run away from the curse, leaving his wife Sakina (Islam Mubarak) to raise their son by herself. She grows overprotective of her son until Muzamil turns 19… One critic writes: “You Will Die at Twenty is a modern parable where tradition and progression collide to produce an almost mystical drama. Beautifully shot, jad Abu Alala’s film is assuredly done, with both the cast and the script imbuing the tale with a sense of authenticity and a kind of heightened mystery.” In Arabic with English subtitles.

Awards: Lion of the Future award for Best First Feature film at Venice Days Festival and The Golden Star at the El Gouna Film Festival in Egypt.  


La Colère Dans Le Vent (Anger in the Wind)

September 9 | 8:30 a.m. (52 minutes)

Directed by Amina Weira

Niger, 2016 | Documentary

Arlit is a dusty town in norther Niger where the French company Areva is exploiting uranium in a sandy environment contaminated by unkept industrial procedures and uranium radioactivity. However, in the midst of dangers posed by the situation, the population is not properly kept informed while unknown illnesses tend to appear without anyone keen on finding of the causes let alone remedial means to take care of the workers, their family or those living in this isolated and arid area. The documentary is a series of interviews of the inhabitants of Airlit who narrate their fate while those in charge of the exploitation or have political control of the country are nowhere to be seen.


L'arbre Sans Fruit (The Fruitless Tree)

September 9 | 9:45 a.m.  (52 minutes)

Directed by de Aïcha Elhadj Macky

Niger, 2016 | Documentary

A documentary dealing about a personal and collective story about infertility as a social stigma in a culture that prizes parenthood through marital status as an important marker of identity confirmation that procreation allows and emotional fulfillment that the social recognition grants. It is a documentary about the barrenness especially childless marriage of which the remedy involves divorce, polygamy or social scorn. The film drives to the heart of the most prized value in society: motherhood as a centerpiece for a woman’s fulfillment. It deals with this difficult issue for Nigerien women with tenderness and attentiveness in the conversations of the participants. Macky’s film deals with a taboo topic — the unsaid and the unspoken — and her stance “will give courage to the many women confronted with men's indifference towards their suffering, the suspicion and rejection of husbands and their families, the taking of co-wives to ensure fertility, and the rip-offs of some marabouts.” Women are often blamed for infertility, while men are spared of criticism. The underlying effect could be defiance, bitterness and even anger.

Best Documentary African Movie Academy Awards (2016)


Atlantique (Atlantics)

September 9 | 11 a.m. (104  minutes)

Directed by Mati Diop

Senegal, Belgium and France 

The stage is the sprawling city of Dakar and the plot is a romantic drama triggered at the start by a group of unpaid workers busy building a futuristic tower — while the owner flies abroad for his own leisure — who collectively decide to seek their future abroad in venturing on the Atlantic. A love drama underlies this doomed adventure involving Souleiman (Ibrahim Touré) who leaves behind Ada who has been promised a wealthy suitor, Omar, by her parents. Although her heart is with Souleiman, his abrupt departure without bidding good bye drives Ada to wrestle with her feelings for him. A few days before her wedding to Omar, strange incidents start happening around her — including a fire to the bride’s new room — while at the same time Souleiman is rumored to have cut short his attempts to go to go abroad. Gradually, the focus is on Ada as she has grown from a young girl under her parents’ supervision to a woman with a lot of decisions of her own to take. In Wolof with English subtitles.


The Wedding Party

September 9 | 2:15 p.m. (95 minutes)

Directed by Kemi Adetiba

Nigeria, 2017 | Romance comedy

The film is a comedy around an unprepared drama of a lavish wedding party that turns into a nightmare. The happy event has many minds, heads, mouths to decide what should take precedence. Will it be the ones engaged to be married? Or rather the eccentric mother-in-law to be or the strong-willed mother? Maybe the exes and other uninvited guests who show up for the event?