The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) celebrates its 28th anniversary virtually nationwide for the first time with 75 narratives and documentaries from 31 countries, including 26 world, U.S. and New York premieres.

The festival, which opened on Nov. 27, concludes on Dec. 13.

Highlights include “St. Louis Blues” by Allen Resiner – a 1958 classic film broadly based on the life of W. C. Handy featuring Nat King Cole, Eartha Kitt, Pearl Bailey and Juano Hernandez. The film counts as one of five features celebrating Hernandez, the first Afro-Latino actor to work in Hollywood.

Several films directed by young and talented African-American directors, including “Pink Opaque” by Derrick Perry, are also scheduled for screening during the festival. The film examines the tale of a young university film student struggling with homelessness, romance and family issues.

“Gramercy,” by Pat Heywood and Jamil McGinnis, counts as a short visual exploration of pain and loss, while “Take Out Girl,’ by Hisonni Johnson, offers the compelling story of a young woman’s struggle to improve her life and the hard choices she makes during her journey.

For 28 years, ADIFF has spotlighted culturally and socially meaningful feature and documentary films about people of color’s human experiences worldwide.

The films in ADIFF 2020 explore the full humanity and range of the Black and Indigenous experience, giving a multidimensional voice to often misrepresented and misunderstood realities and peoples.

Titles in ADIFF 2020 come directly from important domestic and international film festivals such as Tribeca, Venice, Toronto, Cannes, Berlinale, Durban, the Pan African Film Festival, The Trinidad and Tobago film festival and the International Havana Film Festival of the New Latin American Cinema in Cuba.

Others are independent productions made by filmmakers eager to share their message with an audience.

“2020 has been a real challenge for many of us,” said Diarah N’Daw-Spech, festival organizer and producer at ArtMattan Productions which annually brings the ADIFF to major cities like Washington, D.C. and New York.

“We are grateful that we’ve been able to adapt and offer a wonderful film festival online at a very affordable rate – just $2 per ticket,” N’Daw-Spech said. “We have a great lineup that, for the first time, we can share nationwide, and that’s very exciting. We are looking forward to sharing the festival with as many people as possible.”

For more information about the 28th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival and to receive the complete lineup, go to www.nyadiff.org.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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