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11th annual Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival returns to the Druid City


The 11th annual Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival, co-sponsored by The University of Alabama College of Community Health Sciences, will be Saturday, Feb. 10 from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the UA Student Center.

The festival will include a viewing of two feature films, both documentaries, as well as four short films by young filmmakers from Ghana and Nigeria. A panel of speakers will also discuss issues highlighted by the films.

Additional co-sponsors include the UA African Students’ Association and Tuscaloosa Sister Cities Commission. Tuscaloosa is a sister city of Sunyani-Techiman in Ghana.

The first feature film, “Walter Rodney: What They Don’t Want You to Know,” documents the life, work and death of Walter Rodney, an intellectual of the Civil Rights Movement who advocated for justice and equality for African Americans, Black Lives Matter and the Reparations Movement. Rodney’s book, “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” is used in many university courses nationally and internationally.

The second feature film, “The Africologist,” is a documentary about Africa’s history through the lens of science and technology. The film follows a chronological timeline starting with the birth of the universe, the origins of humanity in Africa, the country’s Golden Age, its Dark Ages from slavery through colonialism, and the rebirth of freedom during the post-colonial era. Africa’s contributions to science and technology is the thread that connects the stories.

The four short films include:

  • “Kpeshie Egbo,” or Dead Lagoon, offers a microcosm of the larger environmental catastrophe that awaits Africa if actions aren’t taken to protect the environment and prevent further climate change.
  • “Oko K3 Akueteh,” or Treading Water, is a compelling look at how a traumatic event is handled within a traditional context.
  • “Bride Untangled” shows the collision of modern and traditional cultures at a wedding ceremony, depicting the cultural complexity of Africa through a Nigerian lens.
  • “Omugwo” focuses on postpartum depression.

The Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival is presented by the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation and Afram South Inc., two nonprofit organizations that support education and public health initiatives in Ghana, West Africa, and West Alabama, respectively.

Tickets are $10 for the public and $5 for students. Tickets are available online through Eventbrite. For more information, contact, Bill Foster at 334-322-0824 or Thad Ulzen at 252-412-0415.

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