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West African Film Festival

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this event has been postponed until the 2020-21 academic year. For more information, visit

Carthage will host its first West African Film Festival March 30-April 4, 2020. Eleven African films from Senegal, Congo, Benin, and Burkina Faso will be shown at Carthage to celebrate West African cinema and culture. The festival is free and open to the public.

The West African Film Festival, organized by modern languages professor Isabel Rivero-Vila, celebrates African cultures and the newly approved African studies minor. Prof. Rivero-Vila organized the festival after meeting with and interviewing some of the actors, directors, and producers who made the films chosen for the inaugural festival. This festival offers a wide variety of films that represent the best of contemporary African cinema.

A closing ceremony will be held on Saturday, April 4, after the screening of “Fallou” and “Baamum Nafi (Nafi’s Father).” Alassane Sy, director of “Falou” and lead actor in “Nafi’s Father,” will lead a discussion following the films. 

Films will be shown in the Campbell Student Union Auditorium. Admission is free. English subtitles are available for all films.

About the Films and Showtimes

WallayMonday, March 30

Berni Goldbalt — Burking Faso

5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Ady is 13-years old and no longer listens to his father who is raising him alone. The latter, exhausted, decides to entrust Ady to his uncle Amadou for a summer. Uncle Amadou and his family live on the other side of the Mediterranean in Burkina Faso. There, at 13, you have to become a man but Ady, persuaded to go on vacation, does not hear him that way.

Professor Pascal Rollet will lead a discussion following the first screening and Professor Michele Hancock will lead a discussion following the second screening. 

makalaTuesday, March 31

Emmanual Gras — Congo
5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

In the Congo, a young villager hopes to provide a better future for his family. His resources are his arms, the surrounding bush, and a tenacious will. Living on dangerous and exhausting roads to sell the fruit of his labor, he will discover the value of his effort and the price of his dreams.

Professor Jennifer Madden will lead a discussion following the first screening, and Professor Art Cyr will lead a discussion following the second screening. 


Wednesday, April 1

Mati Diop — Senegal 
6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Arranged to marry a rich man, young Ada is crushed when her true love goes missing at sea during a migration attempt — until a miracle reunites them. “Atlantics” was the Grand Prix winner at the Cannes Film Festival as well as the official entry for Senegal for Best Foreign Film for the Academy Awards in 2020.

Professor Nick Pilarski will lead a discussion following the first screening, and Roger Moreano will lead a discussion following the second screening. 

Thursday, April 2

Short Films Evening

4-6:45 p.m.
Target language instructors Linda Silim Moundene (France) and Tanor Fall (Senegal) will lead a discussion about the films after the screenings. 

Une place dans l’avion
Khadidiatou Sow
A radio station announces that a special plane to the United States has just been made available to any traveler wishing to emigrate, without any formality or constraint. The only problem is that places are limited. Moussa, who has always dreamed of leaving, discovers unexpected capacities.

Afrique sur Seine
Jacques Mélo Kane
Is Africa in Africa, on the banks of the Seine or in the Latin Quarter? Sweet and sour questions from a generation of artists and students in search of their civilization, their culture, their future.

Tales of Africa
Djilali Beskri

“Tales of Africa: Part 1” is a series of six, short, animated films made in different African countries: “Shamazulu,” “The Hunter and the Antelope,” “Malika and the Witch,” “The Gift,” “The Three Truths,” and “The Wrestler.”

Yoro Mbaye
Famara, a 19-year-old delivery man, runs races in the capital. “The more you pedal, the more you earn” is his motto. But between the needs of his family and the percentage reserved for his “friend” who holds the delivery account, the earnings of this undocumented Senegalese dwindle.

Innocentia Alladagbe
The film tells the story of girls who get pregnant very early in school. These so-called daughter-mothers suffer violence of all kinds. This film immerses us in their universe, victims of their innocence, who have learned how to draw their dreams, the courage, and the strength to show that pregnancy is not a fatality for success.


Friday, April 3

Alain Gomis — Congo DRC
6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Félicité is a proud, free-willed woman working as a singer in a bar in the Congo’s capital Kinshasa. Her life is thrown into turmoil when her 14-year-old son gets into a terrible car accident. To raise the money to save him, she sets out on a breakneck race through the streets of electric Kinshasa — a world of music and dreams. Grand Jury Prize winner at the Berlin International Film Festival, “Félicité” is also an official selection at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival, as well as the official entry for Senegal for Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards in 2017.

Professor Peter Dennee will lead a discussion following the first film, and Professor Andrea Ng’weshemi will lead a discussion following the second screening. 

Saturday, April 4

Closing Ceremony

Beginning at 5 p.m.

Join us for the closing ceremony of the West African Film Festival. We will watch the short film “Fallou” and the film “Baamum Nafi (Nafi’s Father),” which has won several awards and has been part of some of the most prestigious film festivals around the world.

The guest of honor, celebrated Senegalese actor Alassane Sy, is the director of “Fallou” and the lead actor in “Baamum Nafi,” African food, music, and dancing will follow. 

film screenings

Alassane Sy

“Fallou” is about a young man sent from Senegal to London by a marabout linked to a group of religious extremists. Fallou will discover, together with the city and its energy, the music and the people of London.

Nafi's Father image

Baamum Nafi (Nafi’s Father)
Mamadou Dia — Senegal

In a small town in western Senegal, a fight breaks out between a local imam and his powerful brother over their children’s marriage. At stake — the tight-knit community slowly drifts towards extremism. “Baamum Nafi” was the Pardo D’oro and First Feature Award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2019 and Prix Découvertes at the Namur Film Festival. “Nafi’s Father” actor Alassane Sy will lead a talkback following the screening of the film. 

About Alassane Sy

Alassane Sy

Alassane Sy is a Senegalese screenwriter, filmmaker, and actor. As an actor, he is known for “Nafi’s Father” (2019).

Other celebrated films Alassane Sy acted in include “Sega” (2018), “Mediterranea” (2015), and “Restless City” (2011). As a director, he has received several awards for his short film “Fallou,” which will be screened during the closing ceremony on Saturday, April 4, and his short film “Marabout.”

Mr. Sy divides his time between Senegal and the United Kingdom where he works as an actor and filmmaker. He is also the co-founder of

Festival Sponsors

Institut français and Cinémathèque logosFour student organizations are coming together with the help of Prof. Rivero-Vila, Professor Arthur Cyr, and Roger Moreano to host the West African Film Festival. The student organizations directly involved are the Muslim Student Association, the Black Student Union, the Future of Africa Club, and the French Club. The A. W. Clausen Center for World Business, the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, l’Institut Français, and Cinémathèque Afrique are the co-sponsors of this event.

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