Martinique takes center stage at African Diaspora International Film Festival

Martinique takes center stage at African Diaspora International Film Festival

The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will celebrate its 27th anniversary from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15 with over 60 feature length narratives and documentaries to be presented at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Cinema Village, MIST Harlem and The Museum of the Moving Image.

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A major partner and official sponsor, the Martinique Tourism Authority/CMT USA is also supporting the Gala screening of “Jocelyne, mi tchè mwen | Jocelyne Béroard, at Heart|” during the festival, which takes place on Sunday, December 1st, 2019 at Teachers College, Columbia University, 6 pm.

This musical documentary is about the life and career of Jocelyne Béroard, the group Kassav’s lead and sole female singer from Martinique; directed by filmmaker Maharaki, also from the Isle of Flowers. Jocelyne Béroard is one of the greatest icons of the Caribbean and African communities. Beyond having initiated a new musical movement called Zouk, she largely contributed to spreading its influence in the Caribbean and onto the global music scene. Ms. Béroard is the first Caribbean singer to earn a Gold record. Movie goers at”Jocelyne, mi tchè mwen” will be invited for the cocktail reception with Creole delicacies sponsored by Rhum Clément and take place before the screening at 5pm.

Among the 8 female filmmakers at the festival, Maharaki, who is also a painter, started her career with award winning short films. After directing the artist Indrani in the music video ‘To The Other Side’, she has been regularly solicited to work on overseas productions, which led her to direct music stars such as Rihanna and Shontelle. Her return to feature films, the much anticipated VIVRE, was completed in 2013; it made the official selection of over 50 film festivals and won 11 awards over 9 months.

Jocelyne Béroard and Maharaki are in good company. Martinique is fertile soil to artists, writers of note like Jeanne Nardal, Frantz Fanon, Patrick Chamoiseau or Edouard Glissant, and pioneering producers and film directors such as Euzhan Palcy whose award winning feature films include Sugar Cane Alley and A Dry White Season. Perhaps most notable is famed native son Aimé Césaire, the internationally acclaimed poet, philosopher, politician who co-founded the movement known as negritude.