The African Film Festival (TAFF) created to showcase African independent films continued its tradition by hosting the 2023 edition of its annual film exhibition in Dallas, Texas from June 1st to 3rd. This eighth (8th) edition presented at Dallas College – Richland Campus showcased 50 film screening submissions over a two-day period on June 1st and June 2nd. A diverse audience witnessed the independent creativity presented by film industry artist from various African countries and the USA. Festival attendees celebrated the exploration of Africa and its diaspora through the global lens and voices of talented filmmakers, producers and talent artist. Everyone enjoyed quality, culturally rich narratives, documentaries, short stories and more.
The African Film Festival awards ceremony was held at SMU – Dallas Hall on Saturday evening June 3rd beginning with fashionable red-carpet appearances captured by professional photographers. The lively ceremony proceeded with a comedic master of ceremony, Edo Charles; and musical performances by Lanre Teriba of Nigeria, Naira Ali of Uganda, and NaturalVybz of St. Lucia. Fourteen (14) Category Awards were presented by a host of nationals from Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, Gambia, Uganda, Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Malawi, Ethiopia, and the United States. In addition, honorary awards were also presented to local leaders including Dr. Opal Lee, who received the TAFF Legend Award for 2023. Dr. Lee is a voice of history with a message for the future. She is often called the “Grandmother of Juneteenth” and is responsible for the recognition of Juneteenth as a United States national holiday.
In his speech during the TAFF Awards Ceremony, the Founder and Director of The African Film Festival, Kelechi Eke, congratulated colleagues and filmmakers for the relentless effort in telling the African Narratives. He called all of them the TAFFESTS (winners) and encouraged them to continue the good work in telling our stories. He also thanked the Dallas African community for the support that they continue to give the festival and filmmakers that showcase their work on the platform each year. Mr. Eke promised to continue to do his part in bridging cultures through film, and to keep shining the spotlight on African films.
The Best Narrative Feature Film was “Crystal – Countless Misfortune” from Uganda; while the Best Documentary Feature was “Mamody, The Last Baoba Digger” from Madagascar. Stephanie Tum of Cameroon won the Best Actress Award from the film “When the Levees Broke.” And Nigerian Kalu Ikeagwu, who starred in a Ugandan collaborative film “Kafacoh” won the Best Actor Award.
We invite you to celebrate the freedom and creativity of Africa by supporting the independent filmmakers presented on Rootflix, a streaming platform.