Iquo Essien (Director)
2013, 15 mins
Aissatou Bah is an African immigrant housekeeper and single mother recovering from an encounter with Henrik Keppler, a wealthy hotel guest who sexually assaulted her. When the District Attorney decides not to go to trial due to a lie she told to get asylum, Keppler moves on, a free man, while Aissa is plagued by flashbacks to the assault. But when her daughter Rama gets bullied, Aissa must find a way to regain her daughter’s trust and repair their broken relationship. How will she find justice and her lost dignity?
Iquo B. Essien is a Nigerian-American writer and director. Her short film Aissa's Story was nominated for the 2013 Student Academy Awards, the 2015 Africa Movie Academy Awards, and it won the Best Student Short at the 2014 Africa International Film Festival. She adapted the short into a feature film while writing a memoir, Elizabeth's Daughter, about losing her mother to cancer. Essien's films have screened worldwide, including at the Panafrican Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the Durban International Film Festival, the New York African Film Festival, and Zanzibar International Film Festival. Essien received a B.S. from Stanford University and a Master of Fine Arts in Film from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Her production company, Editi Films, is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas.
America Heard: Refuge of Hope
Yasmin Mistry (Director)
2017, 5 mins
Syracuse, New York is an unlikely home to over 10,000 former refugees now living in the U.S.. Two women at the forefront of this community reflect on what their presidential vote means to those whose only true home is the American town that took them in.
Yasmin Mistry is an Emmy-nominated animator and filmmaker. Her work has been screened worldwide including recent showings at the White House and the United Nations, as well as at film festivals including Cannes, SXSW, Tribeca and Clermont-Ferrand. She is the recipient of the Puffin Foundation’s 2013 film grant, the Brooklyn Arts Council’s 2014 – 2017 film grants, and the winner of the Jessie Streich-Kest Memorial Grant. Mistry is also the founder of the Foster Care Film & Community Engagement Project, which uses film and animation to give youth in foster care a platform through which to be heard. Her first two documentary short films in the series, Feeling Wanted and My Identity played at over 30 film festivals each. The films have been recognized and received over 20 awards combined, including a nomination for best short film of 2015 by Adoption at The Movies.
Addie & Addy
Adenike Thomas (Director)
2018, 12 mins
Addie & Addy is a colorful comedy about two weirdo Nigerian-American roommates living their best life in Brooklyn, NY. The film's objective is to elicit dynamic, yet grounded characters that add to the multi-faced narratives of black women.
Adenike Thomas is an actress hailing from Queens, NY and graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked with Manhattan Theatre Club, The Lark, Actors Theatre of Louisville and is a member of The Flea's resident acting company, The Bats.
Date: Thursday, May 31, 2018
Time: 6:30 PM
Venue: The Astor Room at Kaufman Astoria Studios Studio A, 35-11 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106
From Manhattan: Take the M train to Steinway Street
From Brooklyn or Queens: Take the F train (towards Jamaica -179th St.), then take the M train to Steinway Street
A Special Thanks to City Council Member Robert Holden
for support of the Cultural Immigrant Initiative.
Join the conversation on Twitter: #nywift | @nywift
NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Last updated: May. 3, 2018