The 16th Annual Cascade Festival of African Films, held in honor of both Black History Month and Women's History Month at Portland Community College Cascade Campus, will run from Feb. 3 through March 4.
The campus is at 705 N. Killingsworth St.
The festival offers five weeks of films from the African continent and the African Diaspora. All films and related events are offered to the public free of charge. Most of the films will be followed with discussions led by visiting film directors and local individuals from the film's featured country.
The festival will open Friday, Feb. 3, with the acclaimed Angolan film, The Hero/O Heroi, directed by Zézé Gamboa, at McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Screenings are planned at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. The Hero won the grand prize in World Dramatic Competition at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
A special festival highlight of this year's festival will be films on the African legacy in Mexico. On Thursday, Feb. 9, Mexican director Rafael Rebollar Corona will present and discuss his film, The Forgotten Root, which focuses on the rarely noted history of the African presence in Mexico. Corona's Afro-Mexican trilogy, The Forgotten Root, From Florida to Coahuila and his work in progress, Incursions into the Hills, will be shown at a symposium and community conversation on the African legacy in Mexico on Saturday, Feb. 11. Following the films, Sagrario Cruz, Ph.D., professor of history in the Africa en México program at the University of Veracruz, will speak on the Afro-Mexican identity, followed by a panel discussion with local community activists.
Family Film Day takes place on Saturday, Feb. 18, at McMenamins Kennedy School Theatre, with two films by local directors set in Mali — Welcome to Mali and Kofalen/The Gift Exchange — and a third film, Coming to England, a BBC adaptation of Floella Benjamin's popular children's book about her journey as a young girl from Trinidad to Britain in the 1960s.
A forum on HIV/AIDS in Africa with films and discussion will be presented on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the PCC Cascade Campus.
Women Filmmakers Week will be held from March 2 through March 4. Film director Sara Rachad will introduce and discuss her film Tahara on Friday, March 3. The festival will close on Saturday, March 4, with a second remarkable new film from Angola, Hollow City, directed by Maria João Ganga.
For complete information about the festival and descriptions of the films, visit www.africanfilmfestival.org or call 503-244-6111 ext. 3630 for a brochure. Festival locations can be found on the venue page of the Web site.