ArtMattan Productions

535 Cathedral Parkway, Suite 14B
New York, NY 10025

212-864-1760

In 1993 ArtMattan Productions launched the first African Diaspora Film Festival (ADFF). One of the purposes of the festival was that of presenting to New Yorkers a more varied choice of films depicting the human experience of people of color in a context different from the usual museums, cultural centers and universities to which these films have been relegated in the past ten years.

We conceived the ADFF as an open event which would be a way to encourage a critical analysis of people's lives here in the United States as well as being an open window to other people's lives all over the world. . The producers of the ADFF wanted to contribute to a more sophisticated analysis of the interaction between art and entertainment.

The African Diaspora Film Festival was from the start a cultural event aimed at refusing the marginal status that some narrow minded people have tried to impose on Black art and culture in this country.

We have encountered a number of obstacles to materialize this goal. Namely movie theaters unwilling to house the festival because of the population it attracts, inappropriate facilities in our communities, lack of financial support from many entities that regularly do business in our communities and pose as supportive and advocates of people of color engaged in positive activities in the Black community, the regular sabotage of other festivals in the city who do not hesitate to write letters of disapproval to film makers who let their film participate in our festival or letters of warning to potential participants.are a few of the hurdles in front of us in this endeavor.

Moreover, we understand that in a democratic society information is a valuable tool, therefore the need for Blacks in the US to know about Black people in other parts of the world as a way to reflect upon and reconnect with the Blacks of the universe no matter how diverse they might be. The Black experience is global. So we have remained committed to our mission.

The ADFF is today an internationally known film festival that has gained the respect of those interested in Black films in particular and good films in general. In the past five years ADFF has presented more than 150 films focusing on the richness and diversity of the life of people of color. Some of those films are now distributed in the United States and Canada by ArtMattan productions.

With no intention of defining a canon, the films in the catalog are as diverse in genres and styles as any contemporary artistic expression can be. From the strong "Faraw!, mother of the dunes" by Malian filmmaker Abdoulaye Ascofare to the joyous "Journey of the Lion" by Fritz Bauman these films are snapshots to the incredible range of the lives of people of color whose life and place in history have been marked by a distinctive sign: the color of the skin.

These films have enjoyed acclaim in different festivals all over the world including the African Diaspora Film Festival. They are components of a movement that has created a strong and diverse cinematic body of work.

The next aim is that of having these films enjoy a theatrical release and be supported by the respectable purchasing power of people of color in the United States of America so we can have a more regular viewing of those stories that enrich our human experience and enhance our vision of the world.

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