Film Festival about North African Women’s Perspective on Coming of Age During #MeToo & Other Topics

Film Festival about North African Women’s Perspective on
Coming of Age During #MeToo & Other Topics

Thursday, April 26 & Friday, April 27, 2018 
LaGuardia Community College/CUNY

Free and Open to the Public

What can be learned about gender identify from an exploration into how women in North Africa are reacting to #MeToo? How do North African women negotiate their social, professional, and political identities?

What can we learn from Amazigh cinema about transmission of cultural belonging and meaningful change? Can intimacy survive economic displacement? Can love sustain us?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed at the 4th annual New York Forum of Amazigh Film (NYFAF). The film festival, which is free and open go the public, will be presented over two days at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27, 2018.

The film festival is co-sponsored by Columbia University’s Middle East Institute, and is affiliated with the Festival International du Film Oriental de Genève (FIFOG).

The Amazigh, plural Imazighen, are a diverse people originally from North and Sub-Saharan Africa — now spread out across Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, and the larger diaspora. Commonly known as the Berbers (a term considered by some to be derogatory), academic researchers have identified evidence of the Amazigh as far back as 9,000 years ago.

“The Amazigh have an incredible history of fortitude and resilience. There’s much that can be learned from studying how the Imazighen have been able to hold onto language and culture, despite centuries of strife,” said NYFAF founder Habiba Boumlik, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Education and Language Acquisition at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY.

“We want to encourage young filmmakers to explore the rich diversity of Amazigh communities throughout the world. Last year, we featured films from filmmakers in Siwa, Egypt and the Canary Islands; this year we’re showing short films from young filmmakers who grew up in the US, France and other areas of the European diaspora,” said Professor Boumlik, who grew up in Morocco and identifies as an Amazigh.

What: 2018 New York Forum of Amazigh Film (NYFAF)

Contemporary dramatic, documentary, and short films selected for the 2018 NYFAF explore how situations facing Amazigh women correlate to #MeToo and other topics.

Film selections include:

The Lock, a French-Tunisian documentary looking at the struggle between tradition and emancipation as three young women experience the tasfih, a “magical ritual that aims to protect them before marriage.”

• Lidia Terki’s Paris la blanche ( click here to watch a clip) tells the story of 70-year old Rekia who leaves her Algerian village to bring back her husband, an immigrant in France for 40 years.

When: 10:30 a.m.— 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27, 2018

Thursday, April 26 — keynote speaker, Dr. Fazia Aitel from Claremont McKenna College, will present research on Amazigh expression and participate in a student-led discussion on gender issues across cultures, followed by a musical performance by Yuba, a reception and evening feature.

Friday, April 27 — audience members will vote on the Short Film Prize and meet the young women filmmakers in competition.

Click here for program

Where: The Little Theater, part of the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY, 31-10 Thomson Ave., Long Island City, Queens

For more information, visit

• • • •

LaGuardia Community College (LAGCC), located in Long Island City, Queens, educates thousands of New Yorkers annually through degree, certificate, and continuing education programs . LaGuardia is a national voice on behalf of community colleges, where half of all U.S. college students study. Part of the City University of New York (CUNY), the College reflects the legacy of our namesake, Fiorello H. LaGuardia, the former NYC mayor beloved for his championing the underserved. Since our doors opened in 1971, our programs regularly become national models for pushing boundaries to give people of all backgrounds access to a high quality, affordable college education.

Press Information

For press information, please contact: