The Fifth Edition of the New York Forum of Amazigh Film Festival

The Fifth Edition of the New York Forum of Amazigh Film Festival

May 9 & 10, 2019

The New York Forum of Amazigh Film (NYFAF) is an annual forum of shorts, documentaries, and feature films celebrating the Imazighen, the indigenous people of North Africa. This yearly event includes discussions between filmmakers, scholars and students as well as live musical performances, exhibits, and receptions to promote cultural awareness and exchange.

Now in its fifth edition, NYFAF will take place at the LaGuardia Performing Arts Center (LPAC) in Long Island City, NY on May 9th and 10th. This year’s theme is Navigating Plural Identities, a central element of life in North Africa which encompasses many languages, ethnicities, religions, cultural practices, and artistic expressions.

Moviegoers will be immersed in a dynamic, transnational culture and live the stories and struggles of a diverse ethnic identity in search of a new lens of understanding. Farida Benlyazid’s documentary, Amazigh Wedding in the Anergui Valley and Soufian Aaraichi’s The Mountain’s Echo: The Voices of Amazigh Women showcase the celebrations, labor, and choices of generations of women, including elders who encourage the next generation to gain an educated voice. Zahra’s Mother Tongue, by filmmaker Fatima Sissani, focuses on language and immigration. How do we preserve an oral tradition across borders? In the experimental feature, Defining Love, a Failed Attempt, invited director Hakim Belabbes explores the intersection of legend and modern life. Is unconditional love ever possible?

The beauty, complexity, and resilience of Amazigh culture shine through in these selected works from some of the region’s most innovative filmmakers.

Demonstrating how to keep a native culture alive despite colonial domination and continuing forms of oppression, Amazigh films contribute to a vital dialogue in today’s political and social climate. Historically, the Imazighen, formerly known as Berbers, have left evidence that researchers date as far back as 9,000 years. A diverse people living across North and Sub-Saharan Africa and now spread out through a larger diaspora, they actively seek new forms of self-representation, which NYFAF invites you to explore.

This festival is made possible by the active support of LaGuardia Community College and the Middle East Institute at Columbia University. The International Festival for Oriental Films in Geneva is a media sponsor. For further information about the 2019 program, guest speakers, and previous editions, we kindly invite you to visit the NYFAF website and contact our event producer Ms. Dima Abu Sbeitan at

Habiba Boumlik, founder and co-curator,
Lucy McNair, co-curator,


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