2021 Special Virtual Edition of
The Nova Frontier Film Festival
An Exciting Weekend Showcasing Films from Around the African
Diaspora, the Middle East, and Latin America
Actress Noma Dumezweni will Serve as the Master of Ceremonies for Opening Night
Thursday, June 17th – Sunday, June 20th
Nova Frontier Film Festival and Lab, The Billie Holiday Theater and Laurel Channel TV have once again joined forces to present the 2021 virtual edition of the Nova Frontier Film Festival during Juneteenth weekend from Thurdsay, June 17th – June 20th. Now in its 4th year, the Festival will feature films from across the African Diaspora, The Middle East, and Latin America, as well as a robust suite of events, all free and accessible to the public.
NFFF 2021 will feature a comprehensive line-up consisting 16 curated long-and- short-form films and panel discussions, designed to create a far-reaching platform for independent filmmakers and artists to be able to share their stories and perspectives with the world. Laurence Olivier Award winner and Tony Award-nominated actress Noma Dumezweni, who recently starred in the HBO hit series The Undoing, will serve as the Master of Ceremonies for the Opening Night of the Festival. Panel moderators over the weekend include: award-winning documentary filmmaker Thomas Allen Harris, and filmmakers, closing night, Master of Cermony is Tony Nominated Dancer, Actress and choreographer Karine Plantadit.
In recognition of this year’s theme – Past, Present, Future Home – the selection of films centers around the complex and timely issues of social and economic injustice, both locally and globally, exploring the idea of home, identity, belonging and the resilience of marginalized voices. In the spirit of celebrating the ethos of Juneteenth, now officially recognized as a holiday in New York State, the Festival will also highlight the concepts of Black joy, resistance, and the liberation of Black and Brown bodies in America.
“We are elated to present the virtual edition of the Nova Frontier Film Festival once again with our partners. What’s more, we continue to support filmmakers and storytelling from our festival regions that speak to the most urgent challenges and opportunities of our times,” said Lydia Darly NFFF Founder. “We are truly inspired by the films and filmmakers in our selection this year, and the theme of Past, Present, Future Home that also reminds us of our interconnectivity and sense of belonging to one global home and community.”
“The Billie is a proud partner in presenting The NOVA Film Festival as it is such an important platform for filmmakers from across the Diaspora to showcase their perspectives and their truths unabashedly and freely. This partnership among our three organizations is so especially fitting because at the core of all of our respective missions is the commitment to telling stories,” said Sabine Lafortune, General Manager of The Billie Holiday Theatre. “As the world continues to navigate through two converging pandemics that have severely impacted communities of color, it is now more important than ever that we are able to provide a safe space and a conduit for these storytellers. Through NFFF, we are all so excited to be able to share these important works that celebrate diverse human experiences and the resiliency of the human spirit with communities around the world.”
“The Laurel Channel was established to showcase the Best Films from the Best Film Festivals. The NOVA Frontier Film Festival was foremost in our minds when we established our mission. We celebrate our relationship with this outstanding festival and the many talented filmmakers who have undergone painstaking scrutiny to have been selected for this event.”
NFFF 2021 Film Highlights Include:
An uninvited guest by Richard.B.Pierre ( Canada) (2020)
When a Black man is viciously assaulted by a police officer right outside their window, all of the guests at a dinner party seem to consider the attack unremarkable except for one.
Back in the island by Amanda Valle (Dominican Republic) (2020)
Back in Island is a short film exploring the creative journey of artist Amanda Valle as she returns to her home in the Dominican Republic. Following an emotionally draining period, Amanda seeks comfort in the local culture by immersing herself in the colors and textures that were once so familiar. A journey of self discovery, the short film became the main source of inspiration for the artist’s new series composed of twelve paintings.
El Remanso by Sebastian Valencia Muñoz (Colombia) (2020)
Hoping for a new job, a family of wandering peasants settles in El Remanso, a country house in ruins full of brushwood where the tracks of an atrocious past are visible. In their first night at the house, in the middle of an atmosphere full of violence, the family expects with anxiety the upcoming peace of the dawn
El silencio del rio by Francesca Canepa (Peru) (2020)
Juan, a 9-year-old Peruvian boy, lives with his silent dad in a floating house on the breathtaking Amazon River. This idyllic background sets an allegorical journey into the rainforest jungle, where nature, gender, truth and all things begin to reveal the identity of his dad.
Ethereality by Gahigiri Kantarama (Switzerland/Rwanda)(2019)
Stranded in space for thirty years. How does it feel to finally come home? A reflection about migration and the sense of belonging.
Inner self by Mohammad Hormozi ( Iran) (2020)
A Violinist girl wants to enter an administrative building but as she lacks the formal hijab, she must stay in the waiting room. She is inspired by the events in the room to make her new piece.
Lifted by Miquel Galofre ( Trinidad & Tobago) (2019)
Cutting-edge technology allows a young woman to grow up alongside her beloved Abuela. But on the verge of leaving for college, her financial realities threaten to erase their relationship – for good.
Tattooed by Jean- Baptiste Dusséaux ( France) (2020)
Camille is a taciturn and lonely teenager. His mother welcomes Thidirth, an old Kabyle aunt, who comes to France for health examinations. Forced to share the same room, Camille and Thidirth will have to learn to live together and find common ground.
The Departure by Saïd Hamich ( France/ Morocco) (2020)
Morocco, 2004. Adil, aged 11, spends the summer playing with his friends and waiting for his idol, Olympic runner Hicham El Guerrouj, to compete in his last Games. The arrival of his father and older brother from France for a few days will mark him forever.
The Kites by Seyed Payan Hoseinni (Iran)
In the story of the kite short film it is stated that: Border boy silence falls in love with a girl who lives across the border. She tries to reach out to the girl through the missing girl’s kite on the other side of the border.
VIVXS by Tatiana Lohman, Roberta Estrala D’alva, Claudia Shapira
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In a diasporic meeting, poets from different parts of the world gather at Valongo Wharf, the largest slave port in the history of humanity. In the company of an ancestral guardians (Saul Williams and Roberta Estrela D’alva) they pay their tributes and proclaim one more time that black lives and voices matter!
Wata by Ronana Mckenzie, Joy Yamusangie ( United kingdom)
WATA follows the journey of Jazz music travelling across waters from it’s African influences, it’s New Orleans emergence and drawing particular focus on it’s current resurgence in London today. In this film, Jazz music is portrayed as the African water spirit, Mami Wata.
Your Kid by Nelson Foix ( Guadeloupe)
While being chased, Chris discovers on his stair landing a baby who seems to be intended for him. Doubtful of his paternity, he sets out to find the mother of the child.
Once Upon A time In Venezuela by Anabel Rodriguez Rios (Feature Doc) (2020)
Villagers in the Venezuelan community of Lake Maracaibo fight against pollution, corruption and neglect to keep homes and way of life.
Scarecrows (Les Epouvantails) by Nouri Bouzid (Tunisia, Morocco, Luxembourg) (Feature Narrative) (2019)
Veteran Nouri Bouzid explores the harrowing aftermath of two women who escaped from the Syrian terrorists who held them as sexual slaves in The Scarecrows. In late 2013, Zina and Djo, both in their twenties, return to home Tunisia from the Syrian front where they were sequestered and raped. Zina was separated from her two-month-old child and Djo finds out she’s pregnant and plunges into mutism and expresses her Syrian horror only in the novel she is writing. Tunisian lawyer Nadia and Dora, a humanitarian doctor, assist them in their hard and lengthy reconstruction; impeded by the violence of their close circles, the harsh view on the social networks and their angst. Nadia, also Driss’ lawyer, a 21-year- old persecuted homosexual who’s been banned from all school establishments, asks him to help Zina in the hopes that their stirring meeting will allow them to open their black boxes, to assume themselves and stand up to the unjust society.
My Fortress by Tatiana Lohmann ( Brazil) Feature Doc (2020)
Three families affected by the absence of a father in a slum of São Paulo, Brazil, where the solitary mother acquires, through their son’s eyes, the aura of a holy warrior. But these women seem to be trapped on pedestals they have no interest in and that resemble the painful Holy Mary figure that their sons tattoo on their bodies.