Sembéne Film & Arts Festival Kicks Off With Documentary Premiere


The Sembéne Film & Arts Festival will present a selection of works honoring Ousmane Sembène, widely considered the Father of African Cinema. On November 12th, the event will kick off with a premiere of the feature-length documentary Sembene! at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood.

In 1952, Ousmane Sembéne, a dockworker and fifth-grade dropout from Senegal, began dreaming an impossible dream: to become the storyteller for a new Africa. The film from Samba Gadjigo and Jason Silverman tells the unbelievable true story of the “father of African cinema,” the self-taught novelist and filmmaker who fought, against enormous odds, a monumental, 50-year-long battle to give African stories to Africans. Using rare archival footage, animated sequences, and more than 100 hours of exclusive material – as well as accounts from Gadjigo, who served as Sembéne’s official biographer – the true-life epic follows an ordinary man who transformed himself into a fearless spokesperson for the marginalized, becoming a hero to millions.

The Sembene! Pittsburgh premiere will take place at 6 p.m. The screening will include an appearance from Gadjigo, who will lead a Q&A after the film. A reception will follow. Admission is free, but guests must register at Eventbrite.


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