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To ease navigation, our programmers divide the film programme into four sections with each their unique tone. Filter by section or read more.
Our main competitions and tomorrow’s film talent
Celebrating great storytelling and bold cinema
Retrospectives, film art and an in-depth look at filmmaking
Explore this year's theme programmes
Afro FutureIFFR 2017
Historical overviews are often painful for people of colour. Looking to the future keeps hope alive, but the present always has roots in the past.
AfronautsIFFR 2017 14′
A rag-tag group is trying to launch a moon rocket to beat the American Apollo 11. The astronaut is a 17-year-old girl who has to be the first to set foot on the moon along with her two cats.
AtlantaDonald Glover IFFR 2017 300′
Earn (Donald Glover) is the inexperienced manager of his cousin, rapper Paper Boi. All they have in common is their struggle for a better life and earning more money. This hilarious, intelligent series, also aired by television channel FOX, offers an idiosyncratic, experimental narrative style but also a critical glimpse of the spirit of our times.
Baldwin's NiggerHorace Ové IFFR 2017 48′
In a filmed conversation with a largely black British audience, writer James Baldwin examines similarities between the British and American black experience and the role of white liberals in the struggle. With his fabled eloquence, Baldwin provides difficult issues such as race and skin colour with sharp and subtle commentary.
Bayard & MeMatt Wolf IFFR 2017 16′
Intimate portrait of black homosexual civil rights activist and Freedom March organiser Bayard Rustin. His partner Walter Naegle describes how they rebelliously managed to make their relationship legal after all.
ChlorophylBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 17′
Young woman wrestles with her identity and failed relationship, reflected in the city of Miami. A cinematographic exploration of change as a natural process, the way chlorophyll makes photosynthesis possible in leaves.
Double PlayErnest Dickerson IFFR 2017 130′
An electrifying sketch of society in Curaçao focused on the apparently innocent domino game played by four men every Sunday. Until it unexpectedly takes a dramatic turn. There are dangerous secrets, women who make radical choices and a boy who sees everything. Based on the successful novel Double Play by Frank Martinus Arion.
FonkoLars Lovén, Lamin Daniel Jadama, Göran Hugo Olsson IFFR 2017 87′
An exciting exploration of the musical, social and cultural innovation presently spreading across the African continent. Fonko introduces us to a young generation that is rediscovering its own musical and activist heritage in countries like Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa and is producing a wide range of infectious new music styles.
Experimental space for idiosyncratic artists who make their own rules. They also depict how rules can be broken using their own, unique imagery.
The Glass ShieldCharles Burnett IFFR 2017 104′
The idealist JJ starts as a rookie and first black cop in the department. There he comes across a murky affair and discovers that when he tries to expose it, there are powers and forces that try to stop him. A clear-cut indictment of racism, sexism and violence within a police department based on existing incidents.
The Golden ChainEzra Claytan Daniels, Adebukola Bodunrin IFFR 2017 14′
Yetunde is the only crew aboard the Nigerian space station Eko and witnesses the recreation of the origins of the universe. A futuristic reinterpretation of the Yoruba story of creation.
Graft and Ash for a Three Monitor WorkstationSondra Perry IFFR 2017 7′
Self-portrait of Sondra Perry's avatar investigating its own identity. A problematic software process that leads to a fatal error mode: the blue screen of death.
Hustlers ConventionMike Todd IFFR 2017 91′
Ten years before Public Enemy and Grandmaster Flash launched the new musical trend, the trailblazing Hustlers Convention appeared by Jalal Nuriddin, regarded by many as the 'Grandfather of Rap'. Interviews are juxtaposed with music excerpts in this investigation of the origins of hip-hop and the crucial role of this almost forgotten album.
IdentificationMike Hoolboom IFFR 2017 29′
A story of the city in sixteen acts, recurring scenes with variations, of loss and humour. A look at the colour that is not a colour. Remembering Charlie "Africa" Keunang. (Mike Hoolboom)
Improvement AssociationKevin Jerome Everson IFFR 2017 12′
Fascinating portrait of Malik Hudgins, who has been a member since 1974 of the Universal Negro Improvement Association founded by Marcus Garvey.
KBELAYasmin Thayná IFFR 2017 22′
A powerful visual essay about nappy hair. Confrontational and poetic, tranquil and exciting, it investigates the oppression of black Brazilian women, but also shows their power and diversity.
Killer of SheepCharles Burnett IFFR 2017 83′
An extremely sensitive, personal and political portrayal of the fate of black American working poor. In the poverty-stricken district of Watts, several years after the massive rebellion, Stan tries his very best to maintain his family. An iconic and widely-praised masterpiece by L.A. Rebellion filmmaker Charles Burnett.
KindahEphraim Asili IFFR 2017 12′
A filmic link between two African communities in the diaspora: one in Hudson, New York and one in the Maroon village of Accompong in Jamaica. The symbol for this link is the Kindah tree.
Let Love RuleIFFR 2017
A loving manifesto aimed at turning every nation, community and individual into a State of Love. Stop fighting and let love rule in all its shapes and guises!
Lineage for a Multiple-Monitor Workstation: Number OneSondra Perry IFFR 2017 26′
A semi-autobiographical portrait of video artist Sondra Perry's family, (un)recognisable thanks to the chroma-key green balaclavas. While we look at what is being shown to us, Perry continues to edit the film.
Masterclass Barry JenkinsIFFR 2017
Barry Jenkins is a rising star with his second feature Moonlight, hailed by critics as the best film of 2016 and lavishly praised with over 140 awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Drama. In this masterclass, he will talk about his vision as a director, his skyrocketing to success and the challenges of filmmaking.
Medicine for MelancholyBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 88′
An uneasy one-night stand in San Francisco unexpectedly leads to a day of museum visits, political debates and cautious overtures. Impressive debut by Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, who is now regarded as a key figure in modern American Black Cinema. Filmed in the tradition of romantic widely-roaming films like Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise and Claire Denis's Friday Night.
MoonlightBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 111′
American indie sensation shows the life of a black man as he grows from being the poor child of a single, addicted mother into a tough adult continually wracked with doubt. This poetic narration about the exploration of identity, sexuality and bonding is pioneering in its tender portrayal of black masculinity. It has already won many prizes.
My JosephineBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 9′
Two Arab immigrants work in a launderette where, just after 9/11, American flags are washed free of charge. While they fold flags meticulously, true love unfolds.
Rebirth of a NationDJ Spooky IFFR 2017 65′
The music of DJ Spooky and the Kronos Quartet in Rebirth of a Nation is certainly no homage to D.W. Griffiths’ influential film from 1915. This remix of The Birth of a Nation emphasises the racist core of this notorious epic about a divided America by combining old images with new sounds.
Reluctantly QueerAkosua Adoma Owusu IFFR 2017 8′
Hushed monologue in black-and-white in which a young Ghanaian immigrant confesses in a warm, openhearted letter to his mother that his love for men was the reason he left for America.
RemigrationBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 19′
A future San Francisco is inhabited only by affluent people. The authorities lure others into the city to do manual labour in exchange for free education.
Robot BodiesKeith Piper IFFR 2017 0
An interactive installation by Keith Piper on three screens that investigates racial metaphors in science fiction. Using film excerpts accessible via interfaces, you dissect notions about robots, androids and cyborgs in order to draw parallels with historic and social ideas about the black body. Part of a project that Keith Piper initiated in 1998.
Tall EnoughBarry Jenkins IFFR 2017 7′
An interracial love story, made for Bloomingdale's department store, but there’s not a product in sight. A visual and introspective study of love in Jenkins' typical cinematographic style.
Testament of Hope and FailureTirzo Martha IFFR 2017 0
Tirzo Martha's altarpiece of twelve monitors with two watching saints shows the attempts, illusions and failures of a figure who presents himself as a hero, holy man and the hope of humanity. He has even started to believe this himself. Pride obscures his view of reality, so that he not only underestimates others but ignores them.
They Charge for the SunTerence Nance IFFR 2017 16′
In a dystopian future, people live in darkness to protect themselves from the harmful rays of the sun. Except for a naughty little black girl.