13:31 PM

West African Film Festival celebrates film, connects cultures

The West African Film Festival of Houston is showing two short documentary films at University of Houston-Clear Lake at Pearland on Monday, Feb. 24, at 7 p.m. in room 179. The films recognize and celebrate African films in the U.S. with the intention of bridging cultural divides and presenting an accurate picture of West Africa to American audiences.

Natashia Clarke, adjunct professor of anthropology at UH-Clear Lake Pearland and a member of the festival’s organizing committee, said that the two films made powerful statements about social and historical topics that pertain to Black Americans. “The first film, titled ‘White Negro,’ explores the topic of albinism in West Africa,” she said. “It discusses the social perception of albinos in Nigeria, and the discrimination they have faced.”

“Dawa,” the second film, spotlights the spread of Islam in West Africa. Both films are approximately 30 minutes in length.

This is the fifth year that the West African Film Festival is presenting African documentaries at UHCL Pearland. Clarke said that the festival continues to grow each year, covering social and historical topics that show how many different ways West Africa is represented culturally in Black America. “This is why we highlight this film festival during Black History Month,” she said. “These films really show our cultural connections and bridge cultural divides.”

These films are free and open to the public. Find more information about heritage months at UHCL online.