La Maravillas de Mali

The virtual Afro-Latino film series will present 17 films from 15 countries from April 30 to May 3, 2021.

ADIFF will be presenting a selection of Afro-Latino films in its monthly film series organized in collaboration with Teachers College, Columbia University.”— Artmattan FilmsNEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES , April 13, 2021 / -- ArtMattan Films and The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) join forces to celebrate the Afro-Latino experience in April on films with the theatrical release by ArtMattan Films of THE MALI-CUBA CONNECTION (France/Cuba/Mali) on April 9 and MARIGHELLA (Brazil) on April 30 and ADIFF presenting a selection of Afro-Latino films in its monthly film series organized in collaboration with Teachers College, Columbia University. The virtual film series, to present 17 films from 15 countries, will be held from April 30 to May 3, 2021.

ArtMattan Films and The African Diaspora International Film Festival were founded in 1993 by Dr. Reinaldo Barroso-Spech and Diarah N’Daw-Spech, who are both of African descent, on the belief that education is power. Dr. Spech is an Afro-Cuban of Jamaican and Haitian descent. Diarah N’Daw-Spech, MBA, is an Afro-European of French and Malian descent. They both share a passion for curating and presenting culturally relevant cinema that spotlights the human experience of people of color all over the world in order to inspire imaginations, disrupt stereotypes and help transform attitudes that perpetuate injustice.

Afro-Latino films have been part of the editorial line of ArtMattan Films and ADIFF since 1993. More than 10 million Africans were brough by force to the “New World” over a period of 400 years and over 90 percent of those landed in the Caribbean and the so called “Latin America.” “The size of the Afro-Latino population is significant” says Dr. Spech “yet, the number of films by and about Afro-Latinos is ridiculously small, which illustrates the high level of discrimination and marginalization still faced by these populations today.”

Over the years, ArtMattan Films and ADIFF have showcased films focusing on the Afro-Latino experience coming from Cuba, Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and more. Some of those films are brought back in the ADIFF Afro-Latino film series at the end of April which includes special programs such as “Afro-Latino Music of South America” featuring the documentaries Candombe from Uruguay and Susana Baca: Memoria Viva from Peru and the “Afro-Latino History” program with Sons of Benkos from Colombia and The Esmeraldas Beach from Ecuador.

Highlights of the film series are two films getting their virtual release in April through ArtMattan Films. The Mali-Cuba Connection, released virtually on April 9 in more than 20 theaters nationwide, recounts the wonderful story of LA MARAVILLAS DE MALI. A story of music and friendship from Bamako to Havana, told with the help of Malian singer Salif Keïta and musician of the Super Rail Band Cheick Tidiane Seck. "Vibrant, touching, colorful, this film is a magnificent celebration of life and music." ~ Le Figaro.

Marighella by Wagner Moura – the Brazilian actor turned director best known for his role as Pablo Escobar in “Narcos” - will be released virtually on April 30. Currently censored in Brazil, Marighella is an action-drama set in 1969 based on the life of Afro-Brazilian politician and guerrilla fighter Carlos Marighella. Facing a violent military dictatorship and with little support from a timid opposition, writer-turned-politician Carlos Marighella organizes a resistance movement. Alongside revolutionaries 30 years younger than him and willing to fight, the revolutionary leader opts for action.

For more information about the virtual releases and ADIFF Afro-Latino Film Series, please e-mail

The MARIGHELLA website is

Tickets are $7 per film. The series All Access Pass is $65.

Tango negro: The African Roots of Tango by Dom Pedro (Argentina, Uruguay, France)
The Mali Cuba Connection by Richard Minier (France, Mali, Cuba)
La Playa DC by Juan Andres Arango Garcia (Colombia, France, Brazil)
Goodbye Momo by Leonardo Ricagni (Uruguay)
Denying Brazil by Joel Zito Araujo (Brazil)
Marighella by Wagner Moura (Brazil)
Afro-Latino Music of South America Program: Susana Baca and Candombe “Susana Baca by Mark Dixon, “Candombe” by Rafael Deugenio (Peru, Belgium, Uruguay)
Angelica by Marisol Gómez-Mouakad (Puerto Rico)
The Valley of the Black Descendants by Richard Salgado (Chile)
Black Mexicans by Jorge Perez Solano (Mexico)
El Mestizo by Mario Handler (Venezuela)
Short Films Program: Invisible Color & White Like the Moon
“White Like The Moon” by Marina Gonzalez Palmier, “Invisible Color” by Sergio Giral (U.S)
Kafe Negro by Mario Delatour (Haiti/Cuba)
Councilwoman by Margo Guernsey (USA/Dominican Republic)
The Afro-Latino History Program: The Esmeraldas Beach & Sons of Benkos
“The Esmeraldas Beach” by Patrice Raynal (Ecuador, France) “Sons of Benkos” by Lucas Silva (Colombia, France)

The African Diaspora International Film Festival AFRO-LATINO FILM SERIES is made possible thanks to the support of the following institutions and individuals: ArtMattan Productions; the Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs, Teachers College, Columbia University and the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation and administered by LMCC and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Diarah N'Daw-Spech
ArtMattan Films
+1 212-864-1760

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