From a Congolese symphony orchestra who struggles on through war and strife to getting a rare look into one of Africa’s most isolated tribes, the Mursi, the 18th edition of the New York African Film Festival brings together the very best emerging filmmakers from Africa and the Diaspora who aim to tell stories that enlighten us and touch the heart. Highlights from the festival, which is presented in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, include Djo Tunda Wa Munga’s award-winning Viva Riva, about a small-time operator who falls for a gangter’s girlfriend, and the “Africa First!” program of short films, which tell stories ranging from the strange goings-on at the Wishy Washy Laundromat to a young boy who heads out on a journey to fix his sister’s mud doll. The series also features live performances, panel discussions, and a gallery exhibit at various venues and will conclude at BAM Rose Cinemas from May 27 to May 30.

April 6-12, 2011