Cascade Festival of African Films returns for its 34th year celebrating African cinema

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Four Daughters scene of them thinking on couch.Close up of womanWoman sewingHead shot of Director MmakgosiClose up of man from Night Stop.

The Cascade Festival of African Films (CFAF) announced the lineup for its 34th annual celebration of African cinema, taking place from Feb. 2 to March 2 at Portland Community College’s Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth Street. This event, running for over three decades, has become the longest-running nonprofit, noncommercial, largely volunteer-run African film festival in the United States.

The festival kicks off with a grand opening gala at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 2 at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd. CFAF co-directors Aviva McClure and Eugenie Jolivett Fontana are excited to present a special keynote from PCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings, followed by the screening of the multiple award-winning feature film “Goodbye Julia” (Sudan, 2023). This event sets the stage for a month-long celebration, aligning with Black History Month.

“We embark on a journey through narratives that transcend borders, offering a kaleidoscope of experiences, emotions, and perspectives,” McClure said.

Poster of man with glasses like movie reels. The 2024 Cascade Festival of African Films poster, created by Jacob Mauk.

The 2024 Cascade Festival of African Films poster, created by Jacob Mauk.

Throughout February, the film festival will showcase a curated collection of more than 24 films, documentaries, and short films from 23 different African nations. The festival’s virtual experience, in partnership with the Multnomah County Library, offers free screenings accessible to anyone with a library card and a streaming device. View available virtual film selections and get more details about viewing the virtual program online.

Highlighting the festival’s centerpiece weekend on Friday, Feb. 16, is the film “Sira” at the Hollywood Theater and will be followed by a special performance. Organizers will welcome visiting Botswana director Mmakgosi Anita Tau, “For Them That Prey (Short),” at PCC’s Cascade Campus Moriarty Auditorium at 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17.

Other film festival highlights include – “Elesin Oba, The King’s Horseman” (7 p.m., Friday, Feb. 9, Performing Arts Center, Sylvania Campus, 12000 SW 49th Avenue) and “Mambar Pierrette” (6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 11, Tomorrow Theater, 3530 SE Division St.).

CFAF Women’s Filmmakers Week (Feb. 29 – March 2) showcases the work of emerging women filmmakers within African cinema, featuring directors from Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Morocco, Nigeria, and Senegal. The festival concludes on March 2 with the screening of “Banel & Adama” by Senegalese director Ramata-Toulaye Sy at 7 p.m. at the Moriarty Auditorium, followed by a DJ performance.

Cascade Festival of African Films, which originated in 1991 with just four films and 400 attendees, has grown exponentially, presenting over 700 films to more than 5,000 attendees.

The complete schedule, including film screenings, festival events, and director appearances, can be found at

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, is the Director of Public Relations at Portland Community College. A graduate of Portland State University, James has worked as a section editor for the Newberg Graphic... more »