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New Award to Honor African Stories

“It is only the story… that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it, we are blind. Does the blind man own his escort? No, neither do we the story; rather, it is the story that owns us.”

― Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah

We are excited to announce a new award for the 60th Ann Arbor Film Festival, The No. 1 African Film Award.

The AAFF encourages filmmakers from across the African continent, or from anywhere in the world who have made African-oriented experimental films, to submit their work for inclusion in the festival, which takes place March 22-27, 2022. Learn more about how to submit here:

The No. 1 African Film Award honors the film that best speaks to the historical and contemporary experience of living and dreaming in Africa. It is provided by a generous $15,000 endowment contribution by filmmaker Amy J. Moore, long-term resident of southern Africa and producer of Botswana’s The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Annually, the winning film will be awarded $500.

The No. 1 African Film Award will help AAFF fulfill its mission to promote bold, visionary filmmakers. Donor & Board Member Moore says, "Africa is super cool, why shouldn't we support the vibrant, talented filmmakers coming from the continent?"

The Call for Entries is July 1st - September 30th, 2021. A $20 discount will be applied towards submissions from BIPOC filmmakers, which is the same discount AAFF offers to alumni filmmakers. The submissions fee will be waived for the first 10 entries made by BIPOC filmmakers before July 31st, thanks to a generous gift made by an alumni filmmaker. Please contact us at to learn more.


Interested in learning more about Chinua Achebe - writer of the quote at the top of this blog?

Here's an interview from 1964 nearly 60 years ago, during AAFF's 2nd year.


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