African and African-Diaspora Films

Films about Hurricane Katrina, Ugandan dictator Idi Amin and South African freedom fighter Patrick Chamusso are among ten pictures from 12 countries representing African and African-Diaspora programming, unveiled by the 2008 Toronto Film Fest.

Titles include the world preems of Phillip Noyce’s “Catch a Fire,” starring Derek Luke as Chamusso, and Kevin Macdonald’s “The Last King of Scotland,” in which Amin takes a young doctor (James McAvoy) into his confidence. Both unspool as Special Presentations.

Spike Lee’s four-hour HBO docu, “When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts,” portraying New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, joins the Master’s program.

“The African experience is vast and diverse, extending far beyond African borders to include both Chad and Trinidad, both Nigeria and Brazil,” said international programmer Cameron Bailey, “and we’ll have films from all of these countries.”

The Visions program includes the world preems of Zeka Laplaine’s “Kinshasa Palace,” about a man’s hunt for his brother; Perry Henzell’s “No Place Like Home”; Yao Ramesar’s “Sistagod”; and short film “Gathering the Scattered Cousins,” from Akim Omotoso.

Alsol North American preems of Rachid Bouchareb’s “Indigenes,” which drew the ensemble cast award at Cannes, and Tunde Kelani’s “Abeni,” both in the Contemporary World Cinema program, as is the world preem of Tata Amaral’s “Antonia,” about singers in the slums of Brazil who get a shot at the big time.