Highlights from The Paley Center for Media Collection

Explore Africa at the Paley Center!

Aug 4 – Sep 12, 2010
12:00 AM

New York: Screening Wednesdays to Sundays at 2:00 pm
Los Angeles: Screening Wednesdays to Sundays at 3:00 pm

FREE for Paley Center Members
Included with general admission 

Thanks to the recent World Cup, all eyes were focused on Africa, a fascinating, multifaceted continent whose wonders remain a mystery to many. As a way of continuing the African celebration, the Paley Center presents programs from its collection that offer a wide spectrum view of the continent’s people, culture, wildlife, and visual splendor. Ranging from a sci-fi tale of the future to a children’s series that brings animals face-to-face with a curious little boy to documentaries that take us into Botswana, Rwanda, and Kenya, each and every program is a fulfilling experience that tells us a little bit more about one of the most amazing places on earth.


Screening Wednesdays: August 4, 11, 18, and 25; September 1 and 8

Presented in association with African Film Festival, Inc.
In this sci-fi short, set in a dystopian future (thirty-five years after World War III, or “The Water War”), a curator at a virtual natural-history museum in Africa defies her superiors by escaping from their sealed-off underground community to nurture a plant on the Earth’s ruined surface. Directed by Wanuri Kahiu. (2009; 20 minutes)

Cosmic Africa (begins playing August 18)
Presented in association with African Film Festival, Inc.
This documentary explores African’s ancient astronomy history, traveling from Namibia to the coastline and steamy jungles of Ghana, across the crocodile-infested lakes and deserts of Northern Kenya, the cliffside dwellings of the Dogon in Mali, and onto the mysterious archaeological sites of the Egyptian Sahara. Directed by Craig and Damon Foster. (2002; 75 minutes)

Screening Thursdays: August 5, 12, 19, and 26; September 2 and 9 

Running the Sahara
James Moll’s documentary, narrated by Matt Damon, follows three men—a thirty-year-old Taiwanese grad student, a forty-four-year-old businessman from North Carolina, and a thirty-seven-year-old Canadian personal trainer—as they attempt to jog across the 4,300-mile expanse of the Sahara. (2009; 103 minutes)

Screening Fridays: August 6, 13, 20, and 27; September 3 and 10

Andrew Young Presents: Continent of Opportunity
Tired of all the negative images people have about Africa, former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young takes us on a journey through various countries there to show viewers the beauty, the mystery, and the amazing opportunities present in this misunderstood continent. Includes appearances by President Jimmy Carter and comedian Chris Tucker. (45 minutes; 2008)

Experiment in Television: Africa and I
American artist Larry Rivers and French filmmaker Pierre Gassieu travel through Africa, circa 1968, where they encounter its wonders including its wildlife, art, and tribes of all sizes, from pygmies to Watusis. (1968; 50 minutes) 

Screening Saturdays: August 7, 14, 21, and 28; September 4 and 11

Four episodes of this South African children’s series tell of young Siyabonga, who, through the magical powers of his grandfather, visits, talks with, and learns about elephants, baboons, lions, and rhinos. British performers provide the speaking voices of Siyabonga and his animal friends. (1992; 40 minutes)

City Slickers: A Tale of Two African Penguins
Cape Town filmmaker Trevor de Kock’s documentary tells the story of two penguins as they attempt to coexist with their human neighbors on a South African beachfront. (2002; 55 minutes)

Screening Sundays: August 8, 15, 22, and 29; September 5 and 12

Chimps: So Like Us
In this Emmy-winning documentary, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall takes a look at the strong similarities between humans and the chimps she studies in Africa. Introducing the audience to a few of her favorites—a mother and child, dueling alpha males, and one injured chimp taken to an animal hospital—Goodall shows that chimpanzees are emotionally wired much the same as humans are, a fact people must consider when treating them cruelly. (1990; 30 minutes)

Andrew Young Presents: Willie B.: The Greatest Ape
Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young pays tribute to Willie B., the silverback gorilla who was the undisputed star attraction at his city’s zoo for thirty-nine years. In a parallel story, Young visits Willie’s distant relatives among the apes of Rwanda’s Virunga Mountains. Includes an appearance by comedian and Atlanta native Jeff Foxworthy. (2008; 45 minutes)

Lions of Darkness
In this segment from the National Geographic Explorer episode “Into Africa,” filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert present some intense and up-close glimpses of a pride of lions in Botswana. This film shows the mating habits of the creatures as well as their cub-rearing techniques and how they get their food (not recommended for those who cringe at wildlife dining). (1994; 45 minutes)


In the Steven Spielberg Gallery (NY) and the Bell Family Gallery (LA)

As part of your African exploration, see Africa Celebrates! Photographs, Collages, and Multimedia by Joseph Peter, a unique exhibit that includes authentic African art, capturing the love and passion its people have for soccer.



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