The 10th Annual New African Films Festival will premiere Half of a Yellow Sun, a film based on Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel of the same title, at AFI Silver Spring Theatre and Cultural Center, in Silver Spring Maryland. The festival hosted by TransAfrica in collaboration with Afrikafe, a Washington, D.C.-area network of Africans, and the American Film Institute will be held March 13-20.

The film directed by Nigerian-born British director Biyi Bandele tells how two sisters, Kainen (Anika Noni Rose), Olanna (Thandie Newton) and her lover Odenigbo, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor who starred in the award-winning movie 12 Years a Slave, during the Nigerian-Biafran War in mid-1960’s are forced to make bold choices as the Igbo people struggle to establish an independent society.

“It’s a really important movie because it has a lot to do with the implications of political turmoil on a country on a people on colonialism,” said Nicole C. Lee president of TransAfrica. “But it is a real human story as well. It’s a solid representation of the experience that many Nigerians have been through.”

Adichie is the author of three additional books including Americanah, cited by the New York Times as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013. An excerpt of her speech, “We Should All Be Feminists,” which she delivered at TEDxEuston 2013 in London was also featured in superstar Beyonce’s self-titled album track Flawless.

Adichie will be at the film festival March 16 signing books.

Lee said the film festival seeks to highlight not only the film but African film producers and directors. The festival will also feature 18 additional African-directed, -produced or -written films.

For more information about the festival or to purchase tickets, visit


Maria Adebola

Special to the AFRO