Press Release: ADIFF NYC 27th Edition Announced! - Nov. 29 to Dec. 15, 2019

Friday, November 29 – Sunday, December 15, 2019

NEW YORK, October 8, 2019 - The African Diaspora International Film Festival (ADIFF) will celebrate its 27th anniversary from Nov. 29 to Dec. 15 with over 60 feature length narratives and documentaries to be presented at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Cinema Village, MIST Harlem and The Museum of the Moving Image.

Opening Night film, Ali’s Comeback: The Untold Story by Art Jones, is a fascinating documentary that recounts the unsung saga that broke the boxing’s blacklist status of Muhammad Ali, the champion who said “no” to war and racism. The year is 1970. It has been three and a half years since Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title. Convicted of draft evasion. Threatened with imprisonment. Banned in all 50 states, he is unable to work in the field for which he had no equal. The wide door on his illustrious career seems to be closing. But in Atlanta, Georgia, an astute white businessman, a visionary black senator, and a progressive Jewish mayor came together to make it possible for Ali to resume his amazing boxing career.

In collaboration with the Martinique Bureau, ADIFF will present the East Coast Premiere screening of  Jocelyne Beroard, at Heart | Jocelyne, Mi Tchè Mwen. Sole female member of the legendary Caribbean band KASSAV, Jocelyne Beroard is one of the greatest icons of the Caribbean and African communities. Beyond having initiated a new musical movement called Zouk, she largely contributed to spreading its influence in the Caribbean to a global scale.  This documentary relates her journey from Martinique to becoming an icon and the first Caribbean singer to get a gold record.

A Lady Doctor by Juney Smith (The Robeson Effect) will have its World Premiere in ADIFF. This documentary tells the inspirational story of Dr. Juanita Jenyons who immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a child gifted with medical science and not speaking English, and emerged to become an excellent student, an Ivy League college graduate and a Medical Doctor.

Wagner Moura’s Marighella - which had its world premiere out of competition in Berlinale 2019 – is ADIFF 2019 Centerpiece. Currently censored in Brazil, Marighella is a new Brazilian action drama set in 1969 based on the life of Afro-Brazilian politician and guerrilla fighter Carlos Marighella. Facing a violent military dictatorship and with little support from a timid opposition, writer-turned-politician Carlos Marighella organizes a resistance movement.

The entire festival line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.  For more information about the 27th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival, to receive the complete line up, screeners and high resolution images please contact Diarah N’Daw-Spech at (212) 864-1760/ fax (212) 316-6020 or e-mail pr@nyadiff.org. Festival web site: www.nyadiff.org.  

The African Diaspora International Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization.



Described by film critic Armond White as “a festival that symbolizes diaspora as more than just anthropology,” ADIFF has managed to increase the presence of independent Afrocentric films from all over the world in the general American specialty movie scene by launching films such as The Tracker by Rolf de Heer (Australia), Kirikou and the Sorceress by Michel Ocelot (France), Gospel Hill by Giancarlo Esposito (USA), Darrat/Dry Season by Mahamat-Saleh Haroun (Chad), Scheherazade, Tell Me a Story by Yousry Nasrallah (Egypt), The Pirogue by Moussa Touré (Senegal), White Lies by Dana Rotberg (New Zealand), and The Citizen by Roland Vranik (Hongary), among others.

Attracting a wide cross-section of cinephiles and audiences of African-American, Caribbean, African, Latino and European ethnic backgrounds who share a common interest for thought provoking, well crafted, intelligent and entertaining stories about the human experience of people of color, ADIFF is now a national and international event with festivals held in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, and Paris, France.

Commenting on the line up of ADIFF Chicago 2019, film critic Kathleen Sachs of the Chicago Readers wrote: “The films in the 17th Annual African Diaspora International Film Festival – Chicago do what much media and even the public school system fail to do: educate. Through robust programming that gives meaning to the word "diverse," the selections in this year's festival illuminate the experiences of those living in the African diaspora around the world.  The New York-based husband-and-wife programmers, Reinaldo Barroso-Spech and Diarah N'Daw-Spech, have chosen more than a dozen films that, through a variety of modes and genres, further dimensionalize already complex issues specific to those living in these communities. Naturally, documentary lends itself to this mission, though several narrative features and a short fiction add to the plenitude of information.”


Copyright © 2019 African Diaspora Film Festival, All rights reserved.





 Last Night at the Pink Taco


Book cast from left to right: Middle row: Case Williams, Jennifer Van Heeckeren, Robert Weiner, Alamada Karatihy, Mary Benedict, Lizette Santiago. Back row: Ruffy Landayan, Matt Weinglass


Last night at the Pink Taco, on the Sunset Strip in, you guessed it, LA, a very special group of Hollywood actors gathered in a reserved table for a very special celebration. The production they had been working on for over a year was finally completed and launched. They were celebrating! And well they should! What they have been working on is no less than a breakthrough in business education, a new application of experiential learning, and the creation of a whole new genre of business audio books, Business Audio Theatre. 

The actors weren’t in a movie, but they were in a “movie of the mind.” They performed in cinematic scenes with sound effects and an original musical score. They acted out real life situations that occurred in the early days of the founding of what is now the world’s largest wine brand. And they did it all in audio, where an outstanding female narrator set up the listeners for each scene with descriptions of the sets, the challenges, and the mentality of the characters. This was a private launch party for the Sherwood Players who produced The Barefoot Spirit Business Audio Theater. 

We are very proud of the professional job they did as performers. They definitely brought our New York Times bestselling paperback to life in a new, fun, and exciting way. Some of them are starting their careers. Others are seasoned veterans. We hope this opportunity will help them all move forward. 

The venerable Ed Asner plays a very convincing skeptical supermarket buyer who originally refuses to take on Barefoot Wine, but ultimately paves the way for its success. Gigi Perreau, the longtime Hollywood actress who actually performed on original radio theater, plays Mabel,  Bonnie’s mom and a WWII Rosie-the-Riveter, salt-of-the-earth type, who comes to live with us and pitches in with physical and emotional support. 

Our narrator was Alamada Karatihy who beautifully carries the story through all its ups and down, twists and turns. 

Interestingly, one of the actors, Tom Mallory wrote his own business book, Bankroll, to help Hollywood actors gain financing for their projects. 

The original musical score was the brainchild of Tyler David Gilbert who also did a masterful job of editing… and re-editing! Thank you Tyler! 

But like any team, its performance is only as good as its coach. In this case our director, Matt Weinglass, was responsible for leading his troupe! Matt understood what we were trying to do, which was to bring our business biography to life and demonstrate through dramatic performance – and a generous dash of humor –  key business principles that can help others succeed. He artfully and skillfully brought all the pieces together to create continuity, purpose, vision, and team spirit. And after all, that’s what the story is all about …spirit!A close up of a signDescription automatically generated

Many thanks to Sherwood Players Productions and our dear friend and colleague Ryan Foland ,who encouraged and supported us in this new venture! 

So now it’s up to you. We produced this new style of business audio book in the hopes that more of you would benefit from the many lessons we learned the hard way – so you don’t have to! Just experience what happens to us in this modern seat-of-your-pants, cliffhanger adventure story about a brand you know. We’d love to get your comments and we would be thrilled if you would recommend it to your friends who can benefit. There’s ten, 40 min chapters with a short “live” interview with us at the end of each, perfect listening for your next jog or commute. 

Hear to a few scenes from The Barefoot Spirit, now available on our Author’s Direct page and at audiobook retailers everywhere! 

To your success!


Michael & Bonnie Professional Photo

Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey
Co-Founders, Barefoot Wines
New York Times Bestselling Authors
The Barefoot Spirit, The Entrepreneurial Culture



Dear Members of the MCNY Community,

I am delighted to announce that Humphrey Crookendale, Dean of the School for Public Affairs, has agreed to serve as Interim Chief Academic Officer (CAO) until a permanent CAO has been named.
Humphrey Crookendale is the longest-serving member of the #myMCNY community.

He joined the College in January of 1983, followed by Dr. Richard Grallo, with whom he served on the committee that led to the College’s accreditation by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

In his 36 years at the College, he has served in leadership positions as Associate Dean & Acting Dean of the School for Human Services, Dean of the School for Business and currently, Dean of the School for Public Affairs. He will continue to serve as Dean while serving as Interim CAO.

Dean Crookendale was instrumental in designing and getting approval for the College’s first graduate program, the MSA (now MPA), the MPA in Emergency & Disaster Management and the launch of Urban Dialogues Series.

He is deeply dedicated to Purpose-Centered Education and to our students. I have known him to be a leader of commitment and integrity.

Please join me in congratulating CAO Crookendale on his new role!

Best, Joanne Passaro, President




Barbadian born, New York-based jeweler and owner of Lapidary Jewelry caught up with Mareka Haynes of "Mareka Marks It", a Barbadian-based PR & New Rules Marketing firm, to discuss services being offered by Lapidary, as Sandra Went prepares a momentus and historical piece of jewelry for the upcoming Circle of 99 Women's event. Men invited. Action-packed summit to be held at Marriott Downtown Manhattan NY.

This six-minute podcast will enlighten you about the concept for the Circle Jewelry piece, and also a brief moment from Sandra on her client base and insight behind her imagination in the creation of jewelry. Read full article by Mareka Haynes here.