Rooftop Films

Note: There is no explicit content in any of the films, though they may be more interesting and accessible to adults.


A free screening of two films about strong-willed women surviving, learning and dancing in their journeys between New York and Africa.

Venue:On the lawn of Mullaly Park in the Bronx
Address: The park is bordered by Jerome Ave, McClellan St, River Ave, and E 164 St
Directions: Take the 4, B or D train to 167th street, walk west to Cromwell Ave, make a left, and walk south one block to the park.
Rain: Rain Date TBA
6:00PM: Live music by Kewulay Kamara, Blitz the Ambassador, Mamarazzi and others.
9:00PM: Films
10:30PM: Filmmaker Q & A
Admission: FREE
Presented in partnership with: POV, Cinereach, New York magazine and Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo

In Bronx Princess, 17-year-old Rocky leaves behind her mother in New York City to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana. Nora is based on true stories of the Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipaumire, who returns to the landscape of her childhood and uses dance to journey through the vivid memories of her youth.

Bronx Princess (Yoni Brook & Musa Syeed | New York & Ghana | 38 min.)
Bronx Princess follows headstrong 17-year-old Rocky’s journey as she leaves behind her mother in New York City to reunite with her father, a chief in Ghana, West Africa. Filmed during the tumultuous summer between high school and college, this funny and touching documentary tells Rocky’s coming-of-age story. By confronting her immigrant parents’ ideas of adulthood, Rocky reconciles her African heritage with her dream of independence.

Bronx Princess is the hub of an outreach campaign to improve access to educational resources for urban youth and bridge the educational divide in immigrant families. The filmmakers’ goal is to remove the obstacles that immigrant and low-income youth face when seeking post-secondary education. Bronx Princess is an effective way of promoting dialogue within immigrant families and guiding youth toward post-secondary education. For more information about scheduling a screening, discussion or educational event, please visit

Nora (David Hinton | New York & Zimbabwe | 35 min.)
Nora is based on true stories of the dancer Nora Chipaumire, who was born in Zimbabwe in 1965 and now resides in New York. In the film, Nora returns to the landscape of her childhood and takes a journey through some vivid memories of her youth. Using performance and dance, she brings her history to life in a swiftly-moving poem of sound and image. The result is a film about family dramas, difficult love affairs and militant politics, which moves back and forth between the comic and the tragic, the joyful and the mournful. It is a film about a girl who is constantly embattled—struggling against all kinds of intimidation and violence—but who slowly gathers strength, pride and independence. Shot entirely on location in Southern Africa, Nora includes a multitude of local performers and dancers of all ages, from young schoolchildren to ancient grandmothers, and much of the music is specially composed by a legend of Zimbabwean music, Thomas Mapfumo.

“[Nora] succeeds in combining a rough personal narrative with poetic, allusive imagery.” – New York Times

“…dream-like recollections and vivid hues produce a rich and deeply satisfying film.” – Brooklyn Rail

“This gorgeous dance-poem… has startling color, vigorous movements and gestures, and a deep understanding of the power of a face to transfix…exquisite details.”Denver Post

Blitz the Ambassador, Composer, “Bronx Princess,” Headline Performer at Arts Festival:

Blitz The Ambassador, from Ghana with a touch of Trenchtown, lives in Brooklyn. Drawn to a coming-of-age narrative with a new perspective, he composed and arranged all the music for the documentary film “Bronx Princess.” Through an international lens, he melds the tradition of Ghanaian high-life with the jazzy nuances of an upright bass, hints of reggae, orchestra strings, and a horn section that lifts live hip hop to new heights.

Blitz’s brand new album “Stereotype” is available on iTunes, and his videos are in rotation on MTV2.

His journey has taken him from the streets of Accra City to Brooklyn’s Bedstuy.  Now, it’s his goal to take hip hop fans on a world journey that will open their eyes and ears to a new future of music.

Kewulay Kamara, Performer at Arts Festival:
Kewulay Kamara is a poet/story teller from Sierra Leone, West Africa.  Mr. Kamara performs music inspired by his roots in Madenka oral traditions.  His writings have appeared in journals and periodicals such as black scholar, Rhythm Magazine, and Teacher and Writers.  He has been featured in the New York Times, CNN and other major media outlets.

Kamara works with a broad range of artists from Africa and the Americas including Rene McClean, James Blood Ulmer, Jayne Cortez, Adboulaye Diabate, Mohamadou Salieu Suso, Dionne Kamara, and Steve Zeitlin of City Lore. He has appeared as host and/performer at Major Halls in New York City including City Center, Alice Tully Hall, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Africa Arts, Symphony Space, and the Great Hall at Cooper Union.  He is regular feature of the Peoples Poetry Gathering and the Bowery Poetry Club. He is a recipient of grants from National Geographic’s Genographic Project, the NEV Foundation, Ford Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).

Mr. Kamara is a lecturer at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and founder and director of Badenya, an Africa arts presenting organization in New York City.

Mamarazzi, Performer at Arts Festival:

The group mamarazzi is the product of musical expeditions. With a shared love of African Music, cultivated under years of tutelage from Ghanaian master drummer Abraham Adzenyah, the band’s musical range reflects their collective passage: Brooklyn to Madagascar, Mali to Japan, Ghana to the deep fried American South. The result, like a ripe grapefruit, is a blessed meeting of unlikely elements: tart funk, acidic groove, and nectar of ancient lullaby. Spontaneously combusting in summer ’06 under the careless scientific supervision of a group of Wesleyan University Alum, mamarazzi has since been born and born again by their notoriously sweaty brand of dance revival. Members of mamarazzi have toured and/or performed with Questlove, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Roy Hargrove, Vieux Farka Toure, Toumani Diabate, Wyclef Gordon, and many other luminary artists.

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