Harlem, N.Y., January 30, 2020 — Today the Apollo Theater announced it will screen the award-winning documentary Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cubaon Thursday, February 20th at 6:30 p.m., as part of ImageNation’s Cocktails & Cinema series. This screening marks the second installment in the Theater’s partnership with Harlem-based non-profit and will continue to be an ongoing quarterly event, which will highlight films that showcase the global Black experience. Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba, winner of the Best Feature Documentary at Belize International Film Festival, was directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, curator of the Annual Fist Up Film Festival and co-founder of Defend Puerto Rico. The screening will be preceded by a reception and live DJ set by Bembonabeginning at 6:00 p.m., followed by a post-film Q&A with director Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi; producer Khalil Jacobs-Fantauzzi; and Mai-Elka Prado Gil, founder of the Afro-Latino Festival of New York.
Bakosó: Afrobeats of Cuba follows DJ Jigüe to his hometown of Santiago de Cuba as he searches for new inspiration in the form of sound. Through his discovery of Afrobeats, DJ Jigüe ushers in an original sound creating a new genre called Bakosó, celebrating the connection between Africa and Cuba. The film’s score, created by the founders of the genre, and stunning visuals highlight the technology, culture, and landscape that shape this Afro-Caribbean fusion.
ImageNation Cinema Foundation is an innovative Harlem-based non-profit created to develop cinemas and audiences for independent films and music, that depict the global Black experience. ImageNation’s goal is to empower Black communities by presenting a variety of public programs that foster media equity, media literacy, solidarity, cross-cultural exchange and highlight the humanity of Pan-African people worldwide.
Led by Moikgantsi Kgama (Founder & Executive Director) and her husband Gregory Gates (Executive Producer), ImageNation has hosted film screenings, live music performances and other cultural events for more than 200,000 people worldwide since its inception. ImageNation is a founding partner in AFFRM, a national film distribution collective, founded by Ava DuVernay. ImageNation has presented internationally in South Africa, Scotland and Canada and domestically at Harvard University, MASS MOCA, Lincoln Center and in Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, Baltimore, MD, Chicago, Ill, Indianapolis, IN, and Washington DC. Programs have featured appearances by luminaries such as Spike Lee, Lee Daniels, Ava DuVernay, Stanley Nelson, Ruby Dee, Erykah Badu, Chuck D, Raoul Peck, India. Arie and many others. In line with its commitment to Black cinema, ImageNation’s RAW SPACE, will be developed into the Sōl Cinema Cafe, a boutique cinema highlighting global Black film and culture.
About the Apollo Theater
The legendary Apollo Theater—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, the Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world.
With music at its core, the Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo Theater is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend the Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
In fall 2020, the Apollo Theater will mark its first ever physical expansion with the theaters at the Victoria, part of the vision for a future Apollo Performing Arts Center. The theaters at the Victoria will support the growth of the Apollo’s artistic programming as it continues to provide a home to artists of color, create an expanded 21st century American performing arts canon, and provide additional educational and community programming in Harlem and beyond. For more information about the Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.
Support The Apollo’s 2019-2020 season is made possible by leadership support from Coca-Cola, Citi, Ford Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome L. Greene Arts Access Fund in the New York Community Trust, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Public support for the Apollo Theater is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.