FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ALAIN BIDARD’S AWARD WINNING FILMS BATTLEDREAM CHRONICLE AND OPAL SHINE AT NYC AFROFUTURISM FESTIVAL
New York (March 10, 2022) -̶ The award winning Martinican animated film producer/director Alain Bidard comes to New York to participate in the ongoing Afrofuturism Festival in association with Carnegie Hall. His celebrated animated feature film, Opal, will be screened Friday, March 11 at the Dominican Civic Cultural Center during this citywide festival.
The Dominican Center is holding on that day Afrofuturism and the Francophone World from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. Showcasing emerging artists, filmmakers and designers from the West Indies and French-speaking African nations it will highlight the 21st century expression of Afrofuturism. This symposium will also feature a fashion show, art exhibition, and roundtable discussion on the phenomenon of Afrofuturism in the Black Francophone community.
In 2015, Alain Bidard made history in releasing the first animated feature film ever made in Martinique — “Battledream Chronicle.” The animated feature film locally produced by Martinique-based Pagod Films, is about a young slave named Syanna living in a world where plantations are video games and slaves must risk their lives to collect experience points. The film garnered 24 awards and 70 nominations worldwide. Alain Bidard also created in 2018 the first Caribbean animated TV series winning 25 awards and 115 nominations worldwide.
The 24 international film festival awards for Battledream Chronicle include: Best Feature Film Screenplay in the Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre Festival (Argentina, 2015), Black Genius Award in the Black Genius Festival (France, 2015), Golden Palm Award in Animation in the Mexico International Film Festival (Mexico, 2016) or the Beacon Award in the Miami Science Fiction Film Festival (2017, USA).
His latest feature animated film Opal was released in December 2021. It is an Afro-fantasy tale set in a magic kingdom led by the magic Princess Opal. Alain Bidard was quoted to say about his latest feature film: "Opal is a dark fairy tale set in the Afro-Caribbean culture. It's a journey through the Caribbean languages and accents, their food, their colors, their folklore, their dreams, and their trials, all with a strong vibe of fantasy." Opal premiered at the Animae Caribe Animation Festival in Trinidad and which has already won 15 awards and 30 nominations worldwide. The animated feature just won Best International Feature Film at the Golden Horse International Film Festival in India.
“We are delighted to welcome in New York Martinique’s much talented animated film maker Alain Bidard. The Afrofuturism Festival, shines a light on significant themes that Alain Bidard’s work brilliantly addresses and introduces to festival goers.” says Muriel Wiltord, Director Americas of the Martinique Tourism Authority.
Alain Bidard’s film credits include: Opal (Feature Film, 2021); Reflexion (Short film, 2020), Another House (Short film codirected with Chantal Sacarabany, 2019); The Flight (Short Film, 2018); Battledream Chronicles (Animated series, 2017); Clair Obscur (Short Film, 2017); Battledream Chronicle (Feature Film, 2015); The Martinican Indian Soul (Doc codirected with Chantal Sacarabany, 2013); New World (Short Film, 2007); Phobia (Short Film, 2004); The House of the Kapok Trees (Short Film, 2003); The bunch of Flowers (Short Film, 2002); Bzz Instinct (Short Film, 2001); Pixies (Short Film, 1999).
Carnegie Hall’s citywide Afrofuturism Festival invites spectators to imagine the future through the lens of Black cultures through music, visual arts, science fiction, and technology. It is presented by the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Temple University.
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The French Caribbean Island of Martinique is also known as the Isle of Flowers, The Rum Capital of the World, the Birthplace of coffee in the New World, The Isle of the Famed Poet (Aimé Césaire) – Martinique ranks among the most alluring and enchanting destinations in the world. As an overseas region of France, Martinique boasts modern and reliable infrastructure – roads, water and power utilities, hospitals, and telecommunications, services all on par with any other part of the European Union. At the same time, Martinique’s beautifully unspoiled beaches, volcanic peaks, rainforests, 80+ miles of hiking trails, waterfalls, streams, and other natural wonders are unparalleled in the Caribbean, so visitors here truly get the best of both worlds. The currency is the Euro, the flag and the official language are French, but Martinique’s character, cuisine, musical heritage, art, culture, common language, and identity are of a distinctly Afro-Caribbean inclination known as Creole. It is this special combination of modern world conveniences, pristine nature, and rich heritage that has earned for Martinique several notable distinctions in recent years. Hot off the press: In September 2021, Martinique’s exceptional biodiversity was recognized by UNESCO, which added the entire island to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The destination was named the world's top emerging destination by TripAdvisor for 2021. In late 2020, Martinique’s traditional Yole Boat was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage List and the Isle of Flowers also earned Silver honors in Travel Weekly’s 2020 Magellan Awards as an Art & Culture Caribbean Destination. In December 2019 and for the second year in a row, Martinique was named “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean” by the Caribbean Journal. The island was also recognized in January 2019 by OprahMag.com and in first place in their list of “The 19 Best Winter Getaways.” Martinique was also featured in the Caribbean Journal’s Best Caribbean Islands to visit in 2019. Martinique has also been featured in Travel + Leisure and the New York Time’s “52 Places to go in 2018.”
MARTINIQUE TOURISM AUTORITY
Director of Communications