by Suzanne Pollak | Special to The Gazette | Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Opening night of the New African Films Festival brought more than 400 people to the lobby of the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre and Cultural Center March 19, but it wasn't a typical night at the movies.
While awaiting the first movie, "13 Months of Sunshine," attendees of the opening night cocktail hour could bypass the usual movie popcorn and candy, and opt for a buffet featuring ye'abesha gomen (collard greens) and tikil gomen (cabbage) as well as beets and Ethiopian bread, compliments of nearby Abol Ethiopian Restaurant.
The film festival, which celebrates African culture and aims to give a better feel for life in African countries, had seven successful days at AFI, its third year at the theater on Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring. Now in its fifth season, this year's festival featured about 30 films.