A matatu is a means of public transport used by people around the world: despite the word’s derivation from a Swahili colloquialism, the concept of ridesharing is global. there’s the South African kombi, the Thai tuk-tuk, the Brooklyn dollar van, hell, even ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft. Like its East African counterpart, the highly mobile Matatu Festival duly seeks to be a vehicle: a mode of collective and publicly accessible transportation rooted in community & diaspora and that shuttles audiences and participants and presenters alike from one experience to the next. Regardless of thematic nature, the mode of conversational transport, transport through conversation, remains constant.

We are a collective of filmmakers, poets, writers, cartographers, musicians, and we are working from within and from without. We are storytellers. We are creative placekeepers impassioned by the belief that everyone has a spectacular story regardless of age, geographical bounds, gender, race, sexual preference, and/or socio-economic status. We believe that story represents the sacred agreement among otherwise disparate communities.

As an institution, we are fiscally sponsored by Intersection for the Arts



Rock Rubber 45s (USA) w Bobbito Garcia (USA)
Zerzura w Ahmoudou Madassane (Niger)
Black Mother w Khalik Allah (USA)
Jean Gentil (Haiti)
The Third Part of the Third Measure (USA)
Jinn w Nijla Mumin (USA)
Ethiopiques: Revolt of the Soul (Ethiopia)
Five Fingers for Marseilles (South Africa)
Félicité (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
1745 (Nigeria)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet dancers
Anjali & The Incredible Kid
DJ Spinna
Ethiocolor Band
Melaku Belay
Mdou Moctar
Rich Medina
Saul Williams
ToReadah Mikell
Zachary James Watkins


Apolo: Movement as Healing (USA) w Lino Brown
Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai (Niger)
King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis (USA)
I Am Not Your Negro (USA)

Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Amir Sulaiman
Chinaka Hodge
Ericka Huggins
Mdou Moctar
Naomi Waichira
Zoé Samudzi


The Living Need Light, The Dead Need Music (Vietnam)
The Sea is History (Haiti)
A Syrian Love Story (Syria)
Mali Blues (Mali)
Nasser’s Republic: The Making of Modern Egypt (Egypt)
Too Black to be French? (France)
Karima, A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl (Morocco)
New Eyes (Ethiopia)
The House on Coco Road (USA/Grenada) w Damani Baker
Lamb (Ethiopia) w Yared Zeleke

Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Amir Sulaiman
Black Spirituals
Boots Riley
Chinaka Hodge
Fantastic Negrito
Kahil El'Zabar
Kelsey Lu
King Britt: To Unprotect & Subserve: A Sonar Response
Kyp Malone
Ladan Osman
Saul Williams
Solange Knowles


Black President (South Africa)
Crumbs (Ethiopia)
Stretch & Bobbito: Radio That Changed Lives (USA)
Fashion House: Marga Weimans (Netherlands)
Romeo is Bleeding (USA) w Donte Clark
Asni: Courage, Passion & Glamor in Ethiopia (Ethiopia)
Red Leaves (Ethiopia)
Incorruptible (Senegal)
Necktie Youth (South Africa)
3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets (USA) w Marc Silver
Concerning Violence (Sweden)
Field Niggas (USA) w Khalik Allah

Alonzo King LINES Ballet
Bobbito Garcia
Shafiq Husayn
Stretch Armstrong


Mala Mala (Puerto Rico)
Evolution of a Criminal (USA) w Darius Clark Monroe
Of Good Report (South Africa)
Evaporating Borders (Cyprus)
Afronauts (Ghana)
12 O’Clock Boys (USA)
Kehinde Wiley: An Economy of Grace (USA)
Unogumbe (South Africa)
The Great Flood (USA)

Amir Sulaiman
King Britt
Najite & The Olokun Prophecy
Rich Medina
Terence Nance
Tony Allen


Let the Fire Burn (USA)
Mother of George (Nigeria)
Jamel Shabazz: Street Photographer (USA)
Black Radical Imagination: A Filmed TransmissioN (USA)
Nothing But a Man (USA)
Charles Bradley: Soul of America (USA)
Aujoud’hui (Senegal) w Alain Gomis
Stolen Seas (Somalia)
Dear Mandela (South Africa)
God Loves Uganda (Uganda)
Stones in the Sun (Haiti)
The Trials of Muhammad Ali (USA)
A Band Called Death (USA)


Middle of Nowhere (USA)
Soul Food Junkies (USA) w Byron Hurt
An Oversimplification of Her Beauty (USA) w Terence Nance
Maestra (Cuba) w Catherine Murphy