Sierra Leonean Filmmaker holds New York Premiere for his Award-winning Feature Film

July 27, 2011 § 5 Comments

The movie is called The Three Way, and it nabbed three awards at the San Diego Black Film Festival this past January. Written and directed by New York-based filmmaker Julian Renner, the film is a comedic drama “where lovers and friends are forced to reveal their secrets and confront their own lies.” On Saturday July 30 Renner’s movie will have its New York premiere at the Manhattan Film Festival, starting at 2:30pm. Renner will be in attendance, as well as a few of the cast members like Medina Senghore, Sofia Rodriguez and Karmia Berry. The 86-minute movie won Best Comedy Feature and the Filmmaker’s Choice Award at the San Diego Black Film Festival, and Julian « Read the rest of this entry »

Viva Riva! Congolese MTV Movie Award Winner at AFI Silver June 7!

June 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Director Djo Munga at the British Film Institute in March

Congolese Director Djo Munga was talking excitedly about his film when I saw him at an event at the British Film Institute in London. He must be bursting with pride now that his first feature film – and reportedly the first from the Congo in decades – Viva Riva! has garnered another award to add to its growing list: Best African Film at the MTV Movie Awards. If you live in the DC area you can get a chance to see it tonight at the AFI Silver Theatre in Silver Spring, Maryland. The show starts at 7:30pm and the director will be in attendance, with a question and answer session afterwards.

The movie is a thrilling African crime drama set in Kinshasa, revolving around a fuel shortage that’s threatening to cripple the Congolese capital. Small time operator Riva comes in to take full advantage of this, getting embroiled in conflicts with an Angolan crime boss, a local gangster and his seductive girlfriend, all set to the rhythm of the vibrant, shadowy, gritty streets of Kinshasa. Viva Riva! won Best Feature Film at the 2011 Pan-African Film Festival, and ran off with 6 2011 African Movie Awards. The film is in French and Lingala with English subtitles. The movie opens in London on June 24, with a pre-launch opening night party at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. It opens in New York and LA June 10th. You can check out the trailer below. Bless…

Namibian Feature Film Selected for FESPACO and LA’s Panafrican Film Festival

February 19, 2011 § 5 Comments

Joel Haikali, Director of "My Father's Son"

Joel Haikali, Namibian actor and director, already scored a first for his nation when his film My Father’s Son became the first Namibian film to get a distribution deal. Joel was last seen onscreen with Danny Glover and Carl Lumbly in Charles Burnett‘s epic film Namibia, in which he played the young Sam Nujoma. Now he’s on the brink of his own success as a director, with his feature one of many new African films in competition at the Pan African Film Festival – or FESPACO – that kicks off in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso February 26, and runs until March 5. My Father’s Son was also an official selection of the 2011 Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, California, one of the biggest film festivals in the world. FESPACO is Africa’s largest film festival, and occurs every two years. It tells the story of two brothers, one living in a village and another living the city life in the capital Windhoek, who returns with his “colored” wife after 21 years to “rescue” his « Read the rest of this entry »

A New Movement in Black Cinema

January 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

Ava DuVernay, founder of AFFRM (Photo: Mariemaye)

It’s called AFFRM, and it stands for African-American Film Festival Releasing Movement. Started in 2011 by filmmaker and publicist Ava DuVernay (My Mic Sounds Nice), it is an attempt to bring black-themed movies to a wider viewing audience by releasing them in cities where the most popular African-American film festivals are already experiencing growing success. DuVernay’s wish is to expand theatrical distribution for black film using social media, email, and other grassroots distribution networks. In keeping with their dedication to quality, alternative independent films, the first one out the box from AFFRM is I Will Follow, a film written and directed by Ava DuVernay herself, which is scheduled for release on March 11, 2011. It will benefit from what AFFRM calls “a high-profile collaboration of the nation’s finest black film festivals.” Those festivals are LA’s Pan-African Film Festival,   « Read the rest of this entry »

Chico & Rita: Love, Romance and Afro Cuban Jazz (Trailer)

October 20, 2010 § 3 Comments

Chico & Rita Poster

After running into the trailer for this animated feature film on thenublak, I can understand why film enthusiasts in the UK are so excited about Chico & Rita opening there on November the 19th. I know that it has already been screened in North American film festivals like Toronto and Telluride, but here’s what I really want to know: when can we see it in the cinemas stateside?? Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba (Belle Epoque, 1992) and Graphic Artist Javier Mariscal directed this love story that begins in Havana, Cuba and trumpets through New York and Las Vegas to the Afro-Cuban Jazz sounds of Bebo Valdés. It tells the story of Chico, a piano player, and Rita, a singer who unite in music, passion and romance, but their relationship gets stagnated by cruel circumstance and heartache.

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