AfroFuturism with Kibwe Tavares & Keguro Macharia

Jonah (trailer above) premiered at Sundance 2013. A synopsis of the film from its creators follows:

Mbwana and his best friend Juma are two young men with big dreams. These dreams become reality when they photograph a gigantic fish leaping out of the sea and their small town blossoms into a tourist hot-spot as a result. But for Mbwana, the reality isn’t what he dreamed – and when he meets the fish again, both of them forgotten, ruined and old, he decides only one of them can survive. Jonah is a big fish story about the old and the new, and the links and the distances between them. A visual feast, shot though with humour and warmth, it tells an old story in a completely new way.

The visuals alone captured my attention, but reading up on the director, Kibwe Tavares, got me excited. On the TED Blog, Tavares discusses the relationship between his training as an architect and the science fiction aesthetic of his films:

As an architect, you’re always thinking about the future, too. You build in narratives that are in the future, because you’re always thinking, “When I design a building, I’m designing it for what happens 10, 15 years into the future.” And when you start looking at the future, it’s hard not to have that kind of science-fiction element.

Tavares’ commentary took me back to my initial impression of the film trailer. Afrofuturistic.

Hopefully you haven’t grown too tired of the word’s (mis)use because I think it’s really important here, especially after I’ve read Keguro Macharia’s Imagine in Black. In the blog post, Macharia offers a parallel between our everyday lives and those in dystopia:Read More »

On My Radar: La Playa D.C.

The trailer:

A synopsis from Shadow & Act:

The film centers on Tomas, an Afro-Colombian teenager struggling with the difficulties of growing up in a city (Bogota) of exclusion and racism against those who look like him; When his younger brother disappears, Tomas is forced to leave his home to look for him. With the help from his older brother Chaco, Tomas roams the city’s streets, as his search becomes more of a journey in which he’s forced to face his past, and to leave aside the influence of his brothers in order to find his own identity, all with the vibrancy and instability of a city in flux as the film’s backdrop.

On My Radar: Deluge

In the same way that I’m intrigued by stories and mythology about African people flying, our connection to water is a mystery that resonates with me.

From Nijla Mu’min (I linked to her poem in Web Finds, here):
This film, which centers on Tiana, a 14-year-old girl, who after witnessing the mass drowning of her friends is introduced to an aquatic underworld in the wake of the tragedy. This film is a mixture of coming-of-age drama, magical realism, and realism and will be shot in and around New Orleans.

The film is currently in pre-production and raising funds on IndieGoGo.

Also, check out this blog post from Nijla about a recent experience while location scouting.

On My Radar: Faire L’Amour

At the end of the the post-screening Q&A of Donoma, Djinn Carrénard let us know that he would begin shooting his next feature length film as soon as he returned to France.  Like Donoma, the new film would be on the topic of love but more so focused on the day-to-day aspect of love and how couples can grow to hate each other.

I’m in!

Now from Cineuropa (via Shadow & Act), we get a more detailed synopsis:

Oussmane is a musician losing his hearing in a loveless relationship with Laure, an air hostess desperately trying to get pregnant. Kahina is a young woman doing time in a prison somewhere in Ile de France who gets leave for a week to spend Christmas with her four-year-old daughter. Oussmane and Kahina will fall in love during this week on leave, clinging on to each other with the passion of their instinct to survive. Kahina can’t see her daughter, Kahina falls in love, Kahina has to return to prison.

On My Radar: Boneshaker

From the film’s site: Boneshaker follows a Ghanaian immigrant family taking a road trip to a Pentecostal church in Louisiana to cure their violent daughter. As the family journeys to a tent revival at the ends of the levee-less Louisiana delta, they discover the complications of trying to perform a traditional ritual away from home. Boneshaker focuses on the feelings of homelessness, landlessness, and rootlessness that accompany immigration.

More:
the video for the Kickstarter campaign that funded the film and
an interview with the director, Frances Bodomo.

I’m ready for this.

P.S. If you’re a Miranda July fan, check out this other short from Frances Bodomo:

On My Radar: Just A Band: The Movie

Wanuri Kahiu, director of sci-fi short Pumzi, and Anjali Nayar are working on a documentary about Just A Band.  Kahiu describes the project as:

… a kaleidoscopic portrait of four artistically eclectic twenty-somethings who form Kenya’s super nerdy Afro-electro-pop group Just A Band. The film follows them through projects and performances – from their out-of-control street parties in downtown Nairobi to the making of their blaxploitation music-mentry HA-HE, which became Kenya’s first Internet meme.

If you aren’t familiar with Just A Band, check them out: