Africa & The Diaspora At Tribeca Film Festival 2016

From a new doc on "the Egyptian Jon Stewart" to the story of a young & female Tunisian rocker, here's our Tribeca Film Festival roundup.

Children of the Mountain, dir. Priscilla Anany.
The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival began Wednesday night in New York City. From a new documentary on "the Egyptian Jon Stewart" to a 360 degree virtual reality journey across the continent and the story of a young and female Tunisian rocker, the following is Okayafrica's annual roundup of TFF films. For more, check out Okayplayer’s top picks for Tribeca 2016.

Tickling Giants

dir. Sara Taksler

In her feature-length documentary, Daily Show Senior Producer Sara Taksler takes a look at the rise and career of Egyptian TV presenter Bassem Youssef, who in 2011, at the start of the Arab Spring, left his job as a heart surgeon to become a full-time satirist. The decision would lead to him hosting the weekly political satire show, Al Bernameg, and ultimately becoming “the Jon Stewart of Egypt."

“With a precise documentary eye, Daily Show Senior Producer Sara Taksler captures the strength and fragility that color Youssef’s life on and off screen, as well as the courage of the coworkers who stand by him,” writes TFF's Cara Cusumano. “She celebrates satire as a tool with a greater use than the extraction of a laugh, positioning the genre as both a weapon against fear and an instrument of democracy for those in desperate pursuit of freedom.”

As I Open My Eyes

dir. Leyla Bouzid

Tunisian screenwriter and director Leyla Bouzid’s debut feature offers a glimpse into the lives of Tunisian youth in 2010. A music drama set on the eve of Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution, the film tells the story of a young Tunisian woman in an underground band. “For Farah (Baya Medhaffar), the young woman at the heart of the film, music transcends cultures and languages, and the lengthy musical interludes demonstrate a kind of escapism,” writes TFF Artistic Director, Frederic Boyer. “Music too is wrapped up in the politics.”

Children of the Mountain

dir. Priscilla Anany

Ghanaian writer-director Priscilla Anany’s debut feature tells the story of a young mother (Rukiyat Masud) who goes to the greatest lengths to find a cure for her son, who was born with a cleft palate and diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Down syndrome.


dir. Stephanie Riggs

The immersive VR documentary is making its world premiere at Tribeca’s Virtual Arcade. Inspired by Dayo Olopade’s book, The Bright Continent, the film takes viewers on a 360° journey across the continent in search of Kanju, the Yoruba word for “creativity born of struggle.”

Tribeca Film Festival 2016 takes place April 13 – 24 in New York City.

Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

B3nchMarQ and the Art of Making Something From Nothing

B3nchMarQ's EP consists of great songs that don't require much from the listener—but it bangs.

There's nothing groundbreaking about South African rap duo B3nchMarQ's debut release ASPEN EP. But one indisputable fact is that it bangs.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

Nasty C and French Montana Hit the Club In the Video for ‘Allow’

Watch the video to Nasty C and French Montana's new collaboration.

South African rapper Nasty C just released the visuals to "Allow," his collaboration with French Montana. The song is featured on Bad Hair Extensions, the re-release of Bad Hair, the Durban-born rapper's debut album.

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Courtesy of Jojo Abot.

Let Jojo Abot's New Afrofuturistic Video Hypnotize You

The Ghanaian artist releases the new video for "Nye VeVe SeSe," an entirely iPhone-recorded track.

Jojo Abot is rounding out a strong year which has seen her tour South Africa, release the NGIWUNKULUNKULU EP and work with institutions like the New Museum, Red Bull Sound Select and MoMA on her art and performances.

Jojo is now sharing her latest music video for "Nye VeVe SeSe," a song featured on her iPhone-only production project, Diary Of A Traveler.

"Nye Veve Sese is an invitation to let go of the burden of pain and suffering that keeps us from becoming our best and greatest selves," a statement from Jojo's team reads. "Asking the question of why pain is pleasurable to both the one in pain and the source of the pain. Often time the two being one and the same."

Watch her new "meditative piece," which was shot in Bedstuy, Brooklyn, below.

Jojo Abot will be playing her final US show of the year in New York City alongside Oshun on October 26 at Nublu 151. Grab your tickets here.

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