Film

Cinemafrique: Lupita Nyong'o In 'Americanah,' Sophie Okonedo Wins A Tony, Uzo Aduba On Funny Or Die + More

The latest in Okayafrica's Cinemafrique features African film and TV news on Lupita Nyong'o, Sophie Okonedo wins at the Tony's and more.


Orange Is The New Black's Uzo Aduba on Funny Or Die

Welcome to the fifth installment of Cinemafrique, where every other Thursday we highlight the latest film and television news from throughout Africa and the diaspora. This week we take a look at Lupita Nyongo's forthcoming adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, A Raisin In The Sun star Sophie Okonedo's Tony Awards triumph, Orange Is The New Black's Uzo Aduba stars in a Funny Or Die sketch, the Zanzibar International Film Festival gets underway this weekend, Spoek Mathambo's South African electronic music documentary, call for submissions for Udada Film Festival and Africa in Motion, Spoek Mathambo's Future Sound of Mzansi documentary on South Africa's electronic music landscape, and nominees for the Nigeria Entertainment Awards. Click on for the full scoop.

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Joseph Otisman and Cynthia Dankwa as Kojo and Esi. Photo by Ofoe Amegavie via 'The Burial of Kojo's' Kickstarter page.

'The Burial of Kojo' Is Ghana's First Golden Globe Entry

Blitz the Ambassador's debut film is being considered for the Best Foreign Language Film nomination at the 2020 Golden Globes.

Blitz Bazawuke, also known as Blitz the Ambassador's critically-acclaimed directorial debut The Burial of Kojo is officially in the running for a Golden Globe nomination, making it the first Ghanaian film ever to be considered for a nomination.

The musician, writer and director took to Twitter on Friday to share the news along with a picture of the list of contenders for the Golden Globe's "Best Foreign Language Film" award, which also includes Senegal's Atlantics (which is also in the running to become the first Senegalese film nominated for an Oscar) and Malawi's The Boy Who Harnessed Wind. Ninety-five films from 65 different countries are being considered for nomination in the category.

READ: In Conversation: The Cast & Crew of 'The Burial of Kojo' On Representation, Power & Filming in Ghana

The mystical and visually striking movie, which premiered at the Urban World Festival in NYC last year, tells the story of two brothers through the eyes of its young protagonist Esi, played by Cynthia Dankwa. The film takes viewers on a surreal journey exploring family bonds and the complexity of life and death. "Usually movies about Africa are very dystopian, more about survival mode. We never get a chance to break down our people," the director told OkayAfrica in an in-depth interview last year. "We just end up with a war, and in a war you can't show nuance in family relationships—the film is about survival. The hardest thing to do is humanize a people that has little history in cinema. Hopefully this film brings father and daughter closer, especially back home."

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Nigeria's Oscar Hopeful, 'Lionheart,' Has Been Disqualified Because It's in English

According to the Academy, nominees in its Best International Feature Film Category must "have a predominately non-English dialogue track," and 'Lionheart' despite being an unmistakably Nigerian film, doesn't fit the bill.

Nigeria's hopes of earning its first Oscar nomination were cut short today after the academy disqualified Genevieve Nnaji's directorial debut, Lionheart from consideration in the Best International Feature Film category, The Wrap reports.

According to the Academy the film does not meet the language requirement necessary for inclusion in the category since it was filmed mostly in English. Despite the film having some Igbo parts, an Academy rule—which states that films must have "a predominantly non-English dialogue track" in order to be considered for the category—makes it ineligible.

The decision comes as a disappointment considering it was Nigeria's first ever entry to the Oscars and it was one of the record-breaking 29 films out of 93 originally submitted this year that were directed by women. There were a record-breaking 10 films from the continent submitted this year, including Senegal's Atlantics and Ghana's Azali.

According to a report from The Wrap, it seems the film may have been disqualified before voters in the Best International Feature Film category ever even got a chance to see it. The film was reportedly supposed to screen for voters on Wednesday, before the news of its disqualification was announced via email on Monday.

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Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and Sabelo Mkhabela.

Wizkid, Anatii Win Big at BET Soul Train Awards Alongside Beyoncé

The Nigerian and South African artists, respectively, won soul train awards for their contributions to 'Brown Skin Girl."

Nigeria's Wizkid and South Africa's Anatii both earned BET Soul Train Awards last night for their contributions to Beyoncé's hit song "Brown Skin Girl."

The song, which is an ode to dark-skinned women, was one of the standout tracks from Beyoncé's The Lion King: The Gift. It earned the "Ashford and Simpson Songwriter's Award" last night during the awards ceremony in Las Vegas. Wizkid is featured on the track and has a writing credit, while Anatii is credited as a composer along with Michael Uzowuru, and others.

The song was also nominated in the "Best Collaboration Performance" category.

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Photo by Seyllou/AFP via Getty Images

France Returns a 19th Century Sword Back to Senegal

The sword belonged to a Senegalese anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall.

France has returned a 19th century sword back to Senegal. The sword belonged to Senegalese Islamic scholar and anti-colonial struggle fighter Omar Saidou Tall. The French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe recently handed over the sword to Senegal's President Macky Sall in a ceremony held in Dakar this past Sunday. The sword is now in the Museum of Black Civilizations of Dakar. The move comes after the Senegalese government's request for France to return more than 100 artifacts housed in French museums and France's President Emmanuel Macron subsequently commissioned a report entitled "The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics".

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