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Cinemafrique: African Film & TV News

Okayafrica rounds off the latest African film and TV news in our weekly Cinemafrique series.


From Season 1, Episode 4 of An African City

Welcome to the inaugural edition of our new Cinemafrique series. Each week we'll be highlighting the latest film and television news from throughout Africa and the diaspora, from film festival announcements and who to expect on the big screen to the scoop on what to binge watch and add to your viewing party schedule. Without further ado let's get the ball rolling with news on Traitors, An African City, Afronauts, nominees for the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards and more!

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Traitors At Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival kicked off last night and runs through April 27th. Along with the world premiere of the Nas documentary Time Is Illmatic, one of the features we’re most looking forward to is Traitors (2013), which makes its North American premiere at TFF. First time director Sean Gullete's Moroccan coming of age story revolves around Malika, whose life as the leader of a female punk band in Tangiers proves to be too scandalous for her über conservative community. Watch a preview below and head here for more information on tickets and screening times.

Sun 4/20, 6:30pm, Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 6

Tues 4/22, 9:45pm, Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 8

Thurs 4/24, 5:30pm, Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 4

Sat 4/26, 6:30pm, Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea 6

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Film
Coodie & Chike at the premiere of 'A Kid From Coney Island.' Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival.

In Conversation with Coodie & Chike: The Celebrated Director Duo on Authentic Storytelling & Their New Documentary About the Life of Stephon Marbury

We chat with Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah on their diverse backgrounds and how they impact the purpose of their mission.

Coodie Simmons and Chike Ozah are an oasis of calm in the intense energy of the Tribeca Film Festival. Simmons, a veteran comedian who hails from Chicago, effortlessly works comic relief into conversation. Ozah, a motion graphics designer born to a Nigerian father and a New Orleans-native mother, breaks down and makes sense of the purpose behind the work they've produced over the past 15 years. As we talk, it's clear you can't have one without the other.

You might be familiar with Coodie & Chike, as they're known, through Kanye West's iconic music video for 2004's "Through The Wire"—where the pair incorporated documentary footage they captured of West with mixed media elements. They eventually transitioned into producing impactful documentaries under their production company Creative Control, including the critically acclaimed ESPN 30 for 30, Benji and BET's Muhammed Ali: The People's Champ, which took home the 2016 NAACP Image Award for 'Best Television Documentary.'

Coodie & Chike's latest came from an unexpected opportunity—to direct and write A Kid From Coney Island—a documentary on NBA notable Stephon Marbury. They say it came to be after an initial reach-out from Emmy Award-winning broadcast news and documentary producer Jason Samuels. At first, they were hesitant to hop on the project due to their preconceived notions about Marbury that the media at the time perpetuated before the star left the NBA to play professionally in China. Once they learned that Nina Yang Bongiovi and her producing partner Forest Whitaker were involved, there had to be an amazing story ahead of them.

A Kid From Coney Island is a raw account of Marbury's life and career. You see and hear from Marbury himself in the film through Coodie & Chike quintessential use of archival footage from his past to the present. The duo was also able to tap his family, former teammates, community tastemakers and hip hop icons—who genuinely encapsulated Marbury's impact on the world.

In our conversation below, we learn more about challenges the duo faced while making the documentary, how their diverse backgrounds impact the purpose of what they do and more.

This interview has been condensed and edited for length and clarity.

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'An African City' and 'School Girls' Star MaameYaa Boafo Lands Role in New NBC Legal Drama

The Ghanaian actor is set to play a private investigator in upcoming pilot, "Bluff City Law."

Coming off the heels of a successful run at MCC Theater for School Girls; or, the African Mean Girls Play, Ghana's own MaameYaa Boafo has secured the network TV bag.

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University lecturer and activist Doctor Stella Nyanzi (L) reacts in court as she attends a trial to face charges for cyber-harassment and offensives communication, in Kampala, on April 10, 2017. (Photo by GAEL GRILHOT/AFP via Getty Images)

Jailed Ugandan Activist, Stella Nyanzi, Wins PEN Prize for Freedom of Expression

The outspoken activist, who is currently serving a prison sentence for a poem she wrote about the president's mother's vagina, won for her resistance "in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her."

Stella Nyanzi, the Ugandan academic, activist, and vocal critic of President Yoweri Museveni has been awarded the 2020 Oxfam Novib/PEN International award for freedom of expression, given to writers who "continue to work for freedom of expression in the face of persecution."

Nyanzi is currently serving a 15 month sentence for "cyber harassment" after she published a poem in which she wrote that she wished "the acidic pus flooding Esiteri's (the president's mother) vaginal canal had burn up your unborn fetus. Burn you up as badly as you have corroded all morality and professionalism out of our public institutions in Uganda."

According to the director of PEN International, Carles Torner, her unfiltered outspokenness around the issues facing her country is what earned her the award. "For her, writing is a permanent form of resistance in front of a regime that is trying to suppress her," said Torner at the award ceremony.

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Video
Photo: Ben Depp.

Watch Yilian Canizares & Paul Beaubrun's Beautiful Video For 'Noyé'

"Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Yilian Canizares and Paul Beaubrun connect for the serene "Noyé," one of the highlights from Canizares' latest album, Erzulie.

The Cuban singer and Haitian artist are now sharing the new Arnaud Robert-directed music video for the single, which we're premiering here today.

"Noyé is a song that comes from our roots," Yilian Canizares tells OkayAfrica. "Inspired by the energy of love. The same love that kept Africa's legacy alive in the hearts of Haiti and Cuba. We wanted to do a stripped down version of only the essential pieces from a musical point of view. Something raw and beautiful where our souls would be naked."

The striking music video follows Canizares and Beaubrun to the waters of New Orleans, the universal Creole capital, where they sing and float until meeting on the Mississippi River.

"Noyé is a cry of love from children of African descent," says Paul Beaubrun. "Cuba and Haiti come together to share the love and heritage of our deep rooted culture and spirituality."

Watch the new music video for "Noyé" below.

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