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"Am I Too African To Be American? Too American To Be African?" Asks This First-Generation Filmmaker

Nadia Sasso makes her directorial debut with 'Am I,' a documentary exploring complex identity politics of young Africans living in America.


Is there such thing as cultural limbo? According to a new documentary film, Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?the short answer is yes.

Directed and produced by first-time filmmaker Nadia SassoAm I: The Film explores the complex identity formations of young African women who live in America and West Africa and identify bi-culturally. At the center of this conversation are seven womenincluding Awkward Black Girl star and creator Issa Raeall of whom share how they wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.

“I created Am I: The Film as a way to not only explore how immigrants and their offspring engage with the issue of bicultural identity politics on the American and African landscapes, but to create a dialogue between the generations," Sasso revealed in a press release. "Cultural dualism is a reality that affects everyone, from our President of the United States, Barack Obama to everyday citizens like myself.”

Sasso didn't have to go far in search of inspiration for the film, considering she was born in America to Sierra Leonean parents. However, her shared multicultural background didn't necessarily give her an "in" with the film's cast. As Sasso revealed in an email interview with Okayafrica, some women were more forthcoming than others during their initial interviews. "I definitely had to build a good rapport with each individual before diving into deep questions," she says.

A successful Kickstarter campaign launched in 2014 helped Sasso to bring Am I: The Film, her graduate school thesis at the time, to life. Moving forward, she plans on creating a curated Am I website that not only relates to the issues addressed in the film, but also centers on music, videos, texts and fashion.

Am I: The Film will be shown in the following cities through a series of pop-up screenings:

September 24 in Ithaca, New York (Cornell University)

October 1 in Lewisburg, PA (Bucknell University)

October 15 in New York City (Private Screening/ Limited public seats)

October 22 in Washington, DC (Private Screening at Foundry Lofts/ Limited public seats)

Visit the film's website for screening updates. Viewing is also available now on the website for a $10 donation. To join the conversation, check out Am I: The Film on Facebook and Twitter.

Interview
Image courtesy of Killbeatz.

Interview: Killbeatz' Short & Sweet Debut EP, 'Love and Happiness'

We speak to the renowned afrobeats producer about his joint Love and Happiness EP with King Promise & Ofori Amponsah, and his daughter's inspiration behind the project.

Killbeatz needs no introduction. The producer born Joseph Addison is one of the biggest hitmakers as far as afrobeats is concerned. From R2Bees to Sarkodie to FuseODG to M.anifest, Killbeatz has blessed your favorite singers and rappers alike with the soundtracks to their biggest hits. From the azonto era to the global spread of afrobeats, his contribution to African music as a whole cannot be overstated.

However, Killbeatz' influence doesn't stop at just music production. Behind the scenes, he's a complete industry player. The CEO of Ghanaian record label Legacy Life Entertainment, he's responsible for bringing star singer King Promise to the limelight.

Despite producing for the crème de la crème of the Ghanaian music industry as well as several international artists over the length of a decade, the highly-influential producer and instrumentalist never had a project of his own. Now he has set out to change that. In October 2020 Killbeatz dropped his debut EP, titled Love and Happiness.

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