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Amma Asante’s Drama About a Motswana-British Interracial Romance to Open the BFI Awards

Keep an eye out for Asante, Oyelowo and Moitheri Pheto at tne BFI Awards, which runs from Oct. 5-16 in London.

Film director Amma Asante is living up to her accolades from BAFTA for most promising newcomer for her debut "A Way of Life" and win for her second feature film "Belle," which Gugu Mbatha-Raw won best actress, at the British Independent Film Awards.


Variety reports, Asante has followed up these successes with a third, cause three’s a charm. Her upcoming film "A United Kingdom" has been selected to open the 60th British Independent Film Festival on Oct. 5 at the Odeon Leicester Square. Asante, born to Ghanaian parents who immigrated to London, is the first black woman to have her film open at the prestigious film festival. Yet, another example that 2016 is #PeakBlackGirlMagic.

"A United Kingdom," stars David Oyelowo (could this spell redemption for him after starring in major flop “Nina”?) along with Rosamund Pike ("Gone Girl"). "Mandela" actress Moitheri "Terry" Pheto of South Africa, will also appear. Produced by Rick McCallum of  "Star Wars," it’s a drama based on a true story that focuses on King of Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana) Seretse Khama (Oyelowo) and his controversial interracial relationship with a London office worker, Ruth Williams (Pike), who he married in 1947, despite discouragement from their families and the British and South African governments.

Courtesy of Pathe via Variety

“It’s a great privilege that 'A United Kingdom' has been selected as the opening night film of the BFI London Film Festival,” Asante says, according to Variety. "The festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my first film, ‘A Way of Life,’ here and been honored with the U.K. Film Talent Award. I’m a proud Londoner, and in 'A United Kingdom' we’ve been able to film in some of the most beautiful parts of the city as well as in the wonderful landscapes of Botswana."

Clare Stewart, London Film Festival director, adds, according to the film's press release: "Amma Asante’s 'A United Kingdom' is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker."

Asante, Oyelowo and Pike are slated to attend the LFF gala screening, which will serve as the European premiere for "A United Kingdom." So far, the film has distribution in the U.K. and France.

Keep an eye out for Asante, Oyelowo and Pheto at the BFI Awards, which runs from October 5 to 16 in London.

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David Oyelowo Will Star as US President In an Upcoming Drama Series from Showtime

'The President Is Missing' is based on a bestselling novel co-written by Bill Clinton.

Davido Oyelowo is set to star in Showtime's upcoming series pilot, The President Is Missing, a drama based on the bestselling 2018 novel by former US president Bill Clinton and James Patterson, Deadline reports.

The series is set to begin production early next year, and will see Oyelowo portraying an unambitious vice president who is unexpectedly thrust into the role of head of state against his desires.

READ: In Conversation: Abiola Oke With David Oyelowo

Here's a full description of The President Is Missing via Deadline:

In The President Is Missing, a powerless and politically aimless vice president (Oyelowo) unexpectedly becomes president halfway into his administration's first term, despite his every wish to the contrary. He walks right into a secret, world-threatening crisis, both inside and outside the White House. Attacked by friends and enemies alike, with scandal and conspiracy swirling around him, he is confronted with a terrible choice: keep his head down, toe the party line and survive, or act on his stubborn, late-developing conscience and take a stand.
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Photo still via TIFF.

Watch the Striking Trailer for 'Farming'—Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's Directorial Debut

This is a must-watch.

The trailer for Farming, Nigerian-British actor Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje's directorial debut, is here.

"Between the 1960s and the 1980s, thousands of Nigerian children were farmed out to white working class families in the UK," the trailer begins. "This is the true story of just one of them."

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Photo by Lana Haroun

From #FeesMustFall to #BlueforSudan: OkayAfrica's Guide to a Decade of African Hashtag Activism

The 2010s saw protest movements across the continent embrace social media in their quest to make change.

The Internet and its persistent, attention-seeking child, Social Media has changed the way we live, think and interact on a daily basis. But as this decade comes to a close, we want to highlight the ways in which people have merged digital technology, social media and ingenuity to fight for change using one of the world's newest and most potent devices—the hashtag.

What used to simply be the "pound sign," the beginning of a tic-tac-toe game or what you'd have to enter when interacting with an automated telephone service, the hashtag has become a vital aspect of the digital sphere operating with both form and function. What began in 2007 as a metadata tag used to categorize and group content on social media, the term 'hashtag' has now grown to refer to memes (#GeraraHere), movements (#AmINext), events (#InsertFriendsWeddingHere) and is often used in everyday conversation ("That situation was hashtag awkward").

The power of the hashtag in the mobility of people and ideas truly came to light during the #ArabSpring, which began one year into the new decade. As Tunisia kicked off a revolution against oppressive regimes that spread throughout North Africa and the Middle East, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook played a crucial role in the development and progress of the movements. The hashtag, however, helped for activists, journalists and supporters of causes. It not only helped to source information quickly, but it also acted as a way to create a motto, a war cry, that could spread farther and faster than protestors own voices and faster than a broadcasted news cycle. As The Guardian wrote in 2016, "At times during 2011, the term Arab Spring became interchangeable with 'Twitter uprising' or 'Facebook revolution,' as global media tried to make sense of what was going on."

From there, the hashtag grew to be omnipresent in modern society. It has given us global news, as well as strong comedic relief and continues to play a crucial role in our lives. As the decade comes to a close, here are some of the most impactful hashtags from Africans and for Africans that used the medium well.

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Screenshot from the upcoming film Warriors of a Beautiful Game

In Conversation: Pelé's Daughter is Making a Documentary About Women's Soccer Around the World

In this exclusive interview, Kely Nascimento-DeLuca shares the story behind filming Warriors of a Beautiful Game in Tanzania, Brazil and other countries.

It may surprise you to know that women's soccer was illegal in Brazil until 1981. And in the UK until 1971. And in Germany until 1970. You may have read that Sudan made its first-ever women's league earlier this year. Whatever the case, women and soccer have always had a rocky relationship.

It wasn't what women wanted. It certainly wasn't what they needed. However, society had its own ideas and placed obstacle after obstacle in front of women to keep ladies from playing the game. Just this year the US national team has shown the world that women can be international champions in the sport and not get paid fairly compared to their male counterparts who lose.

Kely Nascimento-DeLuca is looking to change that. As the daughter of international soccer legend Pelé, she is no stranger to the game. Growing up surrounded by the sport, she was actually unaware of the experiences women around the world were having with it. It was only recently that she discovered the hardships around women in soccer and how much it mirrored women's rights more generally.

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