Film: Africa Gets Animated In Upcoming Features

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In the coming months, French cinemagoers and international film festival attendees will be treated to two feature films with African subjects.  Aya de Yopougon (Aya of Yop City), based in the eponymous graphic novel by the Ivoirienne Marguerite Abouet, with drawings by her husband Clément Oubrier, has just been confirmed for a May release, shortly after the début of Zarafa (trailer above), by the writer and director Rémi Bezançon, at the Berlin Film Festival next week.  In keeping with the country’s longstanding support of the bande-déssinée, France has proven a fertile ground for the production of animated treatments of African themes.  Both films have clear precedents:  Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi, 2007) in the case of AYA and Kirikou et les Bêtes Sauvages (Michel Ocelot and Bénédicte Galup, 2005) in that of Zarafa.  With the first, we have hybrids of the graphic novel and memoir that have made the transition to the screen, and with the second, filmic representations of myths drawn from the oral traditions of the African continent.  Particularly given the record-breaking sales achieved by AYA Worldwide, we may hope that these two films will bring the public closer to a more nuanced, colorful vision of Africa, as distinct from the pessimism rampant in the Western media.

via Shadow and Act.


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Interview: How Stogie T’s ‘Freestyle Friday’ Became a TV Show

Freestyle Friday started as lockdown content but is now a fully-fledged TV show on Channel O. In this interview, Stogie T breaks down why the show is revolutionary and talks about venturing into media.

When South Africa was put under a hard lockdown in 2020, Stogie T started Freestyle Friday to "make SA rap again." Freestyle Friday, hosted on Instagram, saw a different cohort of rappers each rap over the same beat picked by the veteran rapper. From niche and emerging rappers to some of the most notable names in South African hip-hop—the likes of AKA, Focalistic, Ginger Trill and several others all participated.

In the last few weeks, however, Freestyle Friday has found its way to cable TV. The show airs every Friday on Channel O, one of the continent's longest-running music TV channels. Freestyle Friday as a TV programme isn't just about freestyles, it's about the art of rapping and the music business, particularly SA hip-hop. Guests range from lyricists to record executives and other personalities aligned with the scene—Ninel Musson and Ms Cosmo for instance.

But Freestyle Friday is only the first media product Stogie T is working on as he is in the process of starting a podcast network, a venture in which he is collaborating with Culture Capital. In the Q&A below, Stogie T breaks down the relationship with Culture Capital, how the show moved from the internet to TV, why it's a revolutionary idea, touches on his venture into media and his future plans.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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