News

Ghanaian Teenager Abraham Attah & Idris Elba Win Best Actor & Best Supporting Actor At The 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards

Diversity took center stage at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards, where three of the four acting awards went to actors of color.

On the eve of #OscarsSoWhite, diversity took center stage at the 2016 Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, where three of the four acting awards tonight went to actors of color.


15-year-old Ghanaian newcomer Abraham Attah was awarded Best Male Lead for his portrayal of the child soldier Agu in Beasts Of No Nation—his first acting gig ever. Attah’s co-star, Idris Elba, was named Best Supporting Male. Beasts was also nominated for Best Feature as well as Best Director (Cary Fukunaga), though it lost to Oscar favorite Spotlight in both categories.

Mya Taylor made history as the first transgender Spirit Awards winner when she won Best Supporting Female for her turn in the iPhone-shot comedy-drama, Tangerine. Her co-star, Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, was nominated for Best Female Lead, but lost out to Room’s Brie Larson.

"There is transgender talent. There's very beautiful transgender talent. So, you better get it out there and put it in your next movie,” Taylor said in her acceptance speech.

The migration drama Mediterranea–another of Okayafrica’s Top Films of 2015—featured prominently throughout the night. The film was nominated, though did not win, for Best Male Lead (Ghanaian actor Koudous Seihon), Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay (Italian filmmaker Jonas Carpignano).

Elba, who also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for his performance as the brutal Commandant, brought his teenage co-star up to accept the honor with him. He ended with an awesome nod to James Brown.

Elba also answered some questions in the press room. “I’m half Ghanaian, it was my first time in Ghana. It was incredible, it was like a homecoming for me,” he said on what it was like to shoot in Accra.

Music

Listen to Tems' New EP 'If Orange Was A Place'

The buzzing Nigerian is also announcing her signing to Since '93/RCA Records and her placement as Apple Music's Up Next artist.

Tems is striking while the iron's hot and sharing her new 5-song EP, If Orange Was A Place.

The new release comes a few days after she dropped its lead single, "Crazy Tings," an addictive and bounce-heavy track produced by Ghanaian beatmaker GuiltyBeatz.

If Orange Was A Place also features a single guest appearance from American singer Brent Faiyaz — who lends his vocals to "Found" — and production from Jonah Christian. It was mixed and mastered by Spax.

The new EP comes alongside the news that Tems has signed to Since '93/RCA Records and been announced as Apple Music's latest Up Next artist.

Tems has been a highly-buzzing name in the last month with her feature on Drake's Certified Lover Boy, in which she appears on the song "Fountains," and for the massive popularity of her single alongside Wizkid, "Essence," which recently got a Justin Bieber remix.

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