News Brief

John Boyega and Letitia Wright to Star In Upcoming Sci-Fi Love Story 'Hold Back the Stars'

These two + black love + sci-fi? Please sign us up.

Black sci-fi and romance lovers, rejoice.

None other than Star Wars: The Force Awakens star John Boyega and Black Panther standout Letitia Wright will star opposite one another in the upcoming film Hold Back the Stars, based on Katie Khan's 2017 novel by the same name. According to Variety, the film is being describes as "Romeo and Juliet meets Gravity."


Mike Cahill will direct the film, and Christy Hall is the scriptwriter.

Here' a summary of the novel via Shadow & Act:

Trapped in the vast void of space, Carys and Max have only 90 minutes of oxygen left to live. None of this was supposed to happen. After a freak accident, Carys and Max are left adrift in space with nothing to hold onto but each other. As they fall, they can't help but look back at the world they left behind. A world whose rules they couldn't submit to, a place where they never really belonged; a home they're determined to get back to because they've come too far to lose each other now. While their air ticks dangerously low, one is offered the chance of salvation—but who will take it?

It might be a bit early to call, but we're pretty much already sold on this one, especially with Boyega and Wright—two of the biggest stars to emerge from two of the most groundbreaking sci-fi and fantasy film's in recent years—as leads.

Read: John Boyega Tells The Story of How He Landed His Role In 'Star Wars' In This Animated Video

Just imagine the two playing young, star-crossed lovers using their bond to help them survive in an increasingly complex universe—as you can tell, we're pretty excited for this one.

No word yet on a release date, but you know we'll keep you updated.

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South African Filmmaker Carmen Sangion Unpacks Her Short Film 'Uncertainty'

Uncertainty, a film about a couple's emotional battles during lockdown, forms part of the global nine-chapter anthology project titled One(Nine).

During the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, nine filmmakers isolating in various parts of the world came together for a collective experiment. The global team of female filmmakers worked on short films which formed part of the anthology One(Nine), a nine-chapter project of perspectives and experiences — real, unreal, fiction, non-fiction and everything in between.

The team included Canada's Ingrid Veninger, Mina Shum, Isa Benn and Slater Jewell-Kemker, as well as Dorothee Wenner (Germany), Shengze Zhu (China/USA), Carmen Sangion (South Africa) and Lydia Zimmermann (Spain). One(Nine) premiered digitally at Canada's Female Eye Film Festival that ran from March 12to 29.

For this piece, South Africa's Carmen Sangion dissects Uncertainty, a film which interrogates Black men's vulnerability and mental health struggles through the lens of one couple's relationship battles during lockdown.

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News Brief

ASAP Shembe’s Remix Edition of His Debut Album ‘Amarekere’ is Essential Listening

ASAP Shembe teams up with producers Daev Martian, KaeB, Buli, Ty Dilla and more for a remix edition of his debut album 'Amarekere'.

A year since the release of his debut album Amarekere, South African artist ASAP Shembe releases a remix edition of the project.

Producers such as KaeB, Buli, Ty Dilla Beats and Daev Martian remix some of Amarekere's 11 songs. While a song like "Giyani" maintains its trap-based feel, a song like "Ngulube" takes on a completely different form—Ty Dilla's remix is embellished with a lush EDM-inspired beat and refreshing verses from Robin Thirdfloor, Gyre and Shembe himself. It's one song that's guaranteed multiple repeats. "Iwile" is simply stripped of all instrumentation and the listener is treated to an acapella version.

The original version of "Gqom Queen", a song about being dribbled by a lover, was built on a dark trap beat. The remix maintains the same coldness but with a beat built on sinewy pads that envelop the gust of emotion being expressed.

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News Brief
Photo by RYAD KRAMDI / AFP via Getty Images.

Algerian Government Places a Ban on 'Unauthorised' Protests

Algeria's Interior Minister has accused protesters of being a national 'nuisance' and subsequently banned all protests occurring without prior approval from the government.

The Algerian government has announced a ban it has put in place on any unauthorised protests in the country. The move comes after the country's Interior Ministry dubbed protesters a "nuisance to the wider population" according to several reports. The protests, which are a part of the Hirak movement, began in 2019 and led to the ousting of former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika who was running for a fifth term in office. The anti-government protests have continued weekly over the past two years as citizens demand an end to corruption.
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