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Left: Photo by Bennett Raglin/ NAACP LDF for Getty Images, Right: Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

Lupita Nyong'o and Mati Diop Win at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards

Lupita Nyong'o took home 'Best Lead Actress' for her role in 'Us' while Mati Diop's 'Atlantics' won 'Best First Film'.

Yesterday, the New York Film Critics Circle announced its full list of this year's winners. According to Deadline, Kenyan-Mexican actress Lupita Nyong'o took home the "Best Lead Actress" award for her phenomenal role in the Jordan Peele horror film Us while Senegalese-French filmmaker Mati Diop's Atlantics won in the "Best First Film" category.


The Golden Globe nominations are set to be announced next Monday and while nothing is certain, Nyong'o's recent win is definitely a nod in the right direction. While horror films generally don't receive much attention at major awards shows, Peele's Get Out and more recently Us, are definitely changing that narrative.

It's been a spectacular year for Nyong'o across the board. She's set to produce the film adaptation of Trevor Noah's best-selling memoir Born a Crime, in which she'll also play the role of Noah's mother Patricia. If that weren't enough, she's set to star in an upcoming sci-fi comedy that's supposedly a cross between Men in Black and Miss Congeniality, although the details are still scarce. Nyong'o recently published her children's book Sulwe and has started numerous conversations around being dark-skinned and colorism in the Black community.

Equally important is Diop, the Senegalese-French filmmaker behind the feature film Atlantics, a "ghost love story" centering themes of migration. The film was picked up by Netflix and won the Grand Prix at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, making Diop the first Black woman to win an award at the festival. Senegal then submitted the film as its entry for "Best International Film" at the Oscars—another tremendous honor for the talented filmmaker.

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Image courtesy of Lula Ali Ismaïl

'Dhalinyaro' Is the Female Coming-of-Age Story Bringing Djibouti's Film Industry to Life

The must-watch film, from Lula Ali Ismaïl, paints a novel picture of Djibouti's capital city through the story of three friends.

If you're having a tough time recalling the last movie you watched from Djibouti, it's likely because you have never watched one before. With an almost non-existent film industry in the country, Lula Ali Ismaïl, tells a beautiful coming of age story of three young female Djiboutian teenagers at the cusp of womanhood. Dhalinyaro offers a never-before-seen view of Djibouti City as a stunning, dynamic city that blends modernity and tradition—a city in which the youth, like all youth everywhere, struggle to decide what their futures will look like. It's a beautiful story of friendship, family, dreams and love from a female filmmaker who wants to tell a "universal story of youth," but set in the country she loves—Djibouti.

The story revolves around the lives of three young friends from different socio-economic backgrounds, with completely varied attitudes towards life, but bound by a deep friendship. There is Asma, the conservative academic genius who dreams of going to medical school and hails from a modest family. Hibo, a rebellious, liberal, spoiled girl from a very wealthy family who learns to be a better friend as the film evolves and finally Deka. Deka is the binding force in the friendship, a brilliant though sometimes naïve teen who finds herself torn between her divorced mother's ambitions to give her a better life having saved up all her life for her to go to university abroad, and her own conviction that she wants to study and succeed in her own country.

Okayafrica contributor, Ciku Kimeria speaks to Ismaïl on her groundbreaking film, her hopes for the filmmaking industry and the universality of stories.

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Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

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Stogie T Enlists Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and More, for ‘The Empire of Sheep’ Deluxe Edition

Stream the deluxe version of Stogie T's EP 'The Empire of Sheep' featuring Nasty C, Boity, Nadia Nakai and more.

Stogie T just shared a deluxe version of his 2019 EP The Empire of Sheep titled EP The Empire of Sheep (Deluxe Unmasked). The project comes with three new songs. "All You Do Is Talk" features fellow South African rappers Nasty C, Boity and Nadia Nakai. New York lyricist appears on "Bad Luck" while one of Stogie T's favorite collaborators Ziyon appears on "The Making."

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"Kata" single cover.

Listen to Tekno's New Single 'Kata'

The Nigerian artist and producer returns with a melodic banger just in time for the weekend.

Nigerian artist Tekno is back with his second single of the year, "Kata."

The heavyweight artist and producer delivers a melodic track that sees him singing about his devotion to his lover over drum-filled production from Phantom. The track features subdued vocals from. the artist, and a beat that's easy to move along to. The song follows the track 'Beh Beh' which he released earlier this year.

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