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Marvel Is Pushing for 'Black Panther' to Win 'Best Picture' Despite Oscar's New 'Popular Film' Category

The studio wants 'Black Panther' to become its first Oscar-winning movie, and is putting major support behind making it happen.

Despite the Academy's introduction of the "Best Popular Film" Oscar category, Marvel Studios is still pushing for Back Panther to earn the coveted "Best Picture" title at the 2019 Oscars.

The decision to create the "Best Popular Film" category earlier this month fell under scrutiny by many critics that felt it was a mere consolation prize, intended as a pat on the back for mainstream, commercially successful films like Black Panther, which the Academy deems not quite worthy enough of earning "Best Picture"—the biggest award of the night.

Disney Studios, however, is making major moves to ensure that Black Panther has a fair chance of taking home the award. According to the LA Times, the studio has hired Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz to create a campaign for the record-shattering super hero film—the third highest grossing movie of all time in the US—and has put significant funding behind the campaign.


READ: The 2017 Guide to Blackness at the Oscars

For Marvel head Kevin Feige, one motivation for Black Panther earning the nomination—besides the increased profit and accolades it would bring the studio, of course—is the rightful acknowledgment of director Ryan Coogler's unique vision and groundbreaking execution, which led to the film having immense cultural impact.

He was quoted in the LA Times as saying:

"I would like to see the hard work and the effort and the vision and the belief of the talented filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who sat across the table from us a few years ago and said, 'I have been wrestling with questions about my past and my heritage and I think I really want to tell a story within this movie,' " Feige said. "And that he did it so unbelievably well and with so much impact … seeing that potentially being recognized is what excites me the most."

The Oscars, infamously known for being "so white," is also known for ignoring superhero films outside of technical categories. If Black Panther were to win "Best Picture" it would not only make is the first superhero film to do so, but it would also be Marvel's first Oscar-winning film ever.

Last week, it was announced that Black Panther will be coming to Netflix in the US this September.

Photo: The Sundance Institute

C.J. Obasi On Bringing the Legend of Mami Wata to the Big Screen

The Nigerian director saw a vision of Mami Wata, then made a film that became the toast of Sundance and won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award for Cinematography.

C.J. Obasi’s third feature length film MamiWata has taken Sundance by storm. The mesmerizing fable, which marks the first time a home-grown Nigerian film scores a competition prize at the Sundance Film Festival, delves into the myth of the Mami Wata folklore, a terrifying mermaid goddess popular across West Africa. Obasi’s MamiWata tells a simple enough story of good versus evil, and the importance of maintaining balance while hurtling towards societal change. But Obasi is not your basic filmmaker, and his interpretation of this well-known folklore is a startling cinematic achievement that advances his singular vision.

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Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Listen to Burna Boy Feature On Popcaan's New Song 'Aboboyaa'


Renowned dancehall artist Popcaan has released his album Great Is He, via OVO Sound, and it features none other than Burna Boy.


Jamaica's Popcaanhas shared his anticipated album Great Is He, and the body of work features Nigerian superstar Burna Boy on the track "Aboboyaa."

The album showcases the Jamaican musical giant's signature dancehall sound, while also exploring the depth of genre's versatility. In addition to featuring Burna Boy, Great Is He includes features from OVO Sound's boss Drake, Jamaica's Chronic Law, and Toni-Ann Singh, among others.

On "Aboboyaa," the two musical powerhouses merge their signature rhythmic melodies and intonations in a way that is both compelling to listen to on the first listen, and in turn inspires a second and third listen.

Ever since he released his debut album in 2014, Popcaan has become an international dancehall sensation, and his repertoire includes a list of impressive features.

His album Forever, which was released in 2018, debuted at number two on Billboard’s Top Reggae Albums. Commercially, Popcaan has made a mark on the music scene too. His last project FIXTAPE — which included “Twist & Turn,” the mesmerizing dancehall hit featuring Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR — has garnered over 191 million streams and continues to receive accolades from outlets like Pitchfork, who described the body of work as “a testament to his place at the forefront of the genre.”

"Aboboyaa" is not Popcaan's first international collaboration. In the past, the Jamaican icon has worked with several international music acts including Davido, Jamie xx, Young Thug, Gorillaz, Kano, Jorja Smith and a host of others. He also founded Jamaica’s annual Unruly Festwhich brings stars across the globe to experience Jamaican culture.

Listen to "Aboboyaa" featuring Burna Boy below.

Listen to Popcaan and Burna Boy's "Aboboyaa"

Photo: Nabil Elderkin.

The Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Popcaan x Burna Boy, Bongeziwe Mabandla, Mr Eazi, Baaba Maal, Pheelz and more.

Every Friday, we highlight the top releases through our best music of the week column, Songs You Need to Hear. Here's our round-up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks.

If you like these music lists, you can also check out our Best Songs of the Month columns following Nigerian, Ghanaian, East African and South African music. If you missed them, check out our music lists for the Best of 2022 here.

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