News Brief
Photo still courtesy of Foundry Communications.

Rungano Nyoni's 'I Am Not A Witch' Officially Premieres in U.S. Theaters This September

Watch the film's new trailer and view its new poster exclusively on OkayAfrica.

The BAFTA award-winning film, I Am Not A Witch, by Zambian writer and director Rungano Nyoni, is set to be released in select cities across the U.S. beginning this fall.

The film opens its U.S. engagement with a New York premiere at both Quad Cinemas and BAMcinematek on September 7 through Film Movement—a distributor of first-run, award-winning foreign and independent films.


Poster courtesy of Foundry Communications.

I Am Not A Witch is Nyoni's riveting satiric and provocative feature film debut, which tells the story of Shula, an 8-year-old girl who turns up alone and unannounced in a rural village. A minor incident leads the suspicious locals to drag Shula to a witch trial, where she is found guilty and sentenced to life at a state-run witch camp.

The synopsis continues:

There, she is tethered to a long white ribbon and told that if she ever tries to run away, she will be transformed into a goat. As the days pass, Shula begins to settle into her new community, but a threat looms on the horizon. Soon she is forced to make a difficult decision –whether to resign herself to life on the camp, or take a risk for freedom.

Watch the exclusive trailer below.

"Rungano Nyoni is a unique and vastly talented new storyteller," Michael E. Rosenberg, president of Film Movement, says. "We're excited to be able to share her cinematic vision with U.S. audiences, as it also comes at a powerful time for our culture, when, at long last, women's voices and stories are playing an ever larger part both behind and in front of the camera."

Additional markets including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver and more will follow the New York premiere, along with digital and home entertainment released to come.

Revisit our in-depth conversation with Rungano Nyoni here.

Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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