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British-Nigerian Director Shola Amoo's Feature Film Look At Gentrification In South London

British-Nigerian filmmaker Shola Amoo examines gentrification in South London in his forthcoming debut feature, 'A Moving Image.'


A Moving Image is a forthcoming feature film from British-Nigerian director Shola Amoo that takes a look at the rapid gentrification of South London's working class communities through the eyes of a young artist named Nina. The project marks Amoo's full-length feature debut, and he describes it as a mixed-media narrative that combines fiction, documentary and performance. "The film follows Nina, a Brixton native who returns to her community after a long absence only to be painted as a symbol of gentrification," he says. "We follow her as she interviews real people in the Brixton community blurring the line between fact and fiction."

The film traces Nina's creative process and personal growth as she tries to create a unique piece of art that captures the spirit of the South London community she's accused of destroying. It marks Amoo's reunion with English actress Tanya Fear, who had previously starred as the lead in his experimental science-fiction short Touch.

In order to complete production, Amoo and the film's producer Rienkje Attoh have turned to crowdfunding. In a statement posted on the film's Indiegogo campaign page, Amoo shares his vision for the film's impact as a resource for showcasing more narratives with female leads, representing diverse artists, and creating opportunities for South London's youth.

See below for an official synopsis and the teaser trailerKeep up with A Moving Image on Facebook and  Twitter.

"A Moving Image is a multidisciplinary feature film about gentrification in Brixton, incorporating fiction, documentary and performance art. We follow Nina, a young stifled artist as she returns to her community after a long absence - she is soon painted as a symbol of gentrification and struggles with her complicity. She forms a three-way relationship with an actor called Mickey and a Nigerian performance artist called Ayo, who both have very different views on the changes taking place in their environment. During an unnaturally hot summer in London, Nina sets out to create the ultimate piece of art to explore her complex relationship with her community. In doing so, she poses a tricky question – is she truly part of the problem or can she use her work to be part of the solution? On her journey, she interviews people affected by Gentrification in Brixton, blurring the line between reality and fiction."

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Photo by Don Paulsen/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Hugh Masekela's New York City Legacy

A look back at the South African legend's time in New York City and his enduring presence in the Big Apple.

In Questlove's magnificent documentary, Summer of Soul, he captures a forgotten part of Black American music history. But in telling the tale of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, the longtime musician and first-time filmmaker also captures a part of lost South African music history too.

Among the line-up of blossoming all-stars who played the Harlem festival, from a 19-year-old Stevie Wonder to a transcendent Mavis Staples, was a young Hugh Masekela. 30 years old at the time, he was riding the wave of success that came from releasing Grazing in the Grass the year before. To watch Masekela in that moment on that stage is to see him at the height of his time in New York City — a firecracker musician who entertained his audiences as much as he educated them about the political situation in his home country of South Africa.

The legacy Masekela sowed in New York City during the 1960s remains in the walls of the venues where he played, and in the dust of those that are no longer standing. It's in the records he made in studios and jazz clubs, and on the Manhattan streets where he once posed with a giant stuffed zebra for an album cover. It's a legacy that still lives on in tangible form, too, in the Hugh Masekela Heritage Scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music.

The school is the place where Masekela received his education and met some of the people that would go on to be life-long bandmates and friends, from Larry Willis (who, as the story goes, Masekela convinced to give up opera for piano) to Morris Goldberg, Herbie Hancock and Stewart Levine, "his brother and musical compadre," as Mabusha Masekela, Bra Hugh's nephew says.

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