Film
"Our Lady of the Nile" image courtesy of TIFF.

These 'Hidden Gems' From Africa & the Diaspora are Now Showing at TIFF

Here are 12 films from across the diaspora to check out before the Toronto International Film Festival ends.

The Toronto International Film Festival, one the largest international film festivals in the world, is currently underway in Canada's largest metropolis.

As with previous years. the festival sees some of the biggest names in the industry gather for premieres of the most noteworthy films released this year, as well as screenings of older titles. Amongst these standout titles are several from filmmakers from African and the diaspora.

READ: The OkayAfrica Guide to Getting Your Movie Into Film Festivals

The folks at TIFF have compiled a list of films that they consider to be "hidden gems" on this year's program and we've chosen twelve of them to highlight below. These exciting features and short films come from filmmakers from a number of countries, including Tunisia, Rwanda, Uganda, South Africa, Nigeria and more.

Read more about each selection below, with descriptions and images from TIFF.

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Still from YouTube

Watch the Music Video for Bas' Single 'Jollof Rice,' Featuring EarthGang

The infectious track gets an equally vibrant music video.

Paris-born, New York-raised, Sudanese rapper, Bas shares the music video for "Jollof Rice" a standout from his latest project Spilled Milk Volume 1, featuring Atlanta duo and fellow Dreamville members, EarthGang.

On the infectious song, produced by DZL the rappers spit boisterous lyrics and talk about their many desires: one of them being having their crush cook them jollof rice. Bas told Beats 1 Radio last month that the song and others on the project, were inspired by a recent trip he took to Lagos with label head, J. Cole.

READ: Bas: "I Was Born in France & Raised in New York But I'm Still African

Still from Youtube

The music video, directed by Mariah Winter, is simple but striking as the three artists perform in a hazy and retro-inspired studio surrounded by several modelesque women—all of them dressed impeccably fun and stylishly.

The artist announced last month that he would be dropping a new full-length album this month, so we have that to look forward too as well.

Check out the music video for 'Jollof Rice" below.

Bas - Jollof Rice feat. EarthGang (Official Video) www.youtube.com

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Photo by Maxine l. Moore

Bassey Ikpi’s Literary Debut on Her Mental Health Journey Is a Call for People To See Themselves, and Others, With Genuine Empathy

We speak with the Nigerian-American writer and ex-poet about her book that challenges us to rethink mental health challenges.

Bassey Ikpi is the Nigerian-American writer whose debut book of essays is the epitome of vulnerability and honesty around the mental health conversation.

In I'm Telling The Truth, But I'm Lying, which has already landed a spot on The New York Times' Best Sellers list, we follow Ikpi as she takes readers on an exploration of her life from her formative years in Nigeria, moving to Oklahoma as a pre-teen, being a black woman, a poet, a mother and her multitude of identities through the lens of one living with the eventual diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety.

Her name may ring a bell for those familiar with HBO's Def Poetry Jam—Ikpi made her mark with several appearances on the show and her way with prose and words still hold true with this book of essays. Pulling the reader into a gentle tide of her consciousness, truths and lies, Ikpi shakes our preconceived notions of how the mind works and what "normal" even means.

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Photo by Elliott Ashby

Photos: Here's What Went Down at the Labor Day Edition of Everyday Afrique

The diaspora showed out for the last Everyday Afrique party of the year.

Everyday People, OkayAfrica and Electrafrique, teamed up one again this past Labor Day for an Everyday Afrique party like no other.

The action took place at The Well in Brooklyn, where some of the city's best dressed came through to party to tunes from the likes of DJ Moma, DJ Tunez, DJ Cortega, Rich Knight, Boston Chery and DJ Buka, who all kept the energy on high throughout the day.

During the festivities, Afrodance NYC performed a special tribute to the late DJ Arafat during DJ Cortega's set, while Boston Chery delivered a standout set that was a tribute to Haiti. There was an epic zanku circle, led by Young Prince and Frankie B Cool delivered on the djembe. None other than DJ Tunez, closed out the night with a standout set that included a run of several of his own hits.

It was a day to remember, but if you weren't there for the action, don't fret. Check out what went down at the Labor Day edition of Everyday Afrique via the photo recap below with images from Kadeem Johnson and Elliott Ashby.

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