News Brief

'Nanny' Will Open The Africa International Film Festival This Year

The Sundance-acclaimed film will play at the AFRIFF (Africa International Film Festival), which is set to take place in Lagos in early November.

The AFRIFF (Africa International Film Festival) recently announced its 11th edition will be held between November 6th and 12th, 2022.

In a recent conversation with the media at this year's Alliance Française de Lagos, Chioma Ude, ARIFF's founde and Festival Director, said that the event's theme for 2022 would be "Indigenous for Global."

Ude also said that this year's festival will collaborate with Prime Video and Amazon Studios, with Nanny selected as the opening film for the festival. Nikyatu Jusu, the writer and director of Nanny, said she was excited to present the film at the festival.

"I had the pleasure of attending AFRIFF in 2019, and I am so excited to be back with Nanny. The film is a personal story, rooted in my West African heritage and I feel deeply honored it was selected as opening night," said Jusu.

Nanny is a psychological, modern-day reinvention of horror that represents the often-overlooked immigrant working mother in the domestic space who walks the tightrope of adaptation and assimilation. It is a story of a mother's relentless pursuit of a better future for herself and her child.

Nanny is the winner of the 2022 Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize, marking the first time a horror film, and the second time a Black female director, received the award. The film will screen in theatres in the United States on November 23, and in Nigeria and select territories on November 25. Nanny will be released on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on December 16.

While further discussing details of the event this year, Ude said that African entertainment was rapidly evolving, and this year's event would reflect that.

"Filmmaking has evolved rapidly in Africa over the last two decades, and this year's edition is designed to influence global perspectives of African films and storytelling," said Ude. "We intend to continue to empower our storytellers to explore ideologies and techniques that appeal to a larger global audience."

To stress her point, Ude said that the 11th installation of the annual event would feature guests. and pioneering keynote speakers from all over the globe. She shared that the festival would allow industry professionals to explore the changes and advancements in technological progression on the continent. Ude also hinted that the keynote speakers would be senior executives in the film production and distribution industries in Nigeria, Kenya, Morocco, South Africa, the U.K., and the U.S., representing key players in the industry.

The Africa International Film Festival (AFRIFF) is an international film showcase in Lagos and was founded in 2010 by Ude, an entrepreneur, and film lover. The festival is on track to become one of the most prominent annual appointments for African filmmakers, celebrating the best African films and stories.

Arts + Culture
Photo: ONErpm Studios

The Ever-Expanding Imagination of Blitz Bazawule

From The Scent of Burnt Flowers to Black Is King and the upcoming The Color Purple, the Ghanaian artist has become known for using a variety of modes to take his audiences to places both known and unknown.

As a youngster in Accra in the 1980s, Blitz Bazawule would ride the tro-tro to elementary school every day. As it jostled along the streets of Ghana’s capital, he’d hear stories being passed back and forth among the other riders. Stories given to hyperbole and embellishment, tales as tall as they were wide.

“In Ghana, no one just tells a story; like, ‘I got up and I went to work and I came back home,’” he tells OkayAfrica, over a Zoom call from Atlanta. “There's always some wild thing that happens.”

Listening to the stories of everyday people, blending into one another, the artist, born Samuel Bazawule in April 1982, was drawn in by the layers of intrigue he heard. “I love that about us -- certainly continental Africans, and the ability to imagine on that level,” he says.

It was these daily rides, along with the stories he heard from his own family – stories told at night by his mother and grandmother – that would become the bedrock of his own imagination. A vivid, whimsical, unencumbered imagination that Bazawule would use to build worlds in art, music, film and book form when he grew up and moved to the US years later, to study at Kent State University in Ohio.

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