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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popular
Anne Chaon/Getty Images

Rwanda has Agreed to Take in Thousands of Libyan Migrants

While South Africa is using violence to force migrants out, Rwanda is doing the exact opposite.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency and the African Union (AU), signed a memorandum yesterday which stated that refugees and asylum seekers currently being held in detention centers in Libya, will be transported and handed over to the Rwandan government for protection. The UNHCR reports that as many as 4700 migrants, who are trying to escape conflict and political turmoil in their own countries by escaping to Europe via Libya, are currently living under inhuman conditions in the Libyan detention centers. In July of this year, 44 migrants were killed while 130 others were injured because of an airstrike on the Tajoura Detention Center, just outside of Libya's capital.

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Politics
Photo by Victor Ehikhamenor

25 Years After Liberation, Rwanda Wants the World to See How Far It's Come

Rwanda is on a mission to sell a new story about itself, and for a week, it enlisted a group of "foreign influencers" to help tell it.

On July 4, 1994, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), led by a 36-year-old Paul Kagame, stormed the streets of Kigali, effectually putting an end to 100 days of genocide against the country's Tutsi minority.

It's an unambiguous story of triumph after turmoil, and it's this precise narrative of radical reconstruction that the government sought to display to the group of artists, photographers, filmmakers and fellow journalists from across the continent who I traveled with for a week-long press tour of the country in observance of the 25th anniversary of that very day.

Kigali's physical beauty is unmistakable. The city's cleanliness is noteworthy, even for a capital city with a population of just under a million people—the litter, street hawkers and homeless population characteristic of most urban capitals were nowhere to be found. We began our week at an achingly early 5:30 am, embarking on a Liberation Tour of the northeastern part of the country via military helicopter, which took us to the various sites where the RPF carried out its various missions to transform the country—starting as a rebel group in 1990 with a mission of reinstating Rwandan Tutsis who had been forced into exile in neighboring countries, before becoming the genocide-ending rebel group it's known as today. It was the first time that I, and most of the group, had flown in a helicopter. Deemed "foreign influencers" by our hosts—a title we all found quite amusing—we held our phones up to the helicopter's circular windows to capture precious aerial footage of the lush, hilly scenery. The clips quickly and enthusiastically landed on my Instagram story.

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News
Still from "Us" trailer.

Lupita Nyong'o, Trevor Noah, Ncuti Gatwa and More Nominated for 2019 MTV Movie Awards

We know who we're voting for!

The nominations for the 2019 MTV Movie Awards have been announced, and much like last year when Black Panther dominated the show, and the year before, when Get Out did, some of our favorite performers and projects have the potential to sweep this year's awards.

Namely, Lupita Nyong'o, who has been nominated for two awards for her striking performance as Red in Jordan Peele's Us. The Oscar-winner is nominated for both "Best Performance" In a Movie and "Best Villain." Us has also been nominated in the Best Film category. The actress shared a video showing her getting into character as Red on social media upon hearing the news. "I wonder which character the villain nom is for," she wrote.


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