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Photo by Tyler Boye via Wikimedia Commons.

'The Water Man,' David Oyelowo's Directorial Debut, Is In the Works

The "Selma" star is set to direct, star and produce the film with none other than Oprah Winfrey as his executive producer.

David Oyelowo is yet another African in Hollywood dominating 2019.

The Selma star will helm The Water Man, a feature drama written by Emma Needell with Oprah Winfrey as his executive producer, Deadline reports. This will be his directorial debut as production begins very soon.

"We are thrilled to support David on his directorial debut," Shivani Rawat, CEO of ShivHans Pictures who's financing the project, says to Deadline. "We can't wait to start our adventure together in Oregon this Spring."


Here's the synopsis:

The story centers on precocious young boy Gunner (Chavis) who, in order to save his ill mother (Dawson), runs away from home with a local misfit Jo (Miller), to find the legendary figure called the Water Man who has been said to have the power to cheat death. While extremely close to his mother, he and his father Amos (Oyelowo) are forced to learn about each other as Amos goes on the search for his son.

Oyelowo's co-stars include Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis (This Is Us), Amiah Miller (War for the Planet of the Apes), Alfred Molina (Vice) and Maria Bello (History of Violence). His production company, Yoruba Saxon, along with Harpo Films will be producing the film. Carla Gardini and Monica Levinson are also on board as producers.

"The Water Man as written by Emma Needell is that rare, beautiful script that can touch your heart and challenge your mind while also lifting your spirits," Oyelowo adds. "I feel blessed to be entrusted with bringing this imaginative and moving story to life."

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

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