Popular

These 5 Black Directors Are Set To Premiere Films at TIFF 2018

From Amma Asante to Barry Jenkins, this year's Toronto International Film Festival is in for stand-out, fresh perspectives in black cinema.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) returns in its 43rd year of transforming the way people see the world through film.

The festival recently announced it's first batch of films for the Gala and Special Presentation programs that include 21 world premieres, seven international premieres, eight North American premieres and 11 Canadian premieres, according to the press release.

"We have an exceptional selection of films this year that will excite Festival audiences from all walks of life," Piers Handling, TIFF CEO and director says. "Today's lineup showcases beloved auteurs alongside fresh voices in filmmaking, including numerous female powerhouses. The sweeping range in cinematic storytelling from around the world is a testament to the uniqueness of the films that are being made."

Out of these films, five by today's top black directors stood out as must-watch films to catch if you plan on attending TIFF this year.

Check them out, with synopses from TIFF, below.


Where Hands Touch | Amma Asante

Photo via TIFF.

Amandla Stenberg stars in director Amma Asante's (A United Kingdom) disquieting coming-of-age romance about a Black German teenager who falls in love with a member of the Hitler Youth.

World Premiere

Widows | Steve McQueen

Photo via TIFF.

A heavyweight cast—including Viola Davis, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Jacki Weaver, Colin Farrell, and Michelle Rodriguez—propels Steve McQueen's white-knuckle thriller (co-written by Gone Girl's Gillian Flynn) about four women left in a deadly lurch when their criminally connected husbands are all killed.

World Premiere

The Weekend | Stella Meghie

Photo via TIFF.

An acerbic comedian (Sasheer Zamata) becomes romantically entangled with her ex (Tone Bell), his new girlfriend (DeWanda Wise), and another guest (Y'Lan Noel) during a weekend getaway, in the newest feature from Stella Meghie (Jean of the Joneses).

World Premiere

If Beale Street Could Talk | Barry Jenkins

Photo via TIFF.

Director Barry Jenkins' ambitious follow-up to Moonlight adapts James Baldwin's poignant novel about a woman fighting to free her falsely accused husband from prison before the birth of their child.

World Premiere

Monsters and Men | Reinaldo Marcus Green

Photo via TIFF.

When a Black man is shot dead by police, three members of his community face different but serious consequences if they reveal their knowledge of the murder or the systemic corruption behind it, in writer-director Reinaldo Marcus Green's bracing feature debut.

Canadian Premiere

The 43rd Toronto International Film Festival runs from Sept. 6 to 16, 2018. Visit their website for more information.

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Prime

The ‘Coming 2 America’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack & ‘The Rhythm Of Zamunda’ Are Out Now

Featuring Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaaga, Alpha P, Davido and many more.

It has been more than 30 years since the premiere of the beloved classic comedy Coming to America. Its highly anticipated sequel promises to be greater than its predecessor. The film will be accompanied with two albums—Coming 2 America original motion picture soundtrack and Rhythms of Zamunda, whose tracklist is inspired by the movie. Both albums, which are currently available on all major streaming platforms, feature African music royalty Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaaga and Alpha P, who joined a select group of artists from around the continent to produce these tracklists.

Still blazing charts after the success of his debut album Old Romance, Tekno has a growing list of impressive collaborations with artists like Davido, Drake, Beyonce, to name a few. The singer does not have not one, but two of his hit songs featured; "Waka Waka" is featured on the official soundtrack and "Skeletun" on Rhythms of Zamunda.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by THOMAS SAMSON/AFP via Getty Images

Thebe Magugu's AW21 Collection 'Alchemy' Is An Exploration of African Spirituality

Magugu collaborated with Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a '70s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo

South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu has released his AW21 collection, Alchemy, and it is beautiful. For his latest collection, the 2019 LVMP prize winner introduced a redefinition of his previous work, Counter Intelligent, featuring embroidered chiffon dresses, pink blazers and cinched waist belts.

For the new collection, Thebe Magugu collaborated with the photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a 1970s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo. The short film, which is written, directed and photographed by Moolman, shows the power play between two rival girl gangs named the "ultimate midnite angels" who speak Zulu and Setswana.

The short film begins at the river with an initiation rite, then the sending out of the initiated woman to become a spy. There's also a love affair between two women of rival tribes that warrants a capture. Each scene of the movie introduces the fits to the collection as well as exhibiting the fluidity of the outfits.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Photo: WH Moustapha

Mdou Moctar Announces Debut Album 'Afrique Victime'

The album is a collaboration between Mdou, his band members and his rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane.

Matador Records has announced that the eagerly anticipated album Afrique Victime by Mdou Moctar will be released on May 21.

Afrique Victime is an unprecedented collaboration between Mdou, his band members, and Ahmoudou Madassane, who's been his rhythm guitarist since 2008. The album will present an effortless fusion of Saharan and rock music; melding guitar pyrotechnics, full-blast noise, and field recordings with poetic meditations.

You might have come across Mdou on Off White's "Imaginary TV" channel, who designer Virgil Abloh called, "one of my favorite musicians Rn."

Mdou's desert village Agadez, in rural Niger, is his source of inspiration. He attributes his artistic style to traditional Tuareg melodies and YouTube videos of Eddie Van Halen's six string techniques. Mdou has also worked on film projects. He wrote, produced, and starred in the first Tuareg language film: a remake of Purple Rain called Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai– which translates to "Rain The Color Of Blue With A Little Red In It." This earned him approval from his community and popularity across West Africa. This soon led to world tours and albums on the independent US label Sahel Sounds, including 2019's landmark Ilana: The Creator, which earned Mdou an international audience.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

The 10 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Rema, Adekunle Gold x Patoranking, Yaw Tog x Stormzy x Kwesi Arthur, Sun-El Musician x Msaki and more.