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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 credit: Paras Griffi

Asake Has to Add Third O2 Academy Show After Selling Out in Minutes

As he climbs up the ladder of global superstardom, Asake continues to break glass ceilings and crash websites.

Asake has been making undeniable waves with his music and mass appeal, and his recent O2 Academy ticket sales are proof of that.

The new Afrobeats sensation recently sold out London's O2 Academy venue for his upcoming UK stint. Amidst the buzz of the sold out show, the official account of the O2 Academy took to social media to share that Asake would be headlining two additional shows at the event's center. Although the original date was slated for the 11th of December, the high demand for tickets pushed organizers to add on two more dates to the 11th, and "Mr. Money With The Vibe" will also now perform on the 12th and the 15th.

Asake's career trajectory has been swift, yet packed with back to back hits and critical acclaim. The Lagos-born artist first got his major big break when Olamide signed him to YBNL. His long trail of chart-topping records have quickly earned him the attention of fans, airplay and recognition. The Afrobeats singer's success, though sudden, has helped to propel him to the upper echelon of musical acts coming out of Africa. Because of the versatility of his sound, listeners have quickly gravitated towards his content. His ascent into superstardom has also ignited intrigue and conversation, inspiring many fans to root for him, because of his initial reputation as the underdog. Although he had received some recognition in 2020 after he released his "Mr. Money" single, 2022 was the year that he would gain the admiration and respect of his peers, as well as a bevy of fans and commercial success.

Though still a newcomer, Asake has proven that he is not a typical Afrobeats artist. His unique ability to fuse different Afro-inspired sounds from Fuji to Amapiano have made him a rare talent. He has also amplified the depth of most of his songs by merging different genres and articulating them with Yoruba language and the broken English spoken in some of the most intricate parts of Lagos. Those elements perhaps, are what have made Asake one of the most marketable and likable Afrobeats artists in recent time.

Photo by: Screenshot from The Daily Show'

"My Time is Up:" Trevor Noah Talks About Leaving 'The Daily Show' After 7 Years

The South African comedian announced that he would be leaving the Comedy Central series after his seven-year tenure.

Trevor Noah announced that he will be leaving The Daily Show after seven years.

In his statement Noah described his experience hosting the show as "absolutely amazing."

“It’s been absolutely amazing. It’s something that I never expected,” Noah said. “I found myself thinking throughout the time of everything we’ve gone through. The Trump presidency, the pandemic, just the journey, more pandemic and I realize that after the seven years, my time is up.”

Following the departure of Jon Stewart from the show in 2015, the South African comedian became the show's host, and has since interviewed the likes of Barack Obama, Burna Boy, Davido and a host of other notable public figures. The 38-year-old has also used his platform to elevate African artistry and elevate the African experience. Noah alluded to the idea that his decision to leave the show was inspired partly by his interest in returning to stand up comedy and exploring his skillset that way. Noah also thanked his viewers for giving him an opportunity when he first came on the American scene as a comedian who very few knew about.

“I spent two years in my apartment, not on the road, and when I got back out there, I realized there’s another part of my life out there that I want to carry on exploring. I miss learning other languages. I miss going to other countries and putting on shows,” said Noah.

Noah also referred to the show as "one of the greatest joys" of his life, and has credited the show for helping him hone his creative muscle.

“I’ve loved hosting this show, it’s been one of my greatest challenges and one of my greatest joys,” Noah said. “I’ve loved trying to find a way to make people laugh, even when the stories are particularly shitty, even on the worst days. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together.”

Although he did not make any comments about his last day on the show, or exactly when he would exit, he did humorously say that he would not abruptly leave without prior warning.

“Don’t worry, I’m not disappearing,” said Noah. “If I owe you money, I’ll still pay you.”

(YouTube)

The 8 Best Nigerian Songs of the Month (September)

Featuring Wizkid, Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Ayra Starr and many more.

Here are the best songs to come out of the buzzing Nigerian music scene this month.

Head here for more of our Best Songs of the Month lists from Nigeria, Ghana, South African and East Africa. You can also check out our weekly,Songs You Need to Hear roundup for the best new music.

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