News Brief

Kenyan Director Wanuri Kahiu Has Signed with The Gotham Group

Well-deserved for the mind behind "RAFIKI."

Wanuri Kahiu, the writer and director of RAFIKI—the first Kenyan feature film to be invited to the Cannes Film Festival—has signed with The Gotham Group, Deadline reports.

The Gotham Group is a diversified management and production company that have produced films like The Maze Runner series and The Spiderwick Chronicles.

"Wanuri Kahiu is a prodigiously talented and brilliant woman," Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, founder and CEO of The Gotham Group, says to Deadline. "As an advocate for Africans, especially young women, Wanuri has established herself as a major cultural force. That she refused to edit Rafiki in any way to avoid the Kenyan ban is a testament to Wanuri's courage and commitment to her creative vision."


Kahiu's film received a well-deserved standing ovation after it screened at Cannes—and the reviews have been positive in light of Kenya banning the film.

"In our difficult times, and I say this despite the serious themes in much of my work, I also believe film—and television—needs images of joy and frivolity as well," Kahiu says. "My hope is that the whole dimension of the human spirit, in Africa and around the world, be reflected in my work."

After this power move, we're excited to see what's next for the visionary. Congrats, Wanuri!

Music
(Youtube)

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Still taken from film trailer.

Here are 11 Oscar-Worthy African Feature Films to Watch

While Ivory Coast's 'Night of the Kings' and Tunisia's 'The Man Who Sold His Skin' have been shortlisted for the "Best International Feature Film", here are 9 additional films that made strong contenders for an Oscar.

The Oscars are only a few months away. While Tunisia and Ivory Coast were the only African countries to have been shortlisted for the Oscars in the "Best International Feature Film" category, there are a number of African feature films that are certainly Oscar-worthy and a must-watch. Africa is no stranger to the Oscars party having triumphed in this category three times already, starting with 1970 when the Costa-Gavras Algerian-French co-production, Z dazzled the world. The latest win arrived in 2006 with South Africa's crime drama, Tsotsi.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the professional organization that awards the Oscars, put forward, at the beginning of this year, an approved list of ninety-three countries that submitted films eligible for consideration in the "Best International Feature Film" category for the forthcoming 93rd Oscars. In order to qualify for the category, the film must be feature-length (more than 40 minutes), produced outside of the United States with a predominantly (more than 50%) non-English dialogue.

This year had African films being some of the strongest Oscars submissions they have ever been. Eleven African countries were initially represented in the Academy's approved list. Algeria had submitted its entry, Heliopolis earlier but it was curiously missing. Sources report that the country voluntarily withdrew its submission but the reason is yet to be made clear. Among the countries, Sudan and Lesotho were first-time participants in the process. Although Tunisia and Ivory Coast ultimately outcompeted the rest, the high quality of submissions this year is a reflection of the filmmaking talent on the continent despite severe structural limitations.

The 93rd annual Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on April 25. In the meanwhile, here is a list of 11 African feature films that were initially submitted to this year's Oscars and made (or still make, in two instances) strong contenders for an award in the "Best International Feature Film" category.

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Image courtesy of the artist.

Nasty C Set to Appear on the 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show'

Nasty C will make his daytime US television debut on 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' this Friday. He's also set to perform his latest single 'Black and White' alongside Ari Lennox.

South African rapper Nasty C has announced that he will be appearing on the popular US television show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, this Friday. This will be the artist's debut on US daytime television having previously performed "They Don't" alongside T.I. on late night television show, Late Night with Seth Meyers. The artist recently shared the exciting news via social media.

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