Film
Photo still via YouTube.

Watch the Trailer for 'Hello, Rain'—the Afrofuturistic Short Film Based on Nnedi Okorafor's 'Hello, Moto'

The film will premiere at the 2018 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in Germany this weekend.

The trailer for Hello, Rain, a short film based on Nnedi Okorafor's short story Hello, Moto, is here in its afrofuturistic glory.

At the top of the year we were graced with behind-the-scenes footage of the film, directed by award winning filmmaker C.J. "Fiery" Obasi, which tells the story of Rain, a woman who creates magical and powerful wigs for her friends. Here's an excerpt from the story:


"We were three women. Three friends. We had goals, hopes and dreams. We had careers. Two of us had boyfriends. We owned houses. We all had love.

Then I made these wigs. I gave them to my two friends. The three of us put them on. The wigs were supposed to make things better.

But something went wrong. Like the nation we were trying to improve, we became backward. Instead of giving, we took."

Throughout the trailer, you'll hear the warning, "Don't ever mix juju with technology." Watch it in full below:

Obasi says in a statement that he's been dying to adapt Okorafor's work for some time and due to budget, he settled on developing Hello, Rain into a short film. "I wanted to work on something though small, but a completely different scale and scope from anything I've ever done," he says. "I asked Nnedi if she had any un-optioned short stories, and she told me she did. She sends me a catalogue of short stories, and I read every single one of them. They're all amazing, and I want shoot every single one of them. But something about Hello, Moto jumped out to me."

He continues:

"I also loved that it has three powerful women at the core of its narrative—scientist witches at that. That stuff just intrigues the hell out of me. And then it has these underlining themes on politics, corruption and black women's hair, and that's Africa right there. That's the world!"

Obasi intends to make African beauty "look cool, fun and sexy" through projects like Hello, Rain. To him, it's high time we see our people doing the damn thing on the big screen.

"I just feel like it's important that we tell Alternative African stories, and that they become mainstream—we need to inspire this generation and the next to see blackness and humanity in a different and true light," Obasi says. "These stories might be called speculative fiction and all, but there's a lot of truth in re-envisioning an alternate African narrative."

Hello, Rain's world premiere will be at the 2018 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen) on Sunday, May 6.

Interview

Interview: Omah Lay Is Nigeria's New Young Act to W​atch

We sit down with the rising Port Harcourt-born musician to talk about his latest EP, Get Layd.

Omah Lay's music is at once introspective and hedonistic, matched with the vibrancy of alt-pop production, sometimes crafted by the artist himself. The Nigerian act, who released his debut EP, Get Layd, earlier this year has been described as wielding the "lyricism of Burna Boy and the melodies of Wizkid."

Omah Lay's grandfather played in Celestine Ukwu's highlife band; his father played the drums too. Being put through his paces in Nigeria's South region—specifically Port Harcourt—supplies the grit to Omah's velvety singing. The starkness of the world he inhabits is a wonder and his lyrics are too. Phrases like "You dun burst my eyeglass" and "Omo she be SARS and she carry full van" are a cultural stamp, a burst out of the ordinary for listeners, many of whom now declare Omah Lay as "special."

Following the validating reception of singles "You" and "Bad Influence," Omah Lay shared the Get Layd EP on May 22. Including just three new songs might have posed a gamble and not defined his sound well enough, but the musician shattered those judgements. Omah Lay is a gifted artist and has the uncanny ability to exist in his space, even when circling around the afro-fusion tag that has seen a recent rise in adaptability.

Below, Omah Lay speaks to OkayAfrica about his Get Layd EP, coming to Lagos, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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