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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.

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Photo by KOLA SULAIMON/AFP via Getty Image

#EndSARS: 1 Year Later And It's Business As Usual For The Nigerian Government

Thousands filled the streets of Nigeria to remember those slain in The #LekkiTollGateMassacre...while the government insists it didn't happen.

This week marks 1 year since Nigerians began protests against police brutality and demanded an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The #EndSARS protests took the world by storm as we witnessed Nigerian forces abuse, harass and murder those fighting for a free nation. Reports of illegal detention, profiling, extortion, and extrajudicial killings followed the special task force's existence, forcing the government to demolish the unit on October 11th, 2020. However, protestors remained angered and desperate to be heard. It wasn't until October 20th, when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at Lekki tollgate in the country's capital, Lagos, that the protests came to a fatal end. More than 56 deaths from across the country were reported, while hundreds more were traumatized as the Nigerian government continued to rule by force. The incident sparked global outrage as the Nigerian army refused to acknowledge or admit to firing shots at unarmed protesters in the dead of night.

It's a year later, and nothing has changed.

Young Nigerians claim to still face unnecessary and violent interactions with the police and none of the demands towards systemic changes have been met. Fisayo Soyombo the founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, told Al Jazeera, "Yes, there has not been any reform. Police brutality exists till today," while maintaining that his organization has reported "scores" of cases of police brutality over this past year.

During October 2020's protests, Nigerian authorities turned a blind eye and insisted that the youth-led movement was anti-government and intended to overthrow the administration of current President Muhammadu Buhari. During a press conference on Wednesday, in an attempt to discredit the protests, Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed hailed the Nigerian army and police forces for the role they played in the #EndSARS protests, going as far as to say that the Lekki Toll Massacre was a "phantom massacre with no bodies." These brazen claims came while protesters continued to gather in several major cities across the country. The minister even went on to shame CNN, Nigerian favorite DJ Switch as well as Amnesty International, for reporting deaths at Lekki. Mohammed pushed even further by saying, "The six soldiers and 37 policemen who died during the EndSARS protests are human beings with families, even though the human rights organizations and CNN simply ignored their deaths, choosing instead to trumpet a phantom massacre."

With the reports of abuse still coming out of the West African nation, an end to the struggle is not in sight. During Wednesday's protest, a journalist for the Daily Post was detained by Nigerian forces while covering the demonstrations.

According to the BBC, additional police units have been set up in the place of SARS, though some resurfacing SARS officers and allies claim to still be around.

Young Nigerians relied heavily on social media during the protests and returned this year to voice their opinions around the first anniversary of an experience that few will be lucky enough to forget.



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