African News Round Up...Move Along, Nothing To See Here...

Watch Episode 1 Of New Web Series 'African City' ('Sex & The City' In Africa)
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Here's your first look at a new web series directed by Clara Benice, written by Nicole Amarteifio, and starring Nana Mensah, MaameYaa Boafo, Esosa Edosomwan, Edwina Adama Lebbie, and Miriam Chemmoss.

The series' creators describe it as follows:

Think 'Sex and the City' meets Africa! Five beautiful, successful African females return to their home continent and confide about love and life in 'An African City'!

Episode 1 has debuted and you can watch it in its entirety below:

Darrell Roodt's 'Little One' Is South Africa's Entry For Best Foreign Language Film Oscar

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Well, it's not Winnie, but the director of that Jennifer Hudson starrer, Darrell Roodt's latest work, titled Umfaan (or Little One), is South Africa's selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar category.

It doesn't appear that the film has made its debut yet; at least, I couldn't confirm that. The film doesn't have an IMDB listing, and it's certainly not on Roodt's IMDB or IMDBPro pages.

And a google search using both the Xhosa and English titles of the film yielded nada. The film tells the story of a child rape victim left for dead in a township near Johannesburg, and is eventually found and rescued by an older woman, who becomes very close to the little girl, and decides to launch her own investigation into the girl's rape.

As the below video interview with Roodt shows, the director was moved by a real-life occurence that inspired the film's story, which he calls "a film for the new South Africa."

It's worth noting that since South Africa first submitted a film for Oscar consideration in 1989, a total of 8 films have been submitted, and of those 8 titles, 2 have made the final short list of films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film - the first being another Darrell Roodt film, titled Yesterday (2004), and a year later, Gavin Hood's Tsotsi, which ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards - the only South African film to do so:

In praising this year's selection, the South African committee described it as "a universal story made local... a poignant, moving and minimalist narrative which is unapologetically South African."

With descriptions like these (Roodt calling it "a film for the new South Africa," and the committee's "unapologetically South African"), I certainly hope it heads west, so I can see it.

Here's a short video of Roodt talking about the film, which includes some footage from it:


All-New Nigerian Web Series/Sitcom “How She Left My Brother”
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We’re so excited about this new sitcom which is coming real soon to our screens. It’s about a nosy young lady, Ejiro (played by Ivie Okujaye, best young actor, winner of AMBO Season 5) who lives with her brother Matt, (played by dashing MNet’s Tinsel star Chris Attoh). She has a huge crush on his best friend (AMBO Season 2 Winner, O.C Ukeje) and believes that she has a say in her brother’s affairs.

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She shares this belief with over 10,000 subscribers on her vLog! Ejiro runs her vlog with the help of her geeky neighbor IK (Victor Godfrey) and on it, she moans and complains about the situation, until the day she actually starts to implement little sneaky ways to end Matt’s relationship. It seems a silly childish thing to do…until they succeed and then Nicole (Studio 53 Extra co-presenter, Eku Edewor) shows up and then trouble begins!


Ugandan Donald Mugisha's 'Bicycle Thieves'-Inspired 'Boda Boda Thieves' Gets Another Boost

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Congrats to Ugandan Donald Mugisha whose feature film project, The Boda Boda Thieves, continues to attract the right kind of international attention.

The project already won the 10,000 Euro VFF Highlight Pitch Award at the the 10th edition of the Berlinale Talent Campus earlier this year; the participants of the Talent Project Market had the opportunity to present their film projects in a professional setting, to potential international co-producers and distributors, and the project apparenatly wowed enough to beat out dozens of others to win the prize.

And prior to that, last fall, it was one of just 5 projects selected by the World Cinema Fund to receive production funding from its allotted $283,000 grant.

Donald's project, which he will direct, received the largest chunk of the fund - $81,000, as South Africa based Switch Films signed on to produce.

And, before that, Donald's project also received funding from other financiers, including at the third Africa Produce Co-Production Forum of the 8th Tarifa African Film Festival (FCAT) in Spain, where the project secured a co-production deal with the Kenyan company Hot Sun Films.

The film also received special mention in the the International Relations ARTE Prize for excellence in script writing.

So it looks like the project is coming together nicely, and it's something we'll be talking about likely in 2013.

Fast-forward to earlier this month, when it was selected as one of 43 projects for the 2012 IFP No Borders International Co-Production Market, which takes place September 16-20, 2012.

The event is focused on nurturing and providing opportunities for both emerging and established artists to connect with the financiers, executives, influencers and decision-makers in film, television, new media and cross-platform storytelling that can help them complete their latest works and connect with audiences.

The synopsis for The Boda Boda Thieves reads:

When Goodman gets a job for his son Abel as driver of a motorbike taxi or “Boda-Boda”, he feels like things are possibly finally going his way, that is, until a gang of thieves robs Abel of his treasured motorbike. We follow Goodman and his son Abel on their quest through the city to find their “Boda Boda” and in the process gain an insider’s view of urban Africa, its underworld and the generation gap between urban migrants and their first generation children.

Sounds like a Ugandan take on the Italian neo-realist classic Bicycle Thieves, by Vittorio De Sica.

I'm in!

We continue to track Donald Mugisha and The Boda Boda Thieves, as both progress.

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