Home Film Glitz Africa Weekend Watchlist

Glitz Africa Weekend Watchlist

The first African film company to ink a first look TV deal with a major Hollywood Studio (EbonyLife Media, owned by Mo Abudu). The first Ghanaian film director to win an Africa Movie Academy Award (Shirley Frimpong-Manso). The first Nollywood film to be purchased by Netflix (‘Lionheart’ by Genevieve Nnaji).

Navigating through such ground-breaking achievements only defines the uncharted territories women in film have conquered over the last two decades in African cinemas.

Not just a recognized body of players, who make career stops on podiums for golden trophies, but rather a chorus of informative storytellers spearheading the wheels of African tales on the global front. Their stories relegate the school of thought, which accords much relevance to male auteurs preached as the only gatekeepers in the film industry. They neatly stich real life issues with cinematic effects that anchors both solution and fault.

In 2014, Stephanie Linus’ ‘Dry’ highlighted the troubling child marriage system, which had denied Nigeria full custody of its child rights and freedom. The film was an eye opener to the broken tradition and helped chip in a powerful voice to the roaring public opinion.

Lots and more continue to brew from their outfits regardless the measure of reach they have attained to date. Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde once disclosed in a BBC interview that ‘Women do run Nollywood’, and we could not agree otherwise on the submission.

As the world continues to celebrate women from all walks of life, we dedicate our weekend watchlist to feature some of the best and good works of African female directors celebrated globally.

‘Lionheart’

 

Taking up three of the most-demanding roles on a film set (actress, producer and director), Genevieve Nnaji stayed a marvel across board. As lead actress, she brought humour to the character Adaeze, and as a first-time film director, she needled her potential among the fabric of great directors.

Director: Genevieve Nnaji

Available to watch: Netflix

‘Dry’

For every famous film star, who transitions into directing, there is always a subject of interest that informs their decision. Starring the original glamour girl Liz Benson, Stephanie Linus’s directorial debut film took on a broader advocacy role against Nigeria’s child marriage system. The result – a phenomenal piece crowned best film Africa at the 2016 Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Awards.

Director: Stephanie Linus

Available to watch: Amazon Prime Video

‘IJE’

Away from its anxiety-inducing plot, the extra excitement to this film boils down to two mentions: Omotola and Genevieve. The inclusion of (we dare say) two of the most celebrated actresses in Nollywood history gave the film a step up that gave global audience something challenging to talk about. Chineze Anyaene certainly had the world talking.

Director: Chineze Anyaene

Available to watch: Amazon Prime Video

‘Ties That Bind’

It takes a great deal of work to mastermind a plot that houses three central characters. Familiar with a single life tragedy, three women Theresa Harper (Kimberly Elise), Adobea Onyomena (Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde) and Buki Ocansey (Ama K. Abebrese) journey towards redemption as they renovate a dilapidated clinic in an African village.

Director: Leila Djansi

Available to watch: Amazon Prime Video

‘A Sting in a Tale’

More than a decade on since the birth of Gollywood, one of its beloved products remains Shirley Frimpong-Manso. The prolific director has given much credit to the industry than any other recognized member. Amongst her masterclass contents lies the twisted tale of two unemployed graduates who embark on a journey to make it in a world where you need more than what you have to get what you want. It’s socially friendly and amusing in its effects.

Director: Shirley Frimpong-Manso

Available to watch: YouTube

‘King of Boys’

A businesswoman and philanthropist is bundled with life threatening events from rival peers. The intense power struggles that Kemi Adetiba presents in this drama thriller marks one of the defining moments of the new wave of Nollywood.

Director: Kemi Adetiba

Available to watch: Netflix

Afronauts

 In the midst of Zambia’s Independence celebration, an ambitious college professor develops a great project for his country: he wants to create a space program and send the first African astronaut to the moon – possibly before the US and the USSR manage to do so. 17-year-old girl Matha and two cats are the chosen Afronauts, to be sent on the Moon and later, even on Mars. Released at the Sundance Film Festival in 2014, Frances Bodomo stages the perfect African dream.

Director: Frances Bodomo

Available to watch: Vimeo

La Femme Anjola

A-never-seen-before onscreen Rita Dominic is creeping closer to cinemas. In her over two decades DVD and box office heavy breaks, this is the first time the AMVCA winning actress portrays a high-profile fictional singer, full of mystery and seduction.

Director: Mildred Okwo

Available to watch: In theatres on March 19.

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