pearls of africaA look into the horizon of upcoming films is like anticipating a cultural feast. In 2014 five films from the countries of Nigeria, Sudan via America, Kenya and Tanzania form a repertoire of cinema. With themes of family, love, race, patriotism and these five should belong on the consummate filmgoer’s radar. Directed by Sharon Agina – who is also one of its writers - and Dapne Cayo, Pearls of Africa, set in Kenya in the latter part of 1980, tells the story of a woman and man whose love for one another is strong enough to unite them, but faces separation because of others hate and prejudice. The drama traverses familiar territory of love, race and ideas while set in the area of Nairobi and plains of Kenya. Its main protagonists are Lizz Njagah, Kevin Leslie and Neil Reidman and are sure to incite complex conversation for viewers. My Nigeria, an upcoming film documentary, is a first generation tale by an American filmmaker of Nigerian descent. My Nigeria documents how one interacts with their ancestors’ homeland and works to erase its mystique. Produced and Directory by Maeyen Bassey, boasts the Naija Pridle and ones ownership of their cultural identity. Starring Femi Kuti, Kuti, Pa Enaharo, Nneka, Lagos Gov. Fashola, Gov. Donald Duke this documentary offers cultural inspiration, strength and power amidst a patriotic backdrop. Simi Visits Grandma is about a young girl who is named Simi, born to a young and hip parent in Lagos. When Simi travels to visit her grandmother outside her home city for excitement ensues for both. The film shows the relationship of a grandmother to a girl, the value of elders and their role in passing down family and cultural heritage - at the end of the film, Simi’s grandmothers narrates an African Folk Tale. The film is directed by Mayowa Osewa and written by Dele David Sayo Juba and Ibifiri Kamson.
When a Sudanese refugee is taken in by a forward talking American woman in the United States, the dramatic story The Good Lie begins. The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon is a film based on actual events of an American who attempts to help four Sudanese refugees, who are now famously known as the Lost Boys of Sudan. The Lost Boys as they are often called, won a relocation lottery to come to the United States. More than 20,000 boys from the Nuer and Dina ethnic groups became ‘lost’ because the Second Sudanese Civil War which occurred 1983-2005. The Good Lie traces a boy as an orphans and refugee in America. American cinema’s take on this Sudanese history is one to bookmark. Margaret Nagle the films writer is an award-winning screenwriter and television producer. The world always needs a superhero. Foleni Man follows the plot of a Dar es Salaam man who upon experiencing a lot of unfortunate incidents due to the congested roads in his city becomes a superhero fighting road jams. Ali Hassan Mwinyi is a road famous for its traffic. It makes a cameo in the film when the hero’s pregnant mother is forced to go in labor and give birth on the road while in the back of a taxi. Foleni man wears an ‘F’ on his chest, aiming to take down city traffic. Foleni Man takes its name for the Kiswahili word, ‘queue’ signaling that he’s a true fighter against road traffic. "It's an origin story. We are telling people how Foleni Man came to be," says producer Selemani Kaki.When the film’s protagonist is forced into the streets at n early age, when blamed for his mothers death at the hands of his alcoholic father, which become the makings of a boy turned superhero.