Category Archives: Film

Putting the Continent on the Big Screen. Africa at the Underground (Ticket Giveaway)

SUPAFRIK takes a moment to catch up with producer Lucy Hamlet and find out a bit more about her next project, “Africa at Underground” which aims to turn Toronto on to the wide gamut of African cinema.

We will be giving away five pairs of tickets to the first five people who send an email to info@supafrik.com. All you have to do is mention one African actor and the film they were featured in. It’s that simple.

Hi Lucy can you tell us a little about yourself and your involvement in film and theater?

I have been involved in theater/events production for over 15 years. I owned and operated a live event production company for about 7 years in Toronto. Produced shows, (mostly theater some concerts) locally and internationally (UMOJA, Denyce Graves); also wrote and directed a few pieces for stage (Love ‘n Movement, VIBE). On the film side so far I have been more of a connoisseur.  Always loved film, more importantly I love the long reach of the medium to take me to places I have never been right from the comfort of wherever I am existing in that moment, my living room, an airplane, wherever!

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Bikelordz : Stunts and Styles from Accra, Ghana

Hello Supafriks! Just thought we’d share a little something we found on Vimeo that fits perfectly with out urban contemporary mandate.  We recently found out that they reached their funding target on kickstarter so this will get a proper DVD release and part of the proceeds will be used to build a park in Accra! Stay tuned….

On Now: Africa at TIFF

Around this time every year Toronto is bitten by a film bug named TIFF. Even without all the film festival-related promotions and print media coverage, it is nearly impossible to avoid the second largest international film festival in the world (after Cannes) if you live or work in downtown Toronto. There’s always the block-long ticket line ups at the box office, the paparazzi and stargazers posted outside the Ritz Carlton or Hazleton Lanes in Yorkville waiting for a chance to snipe a celebrity, the official black TIFF Cadillac Escalades zipping the VIPs across the city and the proliferation of muscle bound men in suits with dark shades and ear pieces. The biggest problem we have always had with the Toronto International Film Festival is Continue reading

SUPAFRIK on !A FREAK A!

When you listen to a selection of tracks from Josephine Oniyama’s 2008 teaser entitiled  In the Labryinth, and the 2010 EP  I Think it Was Love you might just be inclined to think her reminiscent of Tracy Chapman. This is not a bad comparison to make, but any comparison can be confining. Josephine’s new EP entitled A FREAK A is a perfect example of an artist who lulls you into a comfort zone and then busts you out with some unexpected arrangements. The title track  A FREAK A chops and screws the original acoustic string set that accompanied Josephine’s earlier works. Her voice bounds over the  strings reverb and together set a soundscape that we hope marks a new shift in what’s to come. Don’t get us wrong, we love what she’s been doing. But it’s always exciting to watch an artist switch it up on us just when we got comfortable. We at SUPAFRIK first heard Josephine over some loud speakers with a good dose of base; you do the same and tell us what you think.

On the Radar: Nneka’s Soul is Heavy

On SUPAFRIK’s radar this week is songstress Nneka ‘s new video release Soul is Heavy, an early introduction to her new LP of the same name. Set against panning visions of oil rigs, dollars signs, shell emblems and the Ogoni activist Ken Saro Wiwa,  Nneka sings us back into remembering  beloved Naija’s relationship with the ‘West’ and the long history of exploitation that has marked much of the oil rich region of Delta. Growing up in Warri, Oil City until she was 19 has meant that the 29 year old singer and activist has not and will not remain silent on the exploitation of natural resources in Nigeria. The artist’s first offering, Concrete Jungle, is an ode to black consciousness, African freedom, spiritual liberation and more poignantly the Niger Delta.

The single Soul Heavy is a timely re/introduction to Nneka, her sounds and style, and smartly samples Talib Kweli and Hi – Tek’s “Ballad of the Black Gold”. A song that is also about the Niger Delta.  The sample haunts the end of the track as the voice of the late and great Ken Saro Wiwa reminds us “to demand our rights peacefully, non- violently” and that if we do so “we shall win”.

It was Nneka that introduced us at SUPAFRIK to the AFRICA IS THE FUTURE collective and line, and her music continues to remind us that the AITF mantra stands true.

“I do not see myself as a performer but as somebody who shares her heartfeelings with others. I have fortunately, by the grace of God, the opportunity to sing my message to you on your stages. And if the media supports it – fine! This is an advantage, something I feel the world needs.” 

Nneka

On the Radar: Restless City

Committed to sharing with you all things Urban, Contemporary, and Africana SUPAFRIK offers Andrew Dosunmu’s new and first feature film, “Restless City” as a first instalment in our On The Radar series.

While Dosunmu would most certainly credit his origins, Lagos, Nigeria as the world that shaped his creative eye, his artistic career started as a design assistant at the fashion house of Yves St Laurent.  Since then his photography and artistic direction have featured in numerous international magazines and album covers we all love( Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli  and Public Enemy). Aside from his fashion photography, you may have caught Dosunmu’s moving-art in videos like Common’s Sixth Sense, Moracheeba’s The Music that We Hear, Angie Stone’s No More Rain and more notably his documentary Hot Iron released in 2000.

The film “Restless City” is “…the story of Djibril, an Africa immigrant surviving on the fringes of New York City where music is his passion, life is a hustle, and falling in love is his greatest risk.” It stars Danai Gurira, Anthony Okungbowa, Mohamed Dione, Osas Ighodaro and Lenore Thomas.

We at SUPAFRIK are hoping that this will make its way to the T.O. and in the meantime do all we can to get it here. While you are in the meantime with us check out Andrew Dosunmu’s work“Restless City” and if you can find his TED 2007 Talk let us know.

“[Looking at media images of Africa], I thought, ‘This is not the Africa I grew up with. The Africa I grew up with is full of life, full of optimism.”
—  Andrew Dosunmu – TED 2007