Newtown Junction Mall came to a standstill last night! Her Majesty, Busiswa made sure of it. The entrepreneur, singer, performer and poet’s documentary titled Busiswa: Unbreakable Story debut day before last at inaugural Africa Rising International Film Festival. The documentary was the official opening film for the festival organised by filmmaker Kweku Mandela, entrepreneur Lala Tuku and Actor Spaces’ Ayanda Sithebe. The night saw Busiswa handle interviews at the red carpet alongside the directors of the documentary Fred Kayembe and Vaughn Thiel. A CAN DO! film, the Pineappletop Films production, produced by The Kollektive and narrated by Busiswa Gqulu, the film took its audience on a journey back in time that explored the complex conditions that the musician faced.
I know how important it is to be recognised and celebrated as a woman, more so as a black woman. I am so glad that Busiswa and her team chose the Africa Rising International Film Festival to debut the documentary. One of our pillars as a film festival is celebrating black talent, and last night we managed to just that – Lala Tuku.
Africa Rising International Film Festival continues at the Newtown Junction, closing on the 30th of November with Queen and Slim – a film by The Chi’s creator and coveted writer Lena Waithe. Black Panther’s Daniel Kaluuya stars in the film. Described as the ‘modern-day Bonnie and Clyde,’ the film is directed by Melina Matsoukas, who is best known for her work on Beyonce’s culture-defining visual, Formation.
One thing I knew we had to make sure happened last night was that the youth who are currently studying or interested in filmmaking witness what a powerful story by one of their favorite performer in the country can do, I wanted them to see and hear firsthand what it takes to be great, it does not happen overnight – Ayanda Sithebe.
From one amazing successful female to another, Nadia Nakai’s documentary titled NADIA NAKED: THE ALBUM DOCUMENTARY is also making its way to Africa Rising International Film Festival on the 29th of November in the evening, day two of the inaugural film festival founded last year by Kweku Mandela, Lala Tuku and Ayanda Sithebe. Africa Rising International Film Festival opens tonight, running until the 30th of November 2019. NADIA NAKED: THE ALBUM DOCUMENTARY, the story behind the critically acclaimed debut album ‘Nadia Naked’ by the multi-award-winning Queen of African Rap, Nadia Nakai. NADIA NAKED: THE ALBUM DOCUMENTARY is an intimate window into the mind of Nadia Nakai & the story behind the making of her debut album, Nadia Naked. The film is a visual listening session that takes the audience on a journey through the entire album with a mixture of documentary footage, interviews, live performances & music videos set within the context of the launch event for the album. The film is directed by TAKEZITO of The Visual Content Gang who is also the Creative Director of The Naked Xperience. NADIA NAKED: THE ALBUM DOCUMENTARY sets a new bar for the industry as the audience gets to experience a complete visual listening session of the album and witness never seen behind-the-scenes footage of the Queen of African Rap.
Other notable African Films/Documentaries to look forward to includes;
- Zulu Love Letter. The film about Thandeka, a young black journalist, lives in fear of Johannesburg‘s past. She’s so troubled that she can’t work, and her relationship with Mangi, her 13-year-old deaf daughter, goes from bad to worse. The film stars veteran actress Pamela Nomvete.
- Mama Africa – A film by MIKA KAURISMÄKI. A documentary about the Humanitarian and Musical Icon Miriam Makeba.