25 Films From the Science New Wave
The Nigerian film industry is considered to be the second largest in the world, surpassed only by Hollywood. In the rest of Africa, other regional cinemas flourish. And alongside these, as increasingly everywhere in the world, independent filmmaking thrives — challenging, innovating, exploring, charting new paths through local and global issues. This is especially true in cinema of the imagination: updating myths to interpret the present, turning a scientific eye on changes to land and people, and envisioning life in decades or centuries to come. This issue is a panorama, a broad range of perspectives looking out from Africa or back from the diaspora, a multifaceted portrait across place and time. The future belongs equally to every continent.
African-Clawed Frog Embryo Development in Culture
Our figurine-sized superman hero embarks on an epic surreal journey that will take him across the Ethiopian post apocalyptic landscape in search of a way to get on the hovering spacecraft that for years has become a landmark in the skies.
Pumzi is sci-fi film about futuristic Africa, 35 years after World War III — The Water War. Nature is extinct. The outside is dead. Asha lives and works as a museum curator in one of the indoor communities set up by the Maitu Council.
Monsoons Over the Moon
Monsoons Over The Moon is a mythical tale about a street gang known as The Monsoons who escaped an oppressive system. It is a film about a sort of post-apocalyptic Nairobi, when the government has shut down the internet, books and the written word have become exponentially valuable and the world has been turned on its head.
The narrative follows a young lady from the streets whose violent boyfriend has disappeared, and his rivals are using her to look for him. She feels afraid and imprisoned by her circumstances until one of her friends gives her a book which catapults her to open her mind to the understanding that she need not be afraid of what is to come because the power lies within her.
Wanita leaves home one morning, not knowing that her first prayer to her own ancestors has started her journey to the Dimsi “the earth you can’ t see. Wanita could not figure out that her journey was blinded by her other self; her desire to be someone else. It is 150 years from now in a time when African cities have grown into one big metropolis. Operating in a world controlled by the immortals who had taken over our whole being. Wanita was the only one who could save us. She was the first of a new generation that was not just working at a job. She was working to fulfill her mission according to her DNA instructions but someone had infiltrated her DNA, this is why she could not hear our calling.
The Day They Came
An alien invasion in Nigeria. Its nothing you have ever seen before.
Kwaku Ananse is an intensely personal project which draws upon the rich mythology of Ghana. The short film combines semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster in West African stories who appears as both spider and man. Ananse teaches us that there are two sides to everything and everyone. The fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father’s funeral. At the funeral, she retreats to the woods in search for her father.
Kwaku Ananse is an effort to preserve a fable my father passed on to me, and in turn to preserve a dying yet immensely rich cultural heritage.
A portrait of an abandoned public swimming facility located in Accra, Ghana set on the Riviera. The Riviera at one time was an upscale development, consisting of luxury high-rises and five star hotels. Since the 1970s, the Riviera has fallen into a disheveled state.
This short documentary was inspired by afro-futurist myths propagated by the underground Detroit-based band Drexciya. They suggest that Drexciya is a mythical underwater subcontinent populated by the unborn children of African women thrown overboard during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. These children have adapted and evolved to breathe underwater.
Anima non Grata
They are the invisible masses that populate our streets. They are hiding among us… Professor Douglas is hiding among them…
Tears in the Rain
Tears In The Rain, the award-winning South African sci-fi short by filmmaker Christopher Grant Harvey, is an unabashed love letter to the 1982 motion picture Blade Runner, and Philip K. Dick’s novel ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep’?
Set in Los Angeles in the latter part of the twenty-first century, the short stars Sean Cameron Michael as John Kampff, a mysterious law enforcement official who is tracking down a man named Andy Smith (Russel Savadier), who is suspected of being a replicant: an artificial being almost indistinguishable from humans.
With its haunting, 80s-inspired synthesized score, futuristic Los Angeles cityscape complete with flying cars, looming ultra-skyscrapers, and neon-haloed, grime covered streets, Tears In The Rain convincingly duplicates the dark dystopian aesthetic of Blade Runner.
A Post Card Home
Is it true that every human being holding a wild animal's soul within them? Can this soul be the only thing that determines how the wind will carry us in life? In a parallel world, a lone narrator accompanied by only his camera sets out on a journey with the solid hope of seeking an answer for the only question that carried him to drift faraway: To which wild animal does the soul of his absent mate belongs?
All My Phones Numbers Drowned In
Miss Lipstick is the only thing right-side-up in a topsy-turvy western world. Aren’t we already living in a collage ? Didn’t we notice ? 3 fashion models on their way through the megacity of Lagos/ Nigeria.
The sea was the first to see us and so the sea will be the last to leave us. A visual poem from Kenya that explores blood memory, creation myths and ancestry.
In 1964 a Zambian science teacher named Edwuard Makuka decided to train the first African crew to travel to the moon. His plan was to use an alluminium rocket to put a woman, two cats and a missionary into Space. First the moon, then Mars, using a catapult system. He founded the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research and Astronomical Research to start training his Afronauts in his headquarters located only 20 miles from Lusaka.
Dawn of Thunder
Sango is a popular god of thunder from Oyo State in Nigeria with his signature thunderbolt axe that causes lightning and disruption when used by him. We explored his childhood a bit, from where it all started, the questions he asked, the answers he was given, the visions about his future encounters and ultimately how these experiences will shape his future. Having heard and known all this, what will his approach be towards events as they unfold?
Tension grows between the nephew and wife of a schizophrenic man, when the woman decides to have her husband sent to a prayer camp for deliverance. A short film about the complex problems surrounding mental health care in Ghana.
Set in a post-apocalyptic African slum and city, Kichwateli takes the viewer on a spiritual and metaphorical voyage through a young boy’s dream mixing new imagery of a young boy wondering inquisitively with a live TV as his head to show the effects of media on a young generation. This music-metary is a metaphor for the way we are now all plugged into the same images of global anxiety while at the same time being ourselves subjects of scrutiny of the all-seeing ubiquitous cameras.
This film is a life in a day of Kenyan Afro-punk musician, DJ and Ted Fellow Blinky Bill. Explore Nairobi with Bill as he works on his new solo album in his studio, wanders the bustling streets in search of inspiration and DJs at The Alchemist, one of his favorite spots in the city.
Full Proof — Salt
Joy is a 12-year old Masai girl living near the Magadi lake in Kenya. This lake is very special. It’s a salt lake and once in a while, it runs dry. The salt that was in the water, stays on the bottom of the lake, where you can easily scrape it off. Joy investigates the special characteristics of salt. She makes a necklace with beautiful salt crystals, uses osmosis to preserve vegetables and explains why you can never drink the salty water from the lake, even if you are very thirsty. That’s a shame, because it can get very hot near Magadi lake. To cool off, Joy uses salt to make a bunch of tasty coconut ice-cream.
According to a myth spread by the Detroit electronic act of the same name, Drexciya was an underwater country populated by the unborn children of pregnant African women thrown off of slave ships that had adapted to breathe underwater in their mother’s wombs.
This short science fiction film (28 min.) tells the story of a German man called Thomas, wo works as a trafficker for European refugees that are seeking a better life in Africa. One day his ship sinks and he finds himself as the only survivor washed up on the African shore. He tries to reach the next megacity: Drexciya, an advanced high-tech world.
Somewhere in the desert he is stopped by a huge light fence. At the end of his rope a group of young Africans stumble across him: Sisay, Kanchebe and Dylis. After a while they decide to take him along. Yet their mission also seems to be a strange one. They are looking for an almost forgotten place. Lost in the wide desert they come to know each other — speechless, strangers in their own land.
The Golden Chain
The distant future. A Nigerian space station in a remote corner of the galaxy orbits an artificial pinpoint of matter so dense it cannot exist in our solar system. It is a recreation of the birth of the universe itself, contained for the purpose of study, and overseen by Yetunde, sole crew member on the space station Eko.
The Golden Chain is a first time collaboration between experimental filmmaker Adebukola Bodunrin and graphic novelist Ezra Claytan Daniels. Fluent in very different disciplines, the two artists found common ground in their passion for Afrofuturism. Bodunrin has thrived exploring the lose structures and formal play of experimental cinema, while Daniels has met acclaim with rigid, cerebral science fiction graphic novels.
The Golden Chain finds the two artists intertwining their contrasting aesthetics to revisit the themes of the Yoruba creation tale. Obatala’s descent from the heavens to create the earth and mankind becomes an astronaut traveling to the edge of the galaxy to create a new Heaven. Blending traditional motifs with hard science fiction, Bodunrin and Daniels create a world at once fantastical, yet almost plausible, in order to ask the question: “Where will we go, given where we came from?”
The Water That Will Carry Us
Through living ritual and stop motion animation, The Water Will Carry Us Home reveals the story of stolen Africans being thrown off the slave ship whilst sailing through the Middle Passage. Upon crashing in the waves, a phenomena happens when the presence of Yoruba Orishas dwelling in the water saves these spirits.
Patricia lives in Kalongo, a small remote village in Acholi land, Northern Uganda. In the shadow of Mount Oret, which dominates the landscape of the village, Patricia is learning each day to accompany new mothers through the physical pain and the immense emotion of giving birth. « Together with woman » is the meaning of her chosen vocation to love and serve with joy, this is what it means to be a Midwife.
Raskanta is a coming of age story about a girl who learns to heal her broken heart and find freedom of expression by playing the Setswana instrument SEGABA.
Fantasy, science fiction and infatuation fuse as an obsessed neighbour invents ever-stranger scenarios for wooing the girl of his dreams.
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By experimenting with cinematic form and style, we are committed to provoking scientific intrigue and understanding, always ensuring compelling and well-founded narratives. Periodically, we release Spotlights online. On the first Tuesday of every month, enjoy our issue selections which complement newsworthy science by proposing a surgically curated online festival. From documentary to fiction to lab footage, we hope to always challenge the way you understand, interpret and appreciate scientific ideas and perspectives.
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