AMAA 2011 Best Film by an African Abroad, “In America” starring Jimmy Jean-Louis Premieres in Lagos

In America” the story of the Soul Sisters, a film by US-based Nigerian film-maker, Rahman Oladigbolu, which won the 2011 “Best Film by an African Abroad” at the AMAA Awards premiered in Lagos today, Thursday 8 September 2011.

Set in Boston Massachusetts, the movie which stars African-American Holywood star Jimmy Jean Louis (from “Phat Girls”) and several other talents explores the challenges of immigrants in the United States from a unique perspective. Beneath the alluring dream, the inspiring friendship between two young women unfolds the painful tale of immigration and intra-racial struggles in America. An African medical student seeking better professional opportunity in the United States finds herself caught up in the American immigration war. With the political heat mounting on ‘illegal immigrants’, she is faced only with a dilemma: to continually live on the fringes of the society where there’s no hope for her career goal, or give up all hope on the American dream… A young African-American puts her life on hold to restore the glory of her parents’ estranged marriage. After years of sacrifice, and amid the storm of her adolescent crises, she has to make a last shot for their reconciliation, or give up forever on her parents as she goes away to college. What happens when the lives of these two young women cross? The result is a soul-touching friendship that tests the limits of political laws and redefines human dedication.

With this offering, Rahman aims to deal with the immigration issue from a human perspective. Without forcing down suggestions on the viewers, he holds up a mirror and nudges the people to see themselves and find a solution to the problem. “The movie speaks to both worlds. We have screened it at several festivals across the world and selected independent cinemas,” he said at a press conference for the movie held in Lagos last week. The movie just screened officially at the Cannes Pan African Film Festival, France, and has also been featured at many festivals across the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa, winning accolades and awards, among which is “2010 Best Emerging Filmmaker” at the Roxbury International Film Festival.

Today’s event is the first in a series of exclusive viewings lined up this quarter before the film hits all the major cinemas across Nigeria.

28 Comments on AMAA 2011 Best Film by an African Abroad, “In America” starring Jimmy Jean-Louis Premieres in Lagos
  • la diva September 8, 2011 at 8:45 pm


  • lepa omo September 8, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    please tell me why they have a Haitian Guy playing a Nigerian guy role??…there are so many good looking Nigerian guys here in America and they went to go a pick a Haitian out of all people! #Failed

    • BigBen September 8, 2011 at 9:56 pm

      Your comment is quite naive, it’s called acting for a reason, until you see his performance you really can’t say much…if the movie industry was going solely on nationality, Christian Bale wouldn’t be batman, Collin Farrell wouldn’t have a job and many more…besides this gives nollywood an opportunity to score with the Haitian population, now that’s good business, you should buy it…

      • aa September 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm

        thanks o! for responding to that lepa’s…it’s called marketing they need someone with at-least a name and a face to sell the movie…besides what does good looking have to do with acting??

      • Truth be told September 9, 2011 at 12:22 am

        thank you jare. Nigerians like making too many ignorant comments.

      • e-bukun September 9, 2011 at 7:04 am


    • Truth be told September 9, 2011 at 12:24 am

      So in your opinion its failed because of that? So Hollywood uses only American actors? Na wa for you o. and if the Nigerians that audition cant act nko? they should use them by force?

  • Annabel September 8, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    Big Ben you do well o. People can be dense at times.

  • AAOJ September 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Why did he win the award of “Best Film by an African Abroad” why couldn’t it just be “best film by an African”? Is it just me that finds that weird? SMH! Always with those back handed compliments.

  • AAOJ September 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Plus, i tend to agree with Lepa Omo, they could have found a Nigerian to play that role, and if not, he could have at least gotten the accent down packed or semi convincing. Even the Sade girls voice over accent doesn’t sound nigerian. oh jeez!!!

  • Jade82 September 8, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    True talk BigBen…..

  • mee2 September 8, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    my thots exactly.i wonder why pple never go beyond d cover of a book, u’ll rather just jump into conclusions. and we say we are not racist, dats just hypocritical.

  • diamond September 9, 2011 at 9:04 am

    lepa’s point isnt why a haitian guy is acting in the film but why he is acting as a nigerian. if the Nigerian guys out there are not good enough, they could have picked a sound nollywood actor here. some of them are good to go, internationally. if the haitian had to act as a nigerian, he should have done it perfectly well; his accent and mannerisms should have been more like a nigerian. that’s why it is called acting too.

  • undecided/decided September 9, 2011 at 9:37 am

    i actually found d trailer boring sha… and d accent(s) fake…
    bt i dont think the choice of the actor had anything to do with his nationality..
    my guess is cos hes famous and dey probably needed him, so dat dey kn make sales in both Nigeria and America and whereva.
    nywayz dats what i think sha.. the producer knows best..

  • pynk September 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Would like to see this

  • Demmy September 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    I heard of the movie. I would love to see it 🙂

  • robbyd September 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    dissing lepa for airing an opinion that is in the hearts of many nigerians is worst than being ignorant, if they needed a face to sell the movie, they could use chiwetel ejiofor, wale agbaje, these are also known nigerian faces abroad…i would love to see the movie but i’m sure it would hv made more sense if they had used a hollywood nigerian star…my opinion kpere

    • lisa September 9, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      This is a low budget movie compared to Hollywood standards. These guys you are talking about have appeared on Hollywood blockbusters. It is very likely that the director/producer of this movie cannot afford those guys. But you have a good point. It is always controversial when non-Africans try to play an African role and don’t nail it well. Personally i don’t like it as much as i appreciate their effort.

  • Olivia September 10, 2011 at 3:46 am

    I think Lepa’s point has to do with not just getting a non-nigerian to play a nigerian role but not nailing the role. What’s the point of using someone if they don’t even get the basis like accent right? Nobody complained when Forest Whittaker played Uganda’s Idi Amin? He got a freaking Oscar for doing a great job. Even Don Cheadle in Hotel Rwanda. So no issues with getting different nationalities to play certain parts but pls be good and convincing…Its like Hollywood casting a known face like Julia Roberts to play the Queen and she comes on screen speaking in American accent! Chikena..

  • pendo September 10, 2011 at 6:35 am not quite the same plotline but similar immigrant theme

  • eloho September 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    *yawning* this issue is becoming over flogged! trailer was boring to me.

  • Cherry September 11, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    I really don’t get why Nigerians are the 1st to cry foul! Thank God someone mentioned Chiwetel Ejiofor! He is Nigerian and has acted as an American in so many hollywood movies. There is also Idris Elba and many Nigerians who get picked to play an American role and no one complains abi! It has nothing to do with the Race! There are castings for these thing and d best man wins regardless of his country. This is the director’s message and no one has to tell him how to convey it or who to use. There are many other story lines. anyone else who want to give it a shot should feel free to use watever cast he likes. And just like big ben said, this is an opportunity to sell 9ja far beyond our shores so I really see nothing wrong with it.

  • “eujeu” September 11, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    nyc one!

  • Esi September 12, 2011 at 11:46 am

    Haitians are our people too so I see no big deal in him acting as a Nigerian.
    At the end of the day we complain about our lack of acceptance by everyone else but how can others accept if we don’t accept each other?
    I for one am proud of this effort and am proud to see Africans(worldwide) coming together to do our thing.

    At the end of the day we complain about our lack of acceptance by everyone else but how can others acc

  • Esi September 12, 2011 at 11:48 am

    Haitians are our people too so I see no big deal in him acting as a Nigerian.
    At the end of the day we complain about our lack of acceptance by everyone else but how can others accept if we don’t accept each other?
    I for one am proud of this effort and am proud to see Africans(worldwide) coming together to do our thing.

  • NNENNE September 12, 2011 at 7:49 pm

    @ lepa omo… It is called business strategy. A lot of Haitians watch nollywood movies you know? Don’t you think they will have more interest in the movie if their own person is featured in it ? Selfishness does not help. Open policies open doors.

  • Mia September 13, 2011 at 5:51 am

    This movie looks painful to watch! Low budget as hell! The trailer sucks! Picture quality horrid!!! I can’t…. 🙁

  • Mad-onna September 13, 2011 at 11:41 am

    common y’all, if you’ve seen d movie, you would get why some of us would have preferred to see Nigerians playing the Nigerian roles and mind you, all you need to be a Nigerian is think, behave, and talk like one, that’s why its called acting, getting into the character and making it extremely believable and truthfully, i almost wished i took a pillow to go see this movie

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