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7 African Movies We Can’t Wait to See at TIFF 2020

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The Toronto International Film Festival is back with its 45th edition from Thursday, 10 September, to Sunday, 20 September, 2020, and we are more than glad to see movies starring Africans, and movies which were written, produced and directed by Africans.

Once again, we look forward to seeing our favorite stars, and also to discover fresh new talents.

With TIFF 2020 fast approaching, these African films have been scheduled to feature at the festival and we can’t wait to see them.

Downstream To Kinshasa (Congo)

Dieudo Hamadi makes his return to TIFF with “Downstream To Kinshasa”, his latest portrait of his native Congo, honoring survivors of his country’s Six-Day War in 2000.

Since making his feature documentary debut in 2013, Dieudo Hamadi has produced an unparalleled body of work that captures glimpses of contemporary Congolese life. Here, Hamadi’s focus is on the present and very personal: a group of Kisanganians who were maimed by the heavy shelling and gunfire.

Through musical theatre, the victims have reclaimed their voices. But having never had official acknowledgement or financial compensation for their pain, they decide to journey down the Congo River to the capital in a bid to finally make their stories heard. We can’t wait to see “Downstream To Kinshasa” on the 14th of September.

Lift Like A Girl

Lift Like A Girl (Egypt)

Directed by Mayye Zayed, “Lift Like a Girl entails an intimate journey into the inner life of an aspiring athlete. Filmed largely at Ramadan’s outdoor gym and at weightlifting competitions, it captures feats of astonishing athleticism.
The film is set to show at the festival on the 12th, 14th and 17th of September. It captures Zebiba’s physical and mental struggles, as Ramadan pushes her further and harder — often more than any of his other athletes. But as time marches on, bringing Zebiba more success, it also brings new challenges for the gym, her team, and ultimately for Zebiba herself.

Night Of The Kings (Senegal/Cote d’Ivoire)

Philippe Lacôte’s latest “Night Of The Kings” tells the tale of a young man incarcerated in a prison in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and must spend the whole night recounting a story if he hopes to survive.

The film’s cast members include Koné Bakary, Steve Tientcheu, Rasmané Ouédraogo, Issaka Sawadogo, Digbeu Jean Cyrille, Abdoul Karim Konaté, Anzian Marcel, Laetitia Ky and Denis Lavant. 

With his sophomore feature — his first, “Run” (2014), debuted at Cannes in Un Certain Regard — writer and director Philippe Lacôte refuses all genre expectations, flowing between a prison drama and visually stunning sequences that depict Roman’s elaborate tale. Get ready to see “Night of the Kings” on the 10th and 13th of September.

Loose Fish (Morocco)

“Loose Fish” is a short film directed by Pato Martinez and Francisco Canton. 

In this richly detailed and humane hybrid of documentary and drama, “Loose Fish” by the Argentinian directing collective Pantera and Anonymous Content, a boy growing up in a port town in Morocco dreams of escaping into a different life than the one in store for him.

Sër Bi (Senegal)

In this tense and nuanced short drama “Sër Bi” by Senegalese director Moly Kane, a young woman preparing for her marriage desperately and courageously journeys to erase her past.

The Water Man

David Oyelowo makes his feature directorial debut with this mystical adventure “The Water Man” that recalls the beloved family-friendly films of the 1980s (and is being soundtracked by Ric Hassani!)

“The Water Man” stars David Oyelowo, Rosario Dawson, Lonnie Chavis, Amiah Miller, Alfred Molina and Maria Bello.

Based on a script by Emma Needell that was featured on the 2015 Black List, “The Water Man harkens back to the beloved childhood adventure films of the 1980s, combining family drama, mystical elements, and a courageous journey.

As a filmmaker, Oyelowo masterfully inhabits a child’s view of the world as something full of both fantastic possibilities and impossible dangers. With the help of an incredible supporting cast that includes Alfred Molina and Maria Bello, the tale’s heart is in perfect harmony with its thrills and surprises.

We’re super excited about this one and we cant wait to see it at the festival on the 19th of September.

The Inheritance

The Inheritance

“The Inheritance” is Ephraim Asili’s debut and it weaves together the histories of the MOVE Organization, the Black Arts Movement, and Asili’s time in a Black Marxist collective.

The film’s narrative core, described by Asili as a “speculative re-enactment” of his time in a West Philadelphia organization, is based on a young man who inherits his grandmother’s house and turns it into a Black socialist collective where community forms the basis of family, with the encouragement of his girlfriend.

The film pays homage to a lineage of resistance and stars Nozipho McClean, Eric Lockley, Chris Jarell, Julian Rozzell Jr. It also features inspiring appearances by MOVE members Debbie Africa, Mike Africa Sr., and Mike Africa Jr., as well as the remarkable poet-activists Sonia Sanchez and Ursula Rucker. “The Inheritance” will show at the festival on the 14th and 17th of September

There you have it, the seven films we’re anticipating at the festival (TIFF) this year.


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