AFROTOPIA Film Series April 29 - May 3, 2015 @ Charles Wright Museum, Detroit

Children of NAN is being screened...  http://www.afrotopiaisnow.com

AFROTOPIA Film Series  April 29 - May 3, 2015 @ Charles Wright Museum, Detroit

SCHEDULE

Wednesday, April 29

Robots in Brixton by Kibwe Tavares (England)
Children of Nan by Alisha Wormsley (United States)
Last Angel of History directed by John Akomfrah (England)

Thursday, April 30
Touch written and directed by Shola Amoo (England)
Telescope directed and edited by Collin Davis (United States) 
Homecoming written and directed by Jim Chuchu (Kenya)

Future Sounds of Mzansi by Spoek Mathambo and Lebogang Rasethaba (South Africa)

Friday, May 1
Black Radical Imagination curated by Amir George and Erin Christovale (African Diaspora) 
Talk with curators 

Saturday, May 2

Pumzi written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya)
Afronaut written and directed by Frances Bodomo (Ghana)

War Witch directed by Kim Nguyen (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Sunday, May 3
Youth Screening: Black Panther by Reginald Hudlin (United States)


Noise Gate directed by Vim Crony (United States)
Space Mound by Alan Lucey and Stefan Klecheski (United States)
Space is the Place directed by John Coney, written by Sun Ra (United States)

Open to the public
Admission
$10; $5 for youth
Wright Members: $8; FREE for youth

Hours
Wednesday-Saturday: 6 pm 
Sunday Youth Screening: 2 pm
Sunday Adult Screening: 4 pm


FILM DESCRIPTIONS

Children of NAN (2011) by Alisha Wormsley (United States)

Using mostly stills, Children of NAN tells the story of a science fiction mythology created by multi-media artist Alisha Wormsley. Set 2000 years ago, dark skinned women (the Abassi) ruled the earth. A code in creation was realized by a tribe of pale men (Casmirans) who used the code to "inherit" the earth and dominate over the world. 6:19 mins.

Last Angel of History (1997) directed by John Akomfrah (United Kingdom)

An examination of the unexplored relationships between Pan-African culture, science fiction, intergalactic travel, and rapidly progressing computer technology. 45 mins.

Robots of Brixton (2011) by Kibwe Tavares (England)

The film follows the trials and tribulations of young robots surviving at the sharp end of inner city life, living the predictable existence of a populous hemmed in by poverty, disillusionment and mass unemployment. 5 mins.

Telescope (2014) directed and edited by Collin Davis (United States) 

The year is 2183. Earth is dead. With all evidence of organic life lost, a cosmic archaeologist travels faster than light into deep space to capture images of the once vibrant planet. When his vessel is damaged he must take matters into his own hands, risking his life to witness humanity’s lost home. 10:00 mins.

NOISE GATE (2013) directed by Vim Crony (United States)

Noise Gate is an experimental science fiction short film about a dimensional traveling scientist who is in search of the ultimate reality. His only passage into that realm is through the NOISE GATE. 8:21 mins. 

Touch (2014) written and directed by Shola Amoo (United Kingdom)

Jessica and George meet in an open field at a specific time and place everyday. George is in love - but unbeknownst to him, Jessica hides a devastating secret. As Jessica's feelings for George grow, she must make an important decision that will change her life forever. 13 mins.

Homecoming (2013) written and directed by Jim Chuchu (Kenya)

Debuted at the Toronto Film Festival, this Kenyan short film casts a voyeur’s obsession with the girl next door, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, science fiction and fiction. 11 mins.

Pumzi (2009) written and directed by Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya)

A science fiction film about Africa in the future, 35 years after World War III ‘The Water War.’ Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which water scarcity has extinguished life above ground, the short follows one scientist's quest to investigate the possibility of germinating seeds beyond the confines of her repressive subterranean Nairobi culture. 21:52 mins.

Afronauts (2014) written and directed by Frances Bodomo (Ghana)

On 16 July 1969, America prepares to launch Apollo 11. Thousands of miles away, the Zambia Space Academy hopes to beat America to the moon. Inspired by true events. World Premiere: 2014 Sundance Film Festival. 14 mins.

Future Sounds of Mzansi (2014) by Spoek Mathambo and Lebogang Rasethaba (South Africa)

‘Future Sounds of Mzansi’ is a documentary, which aims to explore, express, and interrogate South Africa’s cultural landscape.  A chief vehicle of this exploration is electronic music, a staple of South African popular culture. The film explores the past, present and future of the scene and its multiple sub-genres, presented through the eyes of internationally acclaimed artist Spoek Mathambo.

War Witch (2012) directed by Kim Nguyen (Democratic Republic of the Congo)

Komona, a 14 year old girl, tells her unborn child the story of how she became a rebel. It all began when she was 12; kidnapped by the rebel army, she was forced to carry a AK 47 and kill. Her only escape and friend is magician, a 15 year old boy who wants to marry her. Despite the horrors and daily grind of war, Komona and Magician fall in love.

In order to survive, Komona will need to return to where she came from and make amends with her past. A tale set in Sub-Saharan Africa, WAR WITCH is a love story between two young souls caught in a violent world yet filled with beauty and magic.

Black Panther (2010) by Reginald Hudlin (United States)

Based on the Marvel superhero by Jack Kirby, the short-lived BET animation series, Marvel superhero Black Panther lives in Wakanda, Africa and protects his territory from the outside world wanting the powerful substance Vibranium only Wakanda produces. 6 episodes; 120 mins.

Space Mound (2014) by Alan Lucey and Stefan Klecheski (United States)

The art video re-imagines the history of an unintentional mound found in the Detroit neighborhood North End. 

Space is the Place (1972) directed by John Coney, written by Sun Ra (United States)

The cult classic stars infamous jazz musician, Sun Ra (aka the Godfather of Afrofuturism), who competes for the fate of the Black race and uses music to transport the willing to another planet. 85 mins.

Black Radical Imagination (African Diaspora) is a collection of seven short-films by artists within the African Diaspora who use new media and science fiction themes to create futuristic stories about black identity. The series is curated and traveled by Amir George and Erin Christovale.

Mae’s Journal by Amir George

Mae’s Journal is a chronicle of the historic space mission of Mae Jemison in 1992. Through six fictional journal entries Mae’s journey is recreated through live action reenactments and actual footage of the STS-47 voyage. 12:20 mins.

Split Ends, I feel wonderful by Akosua Adoma Owusu

A woman attaches hair piece, black women in hair salons get their hair plaited, and a woman models on a yellow turban. Eccentric hairstyles reveal the roots of Afro hair in which activist, Angela Davis becomes involved. Manipulating and re- positioning found footage as subject matter, “Split Ends, I feel wonderful” observes the latest fad in hairstyles of the 1970s among African Americans in NYC. The film takes us to a time when Black is beautiful and a symbol of African pride. 5 mins.

Reifying Desire 2 by Jacolby Satterwhite

The latest installment in a six-part series, Reifying Desire 2 is a surrealist creation myth that stems from his ongoing collaboration with his mother. Satterwhite writes: “Reifying Desire 1–6 will use 230 3-D modeled versions of my motherʼs drawings, my body, and animated figures. The intersection of the disparate disciplines including dance performance, drawing, and digital media acts as an exquisite corpse strategy for guiding the storyline.” 8:30 mins.

Gold Chain by Adebukola Bodunrin & Ezra Clayton Daniels

The African Woman: mother of civilization, historically overlooked member of contemporary global society. She finds herself now in a distant, not-impossible future. A Nigerian space station in a remote nook of the solar system orbits a pinpoint of matter so dense it cannot exist on Earth. It is a recreation of the birth of the universe itself, contained for the purpose of study, and overseen by Yetunde, chief science engineer on the space station Eko. This animation is the story of an archetype come full circle. Blending afro-futurist motifs with hard science fiction, we create a world at once fantastical, yet entirely plausible, in order to ask the question: “Where will we go, given where we came from?” 6:10 mins.

The Changing Same by Cauleen Smith

An Alien is sent to earth to investigate the “incubators.” She discovers that she is replacing a rogue agent and starts to questions her mission as relationships become intimate. 9:24 mins.

AFRONAUTS by Cristina De Middel

In 1964, still living the dream of their recently gained independence, Zambia started a space program that would put the first African on the moon catching up the USA and the Soviet Union in the space race. Only a few optimists supported the project by Edward Makuka, the school teacher in charge of presenting the ambitious program and getting its necessary funding. But the financial aid never came, as the United Nations declined their support, and one of the astronauts, a 16 year old girl, got pregnant and had to quit. 4:30 mins.

Quiescence Interrupted...Adumbrate by Anansi Knowbody

The piece is an introduction... part of a work in progress. The staring character, Buddah is a regular guy with very irregular dreams or some might perceive as nightmares... The intent is to play on the ideas of distraction, disruption, fear, and premonition. The relativity of dream. The hope is to generate interest through technique and mystery. 6 mins.