Tag: Botswana

“Belle” Director Amma Asante’s New Film “A United Kingdom” to Open BFI London Film Festival

A UNITED KINGDOM Movie
“A United Kingdom” starring David Oyewolo and Rosamund Pike, directed by Amma Asante (COURTESY OF PATHE)

article by Leo Barraclough via Variety.com

Director Amma Asante’s third feature “A United Kingdom,” which stars “Selma’s” David Oyelowo and “Gone Girl’s” Rosamund Pike, will open the 60th BFI London Film Festival on Oct. 5.

Asante won the BAFTA for most promising newcomer for her debut “A Way of Life,” and followed that with “Belle,” which won best actress for Gugu Mbatha-Raw at the British Independent Film Awards.

“A United Kingdom” tells the true story of Seretse Khama, King of Bechuanaland (modern-day Botswana), and Ruth Williams, the London office worker he married in 1947 in the face of fierce opposition from their families and the British and South African governments.

The LFF gala screening, which will be the film’s European premiere, will be attended by Asante, Oyelowo and Pike. There will be a live cinecast from the London event and simultaneous screenings in movie theaters across the U.K.

The film’s screenplay is penned by Guy Hibbert (“Eye in the Sky”), based on the book “Color Bar” by Susan Williams. Oyelowo plays Khama, with Pike as his future wife, Williams. Other cast members include Jack Davenport (“Pirates of the Caribbean”), Terry Pheto (“Mandela”), Tom Felton (“Harry Potter”), Arnold Oceng (“Adulthood”), Jack Lowden (“’71”) and Laura Carmichael (“Downton Abbey”).

Clare Stewart, London Film Festival director, said: “Amma Asante’s ‘A United Kingdom’ is testament to a defiant and enduring love story that also reveals a complex, painful chapter in British history. We are proud to be opening the 60th BFI London Film Festival with a film of such contemporary relevance, one that celebrates the triumph of love and intelligence over intolerance and oppression, and that confirms Asante as a distinctive and important British filmmaker.”

Asante commented: “It’s a great privilege that ‘A United Kingdom’ has been selected as the opening night film of the BFI London Film Festival. The festival means a lot to me personally, having showcased my first film, ‘A Way of Life,’ here and been honored with the U.K. Film Talent Award. I’m a proud Londoner, and in ‘A United Kingdom’ we’ve been able to film in some of the most beautiful parts of the city as well as in the wonderful landscapes of Botswana.”

The film is produced by Rick McCallum (“Star Wars”), Oyelowo, Justin Moore-Lewy, Brunson Green (“The Help”) and Charlie Mason. The film is executive produced by Pathé’s Cameron McCracken, BBC Films’ Christine Langan, the BFI’s Ben Roberts, Ingenious Media’s Eleanor Clark Windo and Guy Hibbert.

To read more, go to: http://variety.com/2016/film/global/amma-asante-a-united-kingdom-bfi-london-film-festival-1201800077/

Vogue Spain Declares ‘Black Is Beautiful’ with Cover Model Aya Jones Rocking Cornrows

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Aya Jones on the cover of Vogue Spain (Vogue España) 

article by Yesha Callahan via theroot.com

It’s not too often that a major fashion magazine declares, “Black is beautiful,” but Vogue Spain (Vogue España) just did for its March issue.

Not only is Ivorian-British model Aya Jones giving all types of #BlackGirlMagic on the cover, but she’s also rocking a simple set of cornrows. The photo editorial was shot in Botswana, with Karim Belghiran styling Jones’ hair, and photos shot by photographer Nico Bustos and styled by Belen Antolín.

To read more, go to: http://www.theroot.com/blogs/the_grapevine/2016/03/vogue_spain_declares_black_is_beautiful_with_black_cover_model_rocking_cornrows.html

Young Entrepreneurs Behind African Lookbook Connect Artists With Consumers Online

Model poses for online shop African Lookbook (Image: African Lookbook)

A look book has the power to turn a fashion blogger into a spokesperson and an independent designer into a household name. But for entrepreneurs Aaron Kohn and Phil Sandick, starting African Lookbook in 2011 was just another way to share stories. “I was living in Botswana for a couple of years, and then it really hit me how powerful oral history is in bringing together underrepresented, or underreported, groups,” says Sandick, a law student at Northwestern University.

The online platform features exclusive interviews with leading African designers and creative entrepreneurs. The stories shared are a reflection of new and old design traditions, serving as a way to connect artistic narratives with leading universities and research institutions. But documenting oral histories is just one part of the site’s overall goal to expand the reach of African-made design products worldwide.

With African Lookbook, users are able to easily browse through a selection of carefully curated items such as a vintage crochet bag or a Merino wool sweater (often spotted on the streets of Johannesburg). BlackEnterprise.com caught up with the entrepreneurial duo to discuss the importance of African art, how they balance school with their venture, and how teamwork makes the dream work.

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