×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Young Africans’ Dreams Are Focus of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda Oscar Picks

Films about young Africans trying to fulfill their dreams in the face of war, poverty, tradition and other forms of adversity have been submitted for Oscar consideration by three East African nations.

The selections by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to compete in the international feature film category reflect the relative youth of filmmaking in the region, which has never received an Academy Award nomination.

Ethiopia has chosen Jan Philipp Weyl’s “Running Against the Wind,” the story of two brothers whose lives take very different paths when they decide to follow their dreams – one to become an Olympic runner, the other a photographer. It features a cameo by gold medal-winning distance runner Haile Gebrselassie.

Shot in Ethiopia’s native language, Amharic, which Weyl speaks, the movie is an Ethiopian-German Co-Production produced by Negarit Film Academy & Productions and AC Independent Film in association with R&B Film. It’s Ethiopia’s fourth submission since 2010 for what was formerly known as the foreign-language Oscar.

“I made the film in order to show the world the country of Ethiopia, the people, the culture and ethics and traditional values through the eyes of two young men who are willing to fight for their dreams and goals in life,” said Weyl. “The film is to inspire the current generations from all over the world by the two main characters who are trying to reach their aims and desires regardless of their life circumstances.”

Uganda has selected “Kony: Order From Above,” by T. Steve Ayeny, as its first-ever Oscars contender. Inspired by true events, the film tells the story of two teenagers who fall in love amid the violent insurgency of rebel leader Joseph Kony and his Lord’s Resistance Army.

Produced by Atonga Media/Entertainment and Quad-A Records, the film premiered at the Zanzibar Intl. Film Festival, where the director won the Best East African Talent Award.

Kenya’s candidate, “Subira,” by Indian-born, Nairobi-based filmmaker Ravneet Chadha, is a coming-of-age story about a young Muslim woman who defies tradition and gender stereotypes to pursue her dream of swimming in the ocean.

Based on a 2007 short of the same name, the Kenya-Denmark co-production was produced by Kaaya Films and Muasya Media Enterprises. It marks the fourth Kenyan submission since 2012.

This year’s ceremony will take place 50 years after Costa-Gavras won the foreign-language Oscar for the Algerian-French political thriller “Z.” Only two African films have been honored by the Academy in the years since, most recently South African director Gavin Hood’s “Tsotsi” (2005).

The 92nd Academy Awards will be held Feb. 9, 2020.

More Film

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at the Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was the [...]

  • Abominable Animated Movie

    Vietnam Pulls DreamWorks' 'Abominable' Over Contested Territorial Claims

    Vietnam has banned DreamWorks Animation’s new co-produced feature “Abominable” from its cinemas due to a scene involving a map that depicts China’s contested territorial claims in the South China Sea. The move comes as U.S. entertainment firms such as the NBA, Disney and gaming firm Activision Blizzard are under intense fire from U.S. fans, activists [...]

  • The Captain

    China Box Office: 'The Captain' Flies to $340 Million After Two Weeks on Release

    Patriotic thriller “The Captain” held on to the top spot at the Chinese box office for the second weekend, again leading from propaganda omnibus “My People, My Country.” “The Captain,” also known as “The Chinese Pilot” earned $34.9 million according to consultancy Artisan Gateway, for a two-week cumulative of $343 million. The cumulative for “People,” [...]

  • CGV movie theatre Seoul South KoreaCGV

    Korean Law to Limit Film Releasing Monopolies

    The Korean government is to make it illegal to show a single film on more than 50% of screens nationwide. The move is intended to prevent “screen monopolies by blockbuster films” and to “address unfair competition practices in the film industry.” The Ministry of Culture announced on Monday that it will revise the existing Promotion [...]

  • Jason Flemyng, Casting Director Lucinda Syson

    Jason Flemyng, Lucinda Syson Launch Film and TV Indie The Kernel Factory (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jason Flemyng, fellow actor Ben Starr, casting director Lucinda Syson, and finance expert Cristiano D’Urso are opening The Kernel Factory, a new U.K.-based film and TV indie. Flemyng has a long list of movie credits including “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” and Guy Ritchie’s “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking [...]

  • Hache

    ‘Hache’ Creator, Director Discuss Netflix’s Next Spanish Original, Dropping Nov. 1

    MADRID — On Nov 1 Netflix will drop its fifth Spanish original series, 1960’s-set drug smuggling drama “Hache,” produced by Madrid’s Weekend Studio for the platform. Created by Verónica Fernández and directed by Jorge Torregrossa (“La vida inesperada,” “Cocaine Coast,” “Velvet Collection”), “Hache” tells the story of Helena (Adriana Ugarte), a prostitute who ends up [...]

  • Argentina Film Lab

    Argentina to Build Country’s First Film Restoration Laboratory in Buenos Aires

    Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Cinematografia y las Artes Audiovisuals (INCAA) and the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires will partner to build Argentina’s first laboratory of film preservation. Minister of Culture Enrique Avogadro and INCAA president Ralph Haiek signed the agreement which will see Buenos Aires’ Pablo Ducrós Hicken Film Museum in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content