So… while you're waiting anxiously for that live-action Afro Samurai movie that Samuel L. Jackson recently announced he'll be producing, take a look at this…
It's not the entire film, but just a teaser trailer for a 25-minute award-winning short film titled Hasaki Ya Suda, which was written and directed by young French/Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido – a short that helped get him into the 2011 Berlinale Talent Campus, as well as a slot amongst the fourth class of Focus Features' Africa First filmmaker program.
I actually met with and spoke to Cédric a couple of weeks ago or so, when I interviewed the entire group of directors and advisers for this class of Africa First filmmakers, and he gave me a copy of Hasaki Ya Suda on DVD, which I eventually watched and thoroughly enjoyed!
I'll post a separate writeup about the film (I'm waiting for Cédric to make it available online at some point); but I'll give you a synopsis in the meantime, which reads:
It’s the year 2100. Global warming has resulted in severe aridness causing famines and conflicts. Fertile lands of the past are all set to become the battlegrounds of the future, and in this innovative, energetic film we see three swordsmen battle for their very survival.
Innovative and energetic for sure! In my conversation with him, Cédric talked about being influenced by Samurai movies of yesteryear, especially those from the master himself, Akira Kurosawa (Seven Samurai, Throne of Blood, and Yohimbo to name 3); Cédric is also a superhero fanboy, and plans to make films about black people that incorporate unlikely/unexpected elements, and that are within genres that historically and still currently ignore the contributions of people of African descent.
I'm excited to see more of what Cédric does in the future, including feature film work. His Focus Features Africa First project (which he received $10,000, as is customary, to help produce) is titled Twaaga (in English, Invincible); the film will blend live action and animation in what will be a story about a young boy’s quest to become a superhero.
Can't wait to see that when it debuts in about a year.
In the meantime, watch the teaser for Cédric's last work, Hasaku Ya Suda, which he wrote, directed, co-stars in, and also shot, below: