S&A already told you about a larger initiative titled ImagiNations, created by DRC filmmaker Djo Tunda Wa Munga and producer Steve Markovitz. Djo Munga is the writer director of maybe the highest profile film last year from Africa (outside of Africa) Viva Riva!; and Steve Markovitz was one of Viva Riva!’s producers.
Munga and Markovitz paired up to produce a diverse slate of projects, and this new initiative (ImagiNations) is one of them – a Pan-African project in which a series of six feature films based on contemporary African literature will be produced.
And as previously revealed, Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu (from the first Focus Features Africa First class, and director of the acclaimed sci-fi short Pumzi, which Markovitz also exec produced), is one of the filmmakers already attached to helm one of those adaptations. And we assume Djo himself will direct one of them as well.
In the new video interview below, producer Markovitz talks further about the above initiative (and more); he mentions the title of the work that Wanuri Kahiu will be helming as 1 of the 6 in the ImagiNations project – a book called Inspector Lou (or it could be Lew, or some other spelling; it’s not spelled out in the video clip, and a Google search returned nothing helpful).
Markovitz goes on to say that he can’t reveal anything more about the project, but he believes in Wanuri’s talent, saying that she has “great vision,” and he believes she just needs an opportunity in the form of a strong feature film (like this one I suppose) to really catapult her onto cinema’s world stage.
Indeed. Since Pumzi, and the acclaim and awareness it received, I’ve been waiting to see what would do after that – especially with a feature film (as an aside, the interviewer in the below clip does say that Pumzi will also be a feature film).
Hopefully one of these two feature projects will find the backing necessary to eventually become realities.
Markovitz also talks a bit about Djo Munga’s next work, which we’ve already told you about – a China/Congolese crime drama that Djo has been shopping around for financing since last year.
It’s a good interview. Watch and listen below (courtesy of Smart Monkey TV):