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ARRAY Opens Two Films This Weekend: ‘Ayanda’ and ‘Out of My Hand’ (Read All Our Coverage)

ARRAY Opens Two Films This Weekend: 'Ayanda' and 'Out of My Hand' (Read All Our Coverage)

Array, the re-launching of the distribution collective previously known as AFFRM, opens two films today: South African drama “Ayanda,” directed by Sara Blecher (“Otelo Burning”) and Takeshi Fukunaga’s directorial debut, “Out of My Hand.” Both films kicking off their theatrical runs starting today, November 13, in Los Angeles and New York City, followed by a national tour to include Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Seattle, Houston and Boston.

“’Ayanda’ and ‘Out of My Hand’ are films that represent the breadth and width of diverse filmmaking. A drama dissecting love in all forms directed by a South African woman, and a story of migration and masculinity directed by a Harlem-based Japanese man, both starring all-black casts, prove to be a powerful duo,” explained Array’s Executive Director Tilane Jones. “These are the varied visions and voices that Array celebrates and amplifies through our releases. We’re thrilled to showcase these films together for film lovers who appreciate distinct, robust storytelling from underrepresented perspectives.”

Set in the vibrant, Afropolitan community of Johannesburg’s Yeoville, “Ayanda” is a coming-of-age story of a 21-year-old “Afro-hipster,” who embarks on a journey of self-discovery, when she has to fight to save her late father’s legacy – a motor repair shop – when it is threatened with closure. She’s thrown into a world of gender stereotypes and abandoned vintage cars once loved, now in need of a young woman’s re-inventive touch to bring them back to life again.

The film stars Fulu Mugovhani and Nigerian actor OC Ukeje, with a star-heavy South African cast that includes Ntathi Moshesh, Kenneth Nkosi, Jafta Mamabola, Thomas Gumede, Sihle Xaba and veteran star of stage and screen, Vanessa Cooke.

This is director Sara Blecher’s follow-up to her critically-acclaimed “Otelo Burning” (covered quite extensively on this blog), which also opened the Durban International Film Festival in 2011. 

A film that was selected for the main program of the Berlin International Film Festival’s Panorama section in February of this year, Takeshi Fukunaga’s directorial debut, “Out of My Hand,” is about a worker on a Liberian rubber plantation who wants to get away from a life overshadowed by civil war, and so moves to New York where he lives a new life as a taxi driver.

The film was made with support from the Liberian government and its Movie Union, who sponsored the shoot, and offered to pay for travel for its Liberian cast and crew, for the New York portion of production. 

The film’s stars (Bishop Blay and Zenobia Kpoto), as well as of its cast for the Liberia portion of the shoot, are played by Liberians, who, for the majority, are acting for the very first time. 

Theatrical playdates for both films follow below.

For our coverage of each:

– Read Brandon Wilson’s review of “Out of My Hand” here.
– Read Nijla Mumin’s interview with Fukunaga here.
– Read Shannon Huston’s review of “Ayanda” here.
– And watch Martine Jean’s conversation with “Ayanda” Producer, Busi Sizani, here.

Theatrical playdates follow immediately below.

Opening dates for both films are as follows:

Starting 11/13              Los Angeles                Downtown Independent

Starting 11/13              New York                    Imagenation RAW Space

Starting 11/18              New York                    Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

And here are the one-night tour engagements for each film, separately:

“Ayanda”

11/13               Washington DC           Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of African Art

11/14               Atlanta, GA                 Georgia Pacific Auditorium presented by Bronzelens

11/17               Philadelphia, PA          African American Museum presented by Reelblack

11/19               Houston, TX                Houston Museum of African American Culture

11/22               Montgomery, AL         Pure Art Literary Café

11/24               Seattle, WA                 Ark Lodge Cinema

12/01               Calabash, NC             South Brunswick Islands Center

12/05               Boston, MA                 Reel Life Experience at Arts Emerson

12/05               Greensboro, NC         The Artist Bloc

“Out of My Hand

11/14               Atlanta, GA                 Georgia Pacific Auditorium presented by Bronzelens

11/17               Philadelphia, PA          African American Museum presented by Reelblack

11/20               New York, NY             Imagenation RAW Space

11/22               Montgomery, AL         Pure Art Literary Café

11/24               Seattle, WA                 Ark Lodge Cinema

11/26               Houston, TX                Houston Museum of African American Culture

12/01               Calabash, NC             South Brunswick Islands Center

12/06               Boston, MA                 Museum of Fine Art Boston

12/08               Washington, DC          Anacostia Arts Center presented by Parallel Film Collective

12/12               Greensboro, NC         The Artist Bloc

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