The top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2011 Awards Ceremony was scooped by Fatuma Noor, an investigative journalist from Kenya.
Noor, who works for Kenyan newspaper The Star, won the award for her three-part series on “Al-Shabaab,” an Islamic insurgent group in Somalia.
Kenyan Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu takes her sci-fi short Pumzi, the first ever Kenyan Sci-Fi to Sundance this year.
Pumzi “started off as a small script about what kind of world we would have to be if we had to buy fresh air,” writer/director Wanuri Kahiu told Wired.com in a Skype interview. The movie was made with grant money from Focus Features’ Africa First short film program, the Goethe Institut and the Changamoto arts fund. Pumzi will share the screen with two other films as part of Sundance’s New African Cinema program.
This special program presents three films that reflects a new wave of African cinema. South African filmmaker Jenna Bass draws from ancient mythological storytelling traditions to create a kind of historical magical realism in relating a modern-day tale of warfare in Zimbabwe in her film The Tunnel. Kenyan filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu creates a brightly original science-fiction vision in her film Pumzi, a story of a botanist who risks everything to nurture a plant 35 years after the “Water War.” And Senegalese filmmaker Dyana Gaye draws from the fifties- and sixties-style French musicals to breathe fresh air into Saint Louis Blues, a buoyant road-trip tale set in the clogged urban streets and dusty roads of Senegal.