Tonight's Movie: LIONHEART, directed by Genevieve Nnaji.

8:30pm. Private Screening Room.
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In honor of Black History Month, Women Wednesday will use this month in particular to highlight incredible black female filmmakers! WW's very own Maddie Breeland has co-written the emails for this month!
Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve has parlayed her early success as an actress on Nigerian soap operas and commercials into a burgeoning film career, and has become a household name and prominent figure in Nollywood.  Nnaji is a true multi-hyphenate: she starred in, co-wrote, produced, and made her directorial debut on the film LIONHEART, which follows a whip-smart businesswoman Adaeze (Nnaji) desperately trying to salvage her ailing father’s transportation company while mitigating her fraught relationship with her uncle.  The film made history when it became Netflix’s first Nigerian original film as well as Nigeria’s first ever Oscar entry for Best International Feature Film.  However, the film was disqualified for being mostly in English and only partially in Igbo—a creative decision Nnaji justifies as being an authentic portrayal of her homeland.  The uproar and controversy around LIONHEART’s Oscar nomination has overshadowed the film’s message and significance: by eschewing derivative African cinema tropes, Nnaji illuminates the complexities of professional, autonomous Nigerian women in LIONHEART—a groundbreaking portrayal in Nollywood.  

Watch the trailer for LIONHEART here!

Sontenish Myers
Sontenish Myers is a Jamaican-American writer-director based in Harlem, NY. Her most recent short film, "Cross My Heart," follows an American teen who upon visiting her family in Jamaica, discovers a secret that changes the way she sees the people she loves. The film world premiered at East End Film Festival in London and made its North American Premiere at Seattle International Film Festival. Sontenish was also awarded the Alexis Award for Best Emerging Student Filmmaker at Palm Springs International Shortfest for the film, which was also included in Refinery29's list of The Most Exciting Woman-Directed Films At 2018's Palm Springs Shortfest. "Cross My Heart" won the Vimeo Staff Pick Award at Hamptons International Film Festival for its “outstanding performances from its two young leads and a nuanced directorial approach.”

Sontenish was a 2018-2019 IFP Marcie Bloom Fellow in Film. She is developing her first feature film, STAMPEDE, which has been accepted into the 2019 HIFF Screenwriting Lab, Film Independent Screenwriting Lab and IFP Week 2019. It is also a selected script on this year’s Black List, and a recipient of SFFILM’s Rainin Grant.  

Watch CROSS MY HEART here!

New & Noteworthy:

"Produced for the BBC and available on Netflix, "They've Gotta Have Us" -- a three-part documentary by filmmaker and photographer Simon Frederick -- begins with the Oscars, showing "Moonlight's" breakthrough best-picture win and other victories for black talent, including Lupita Nyong'o ("12 Years a Slave") and Jordan Peele (for writing "Get Out").
The conversation that ensues, however, highlights breakthroughs and pioneers in front of and behind the camera, while advancing the theme that true equality can only come from achieving gains beyond the inroads made in the narrow slice of movies that occupy the award circuit."

Check out the article here and check out the series here!
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