Lupita Nyong’o | Awards Season Guide

lupita awards

The largest and most famous film Awards season is firmly under way, but there are still many events to come and we are now headed towards some of the most important accolades in the film industry. Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o‘s critically acclaimed performance in 12 Years A Slave has led to multiple nominations and award wins. The film has been awarded 370 nominations and won 183 awards thus far. To find out more about Lupita, read previous features I have written here and here.

Below is a list of some of the events she has attended, and the major upcoming events she is likely to attend. Any wins 12 Years A Slave has received from the following Award bodies, will be stated in the respective sections. Photos will be uploaded as they become available.

Lupita with Angela Bassett

Lupita’s New Hollywood Award was presented to her by acting legend Angela Bassett.

Hollywood Film Awards, 18th -20th October 2013

The Hollywood Film Festival was created to make a connection between established Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers and the global creative community, as well as to honor excellence in the art of filmmaking. The awards are bestowed on honorees rather than nominees. In effect, the recipients are not competing; they are selected to be honored for their body of work and/or a film(s) that is to be released during the calendar year. Artist/filmmaker Steve McQueen received the Hollywood Breakout Director Award and actress Lupita Nyong’o received the New Hollywood Award for their work on 12 Years A Slave.


Lupita Nyong’o accepting her LAFCA Best Supporting Actress award which she won for ’12 Years A Slave’.

LAFCA Awards, Saturday 11th January 2014

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) is comprised of Los Angeles-based, professional film critics working in the Los Angeles print and electronic media. The association also presents yearly awards to members of the film industry who have excelled in their fields. The creative team behind 12 Years A Slave received a Special Citation for “beautifully telling a story that challenges us to reconcile who we are now with what we did then,” while Lupita received her award for Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave,

My cup runneth over with gratitude…I am still in awe of [director] Steve McQueen.

Palm Springs International Film Festival, Sunday 4th January 2014

Now in its 25th year, the Palm Springs International Film Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in the US. The festival features more than 180 films from over 70 countries and includes the largest selection Foreign Language Oscar submissions of any Festival in the US. PSIFF has also evolved into one of the most highly anticipated preludes to the Oscars. Artist/filmmaker Steve McQueen won the Director of the Year Award and Lupita won the Breakthrough Performance Award for her role in 12 Years A Slave.

AFI Awards, Friday, January 10, 2014

The American Film Institute is a film organization that educates future filmmakers and honors the heritage of the moving picture arts. Each year the AFI Awards honor the ten outstanding films and the ten outstanding television programs deemed culturally and artistically representative of the year’s most significant achievements in the art of the moving image. Director Steve McQueen and Nyong’o were both honorees at the AFI Awards luncheon.

golden globes

(L-R) Lupita Nyong’o, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Steve McQueen, Sarah Paulson, and Michael Fassbender pose in the press room with the award for Best Motion Picture – Drama for 12 Years a Slave at the 71st annual Golden Globe Awards.

Golden Globe Awards,  Sunday, January 12, 2014

First held in 1947, the Golden Globe Awards honor achievements in film and television and divide the nominees into two categories: comedy/musical and drama. The Golden Globe Award is an American accolade bestowed by around 93 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) recognizing excellence in film and television, both domestic and foreign. 12 Years A Slave won the top accolade, Best Motion Picture – Drama.


Lupita Nyong’o posing with her Critics’ Choice Award for Best Supporting Actress which she won for ’12 Years A Slave’.

Critics’ Choice Movie Awards, Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Critics’ Choice Awards honor achievements in film. This year, 12 Years a Slave won three awards with the film winning Best Picture, Lupita Nyong’o Best Supporting Actress and the film’s screenwriter John Ridley Best Adapted Screenplay. Going into the awards, the Fox Searchlight produced film had 13 nominations.

sag awards

Lupita Nyong’o posing with Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress for ’12 Years A Slave’.

Screen Actors Guild Awards, Saturday, January 18, 2014

The SAG annual awards, now in their 20th year, honor acting work in five film categories and eight television categories. The most important award goes to an ensemble cast in both TV and film in order to highlight the collaborative art of acting.Only members of acting guild SAG-AFTRA may vote, so all winners are decided by their peers. The guild includes around 100,000 actors. It has become one of the industry’s most prized honors. 12 Years A Slave received 4 nominations with Nyong’o scoring the only win (for Outstanding Performance By A Female Actor in a Supporting Role).

Producers Guild Awards, Sunday, January 19th 2014

The Producers Guild of America is a non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. The PGA has over 5,000 members who work together to protect and improve their careers, the industry and community by facilitating members health benefits, encouraging enforcement of workplace labor laws, the creation of fair and impartial standards for the awarding of producing credits, as well as other education and advocacy efforts. Gravity and 12 Years a Slave tied for top honors beating front-runner American Hustle and throwing open one of the tightest Oscar races in years.

12 Years a Slave producers Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner shared the Darryl F. Zanuck Outstanding Producer of theatrical motion picture prize. The tie is a first in this category in PGA history.

Directors Guild Awards, Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is an entertainment guild which represents the interests of film and television directors in the United States motion picture industry and abroad. The DGA is the world’s preeminent organization representing directors and members of the directorial team, including Directors, Assistant Directors, Unit Production Managers, Associate Directors, Stage Managers and Production Associates – 15,000 strong worldwide. McQueen was nominated for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 12 Years A Slave, but lost to Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity).

Continue reading

Lupita Nyong’o | Rising Star & Captivating Presence


Lupita at a Dinner hosted by Vogue’s Sally Singer for fashion label Sacai, 23rd Oct 2013. Photo: Pablo Frisk

What a pleasure it was to spend time with someone so talented and charismatic. In April 2013, Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong’o was my very first ‘Profile of The Week’ feature where I noted her early accomplishments including  In My Genes, a documentary that detailed the plight of people living with Albinism in Kenya, her stage work while she studied at the Yale School of Drama and her leading role in the MTV award-winning drama series Shuga.

Since then, she has gone on to garner considerable fame and acclaim for her searing role as Patsey in the historical drama film 12 Years A Slave directed by British artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen. The story is based on the memoir of Solomon Northup, a Black man and talented musician who was born free in New York state, kidnapped in Washington D.C., then sold into slavery and kept in bondage for 12 years. The screenplay was adapted by John Ridley. The film has been awarded 370 nominations and won 183 awards thus far. Lupita has been nominated for 37 awards and has won 28. To find out more about her award wins and the upcoming major events during this awards season, go here.


Director Steve McQueen with actors Lupita Nyong’o and Chiwetel Ejiofor at the premiere of 12 Years a Slave at the BFI Film Festival premiere in London.

I felt very honoured to receive an invitation to attend the London premiere and gala reception (sponsored by Accenture) of 12 Years A Slave in London during the BFI London Film Festival. View photographs (courtesy of my friend and plus one for the night, Janet of Cool On Demand & Fashion Democracy) from the premiere in the slide-show below.

The film rendered me speechless then, and again, when I watched it for a second time at The Watershed which was followed up by an informative Q&A session led by Dr. Edson Burton. So much so, that I have been unable to compose a response to it that captures my thoughts to a satisfactory degree. Hence, my delay in writing again about Nyong’o or the film. As a testament to how great her performance was, she has also been nominated for the most prestigious award of all, Best Actress In A Supporting Role from The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (Oscars). Watch the full announcement of the nominations here:

Lupita has since been chosen for the 20th Hollywood issue cover of Vanity Fair along with a slew of distinguished actors (photographed by Annie Leibovitz), and hosted on the Hollywood Reporter’s Actresses Roundtable along with esteemed actresses Oprah Winfrey (The Butler), Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) and Amy Adams (American Hustle).

Read more about Lupita’s rise to fame as a fashion icon below and watch the full Hollywood Reporter interview here:

Continue reading

Award-Winning ‘Kwaku Ananse’ To Premiere in Ghana

movie poster final945531_10100937565942146_1842907016_n

Kwaku Ananse’ has been making rounds on the international film scene and now the creative retelling of a fable about a part man part spider is finally making its way home to premiere in Ghana.

On Thursday, 4th July 2013, at 8pm, join AMAA award-winning film director, Akosua Adoma Owusu of Obibini Pictures, at one of Accra’s most notable venues, Alliance Française, for the screening of ‘Kwaku Ananse’.  Attendees of the premiere will have an opportunity to meet and greet the stars of the film, Koo Nimo and Grace Omaboe.  Guests will also enjoy an evening filled with Anansesem (spider tales) featuring a live music concert by the living legend Koo Nimo, Kyekyeku, and This House Is Not For Sale.

In her latest film, Kwaku Ananse, starring legendary Palm wine musician Koo Nimo, pioneering actress Grace Omaboe, and singer Jojo Abot; Owusu tells a unique and deeply personal story weaving it with a semi-autobiographical thread while preserving Ghanaian mythology.  ‘Kwaku Ananse’ was Ghana’s sole winning film at the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Awards where it was awarded the prize for Best Short Film.  In addition, to earning recognition at prestigious institutions around the world including Berlinale Film Festival, Cannes Short Film Corner, and most recently at the French Film Academy’s Golden Nights Panorama program for the World’s Best Short Films of the year.


Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase


I am very proud to have been part of the film screening committee for the first Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes Short Film Showcase which is taking place today at Quai 21- 21 Quai Saint Pierre, France as part of the Cannes Film Festival which is taking place from 15th-26th May this year.

These are the 8 films that made it to the shortlist in competition:

Welcome Yankee by Benoit Desjardins (Canada)
Kdo se boji crnega moza? by Janez Lapajne (Slovenia)
Echoes by Crystle Roberson (USA)
You Look Stunning Too (Men With Eggs) by Nina Hatchwell (United Kingdom)
Dios por el Cuello by Jose Trigueiros (Spain)
Setting of the Son by Helen Banks (USA)
Karaoke by Ondrej Hudecek (Czech Republic)
Adan by Paloma Martinez (USA)

There are also two films which will be screened out of competition:
Silent Treatment by Martine Jean (USA) (silent)
Persiennes by Céline Masson (Switzerland) (experimental)

The programme for the event is as follows:
1PM-short film dialogue with Entertainment Attorney Shannon Nash and screening of her short docudrama Colored My Mine
2PM-Diversity in Cannes Short Film Screenings & Competition
4PM-reception & awards

Continue reading

KWAKU ANANSE Gets Nomination at 2013 African Movie Academy Awards


Akosua Adoma Owusu, Ghanaian director and writer of the acclaimed short film Kwaku Ananse (which Ciné Kenya featured here), is thrilled to have her first narrative short nominated by the Africa Movie Academy Awards. “At its inception, I struggled to find a Ghanaian audience that would value our traditional story in contemporary cinema,” says Owusu, “it’s truly humbling Kwaku Ananse received the AMAA nomination. “

Kwaku Ananse was commissioned by Focus Features, as part of their prestigious Africa First Award Program, and supported by the Sarah Jacobson Grant, Art Matters grant, and a well-received IndieGogo Campaign.  The short film is a re-telling of the classic West African fable with a semi-autobiographical twist, featuring her uncle, Ghana’s legendary palm wine musician, Koo Nimo as Kwaku Ananse. Owusu received this award after gaining international attention with her short films, Drexciya and Me Broni Ba, as well as from her work within the art world at the famed Studio Museum in Harlem. Me Broni Ba, specifically, screened at over 80 international film festivals and was later acquired for distribution by The Cinema Guild.


Photo credit: Yaanom Multimedia

Combined with the unique co-production efforts of acclaimed Mexican producer, Julio Chavezmontes (Sundance New Frontier “Halley”) and Lisa Cortes (Executive Producer for Academy Award Winning “Precious”), Kwaku Ananse premiered in competition at the prestigious Berlinale Film Festival, as part of the Golden Bear competition, and was met with rave reviews.   Says the Guardian Nigeria,

“If Nollywood was absent at the Berlinale, Ghana was not. Akosua Adoma Owusu gave Ghana something to cheer about at the Berlinale.”

View trailer:

Between travelling internationally to screen her acclaimed works, and hustling to acquire the funding needed to propel everything forward, Owusu is working hard to both further her own dreams and inspire other African filmmakers that they, too, can do the same. Recently awarded the Most Promising Filmmaker prize at Ann Arbor Film Festival and named in the Huffington Post of “Top 30 Black Contemporary Artists Under 40”, she’s certainly paving the way to do both and is thrilled that Kwaku Ananse, is preserving a piece of Ghanaian mythology and is being so well-received by international audiences.

Contact: Sumie Garcia


Photo credit: Yaanom Multimedia

Erick Msumanje | My Mother’s Songs


Language: Swahili with English subtitles.

My Mother’s Songs, is set in an African landscape that examines inter-generational trauma. The film depicts a collection of traumatic experiences through the eyes of several young women desperately trying to make sense of their existence. This theme is connected to Africa’s history of brutal colonialism, shattered dreams from independence, and chronic poverty. The second trailer is particularly harrowing as a child tells a story of a parent’s murderous rejection. Watch to the end.

Tanzanian writer and director Erick Msumanje was recently awarded the highly-competitive Princess Grace Award for filmmaking. Msumanje, positions his film making to “push the boundaries of cinematography, aesthetics, and storytelling.”


Recent work includes The Journey which examines violence, fear and racism from the perspective of a little boy in search of something that could potentially change himself and those around him and a short documentary film titled The Devil’s House, which is about a mysterious young man who takes a journey clouded in blurred memory, displacement, and trauma.

Join writer and director Erick Msumanje for the first screening of My Mother’s Songs, at Hampshire College which will serve as his Division III (senior thesis) premiere.

APRIL 6, 2013, 7:00 PM
Hampshire College (Jerome Liebling Center for Film, Photography, and Video)

Bill Brand Screening Room (room 120)

Guillaume Bonn, ‘Silent Lives’

Kavina (left) is a fifty-year-old grandmother who works as a maid. She came to Kenya as a refugee from Uganda; her entire family was killed during the Idi Amin regime. Florence, also a maid, is forty-seven years old and comes from Kakamega. She is planning to get married in church so that her daughter may be allowed to have a religious marriage. Her husband works in a hotel in Nairobi.

The maids prepare a room for a guest coming to spend the weekend.

A nanny by the pool of the Muthaiga Club, situated in a residential area of Nairobi, while her young charge relaxes on a sun bed.

Guillame Boon has produced a remarkable series of photos about the lives of domestic workers titled Silent Lives for which he was nominated for the Piclet Prize in 2012.

Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker writes, ” Kenya, in other words, is no longer the place of Karen Blixen’s nostalgically remembered, illusory Eden, where everyone except the whites knew their place….and yet, as Bonn reveals, some of the old social heriarchies persist in some of the country’s most privileged households”.

Continue reading

Asad : Coming of Age Story of a Somali Boy Struggling to Survive in War-Torn Homeland.

CaptureA004_C014_1012N0_001.000049620111016  Capture2

Asad is an Oscar nominated short film. An all Somali, refugee cast brings to life this coming of age fable of a Somali boy struggling to survive in his war-torn homeland.

It was filmed in South Africa.

Continue reading