Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Deadline Publishes Mea Culpa After Backlash Over "Ethnic Diversity Castings" Piece  Deadline Publishes Mea Culpa After Backlash Over "Ethnic Diversity Castings" Piece BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 BBC Orders Steve McQueen's "Epic" Drama Series on a Black Community in London, From 1968 to 2014 It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' It's Official! Trevor Noah Will Indeed Succeed Jon Stewart as Host of 'The Daily Show' Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Producer of 'The Walking Dead' Says There’s No Conspiracy to Kill Off the Black Male Characters Tyler Perry Delivers OWN Its Biggest Viewing Audience Ever Tyler Perry Delivers OWN Its Biggest Viewing Audience Ever Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Roger Moore Says Idris Elba as James Bond is "Unrealistic" Because He's Not "English-English" Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More Dr Dre Hopes the N.W.A. Movie Will Correct Notions of the Group's Treatment of Women + Working on Inspired Album, More TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) TV Casting Directors React to Deadline's "Ethnic Castings" Article (A Fad That Will Eventually Pass?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) Taraji P. Henson Will Host 'Saturday Night Live' for the First Time in April (How Many Black Women Have Hosted?) For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much For White TV Writers Who Have Considered Racism When *Ethnic* Diversity Is Too Much Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Watch: Kenyan Filmmaker Ng'endo Mukii Tackles 'Globalized' Beauty & African Self-Image in Award-Winning Short Film 'Yellow Fever' Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Apparently, Many of You Aren't Pleased With the "All-New" 'Single Ladies'... What's Going on? Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' Alfre Woodard and Gbenga Akinnagbe are a Dysfunctional Mother-Son Pair in Trailer for 'Knucklehead' What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) What to Expect in Season 2 of 'Empire' (Less Opulence; Spike Lee May Direct, Oprah May Guest-Star, More) 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List 73 New TV Pilots & Series with Black Actors in Starring and/or Supporting Roles Ordered for Next Season. Here's the Full List HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship HBO Seeks Diverse, Emerging Writers for HBOAccess Writing Fellowship Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Buzzfeed Investigates Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

"Buddha In Africa" (Malawian Boy Raised In Chinese Orphanage & Trained In Martial Arts) Gets Funding Boost

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 22, 2012 at 4:43PM

Here's an update on another project, still in the financing stage, that I've been tracking since first learning about it earlier this year;
4
malawi china

Here's an update on another project, still in the financing stage, that I've been tracking since first learning about it earlier this year;

Last I wrote about it, Chicken & Egg Pictures - the award-winning hybrid film fund and non-profit production company dedicated to supporting women filmmakers - selected it as one of a handful of 2012 Open Call grant recipients.

It's titled Buddha of Africa (a working title), and it's a South Africa/Malawi production (currently in development), from director Nicole Schafer.

Its synopsis reads as follows:

Against the backdrop of China’s growing influence on the African continent, Buddha of Africa tells the intimate story of a Malawian orphan growing up in a Chinese Buddhist Orphanage in Malawi. He learns Mandarin, practices Buddhism and becomes a young master of the ancient art of Shaolin Kung Fu. His life is transformed. But the surrounding community is suspicious of this upbringing and this new form of foreign “aid” and they question to what extent he’ll still be Malawian when he’s grown up one day.

It was announced today that the film got another funding boost, this time as one of 20 projects (short-listed from 401 from 40 countries) selected to receive financing from the Amsterdam-based IDFA €212,000 (close to $300,000) Jan Vrijman Fund.

I don't have any info on how far along in the funding process the project is, but I'm most certainly intrigued by it for what should be obvious reasons. Matters of Chinese influence in (or occupation of, depending on your POV) the African continent are certainly still very topical, and we've covered several films (documentaries and feature fictional narratives) that have tackled th subject in some form.

And this story does reflect reality; to wit, the image (courtesy of the New York Times) at the top of this post is of a Malawian student practicing a Chinese form of exercise and meditation called Qigong. He's one of many orphaned children from Malawi trained to speak Mandarin at a Buddhist orphanage in the country, as well as perform dance and kung-fu.

The project is on my watch list, so any new developments will be reported here.

Stay tuned...


Shadow & ActNewsletter