Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Meet the Cast of FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson' (First-Look Images) Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in June Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch Trailer for Teen TV Drama Series in Development, ‘MysEducation’ Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch a Clip From Ethiopia's First-Ever Cannes "Official Selection" - Coming-of-Age Drama 'Lamb' Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial Watch Grace Jones’ “Banned” Citroën CX TV Commercial David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors David Oyelowo on the Craft of Acting & Advice for Young Actors BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup BET Adds 2 New Original Movies + New Series, and More to Its Summer Lineup Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ Official First Look Images from Detroit-Set indie drama ‘Wolf Who Cried Boy’ 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story 'Girlhood' Is Now Streaming on Netflix. We Spoke to the Director About Race, Gender & the Universality of the Story Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO Morgan Freeman's Bass Reeves Project Finally Gets a Lift, Thanks to HBO First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis First Look at CBS' 'Rush Hour' Series + Official Synopsis What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? What Did You Think of 'Bessie' After Last Night's Premiere? New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers New York Women in Film & Television Now Accepting Applications for Its Four 2015 Funds for Women Filmmakers 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 'Chocolate City' Finally Gets a Trailer + Release Date Set (Might It Steal Some of 'Magic Mike's' Summer Thunder?) 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? Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer Starz Announces Return Date for Original Series 'Power' + New Key Art + Trailer 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...

Kenyan *Superhero* Drama 'Leo' Makes World Premiere This Week; Watch Trailer, Interview w/ Director

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act November 27, 2012 at 12:00PM

One of the things I love about what I do here is learning about new and interesting projects, while in their early stages of development, keeping up with them as they make progress, until they are complete and ready to screened commercially.
0
Leo

One of the things I love about what I do here is learning about new and interesting projects, while in their early stages of development, keeping up with them as they make progress, until they are complete and ready to screened commercially.

Like this one... which we first alerted you in August 2011, and which I found out will be making its world premiere this week!

First a quick recap...

Directed by Jinna Mutune, the film is titled Leo, and is described as a film about a Kenyan boy dreaming of becoming a comic book superhero... Though the boy ends up realizing he is a different kind hero.

The film's website had this as an official synopsis:

... a charming and beguiling adult fairy-tale set in Nairobi, a Metropolitan City in Kenya that is a melting pot of East African culture, art, politics and commerce. It is a story about Maasai boy, raised in a low-income home, achieving his dream against all odds. LEO is a simple story that captures the essence of a child’s heart still open to all the posssibilities of achieving his dream in “Kenya” Africa.

So it's not a superhero movie in the traditional sense, but as conversations about black filmmakers making films across genres, Leo should benefit from that interest.

I dig the idea the film posits that black bodies are inherently supernatural, given *our* ability to survive and thrive in a white supremacist world, and thus, in that sense, we are indeed superheroes; Depicting Africans as potentially super-heroic, even if it's done metaphorically to emphasize some other salient point, or disseminate ideas about Africa and Africans that challenge dominant international perceptions of the continent and the people within it.

This reminds me of 2 recent Focus Features' Africa First Shorts films. The first, Umkhungo, a South African film, which I described as close to a superhero origin story, set in an African country, as I've seen, which centers on an orphaned child with uncontrollable supernatural powers, and those who'd rather see him expelled; the second, Mwansa The Great, made byZambian Rungano Nyoni, that centers on an 8-year old, who, in an attempt to prove he is a hero just like his father who passed away, goes on a quest to find the "magical" substance necessary to fix his sister's broken doll, and finally prove that he is in fact destined for greatness.

The film stars Trevor Gitonga as the titular Leo, and, as noted earlier, the film will make its world premiere in Nairobi, Kenya, this Thursday, November 29

No word on whether it'll travel, although I'm sure it will. So stay tuned for details as they become available.

I found a really good interview with the director, Jinna Mutune, via Kenya's own K24TV, uploaded to YouTube just yesterday, in anticipation of this week's release. In it, she talks about the film, of course, its origins, her process, her background, and more. It's certainly worth viewing.

But first, here's a trailer for Leo; you'll find the interview underneath.

Here's the trailer:

And here's the interview, which is in 2 parts:

This article is related to: Jinna Mutune


Shadow & ActNewsletter