The highly anticipated film adaptation of Ivory Coast-born/France-based author Marguerite Abouet's popular graphic novel series, Aya de Yopougon (Aya of Yop City) will make its New York premiere this weekend, when it screens at the New Voices In Black Cinema Festival in New York.
So if you live in New York (or will be visiting New York this weekend), you should add this to your to-do list, because you may not get another chance to see it - especially on the big screen.
Abouet's Aya de Yopougon series, which is illustrated by her husband, Clement Oubrerie, is a global phenomenon that has been translated into numerous languages around the world.
The film's premise is as follows:
"Welcome to Yopougon, a working-class neighborhood of Abidjan in the late 70s, renamed Yop City – to sound like an American movie! This is home to Aya and her two friends, Adjoua and Bintou. The're 19-years-old, a time in your life when everything seems possible. But while Aya would like to become a doctor one day, her friends are more into nightclubbing at the local "maquis" and hunting for a husband. Around this dynamic trio, we cross characters with diverse destinies like Ignace, Aya's runaround father who juggles several "offices", and Moussa, the son of the powerful Bonaventure Sissoko who counts on his Toyota to pick up girls. There's also Fanta and Koro, the mothers who try to protect their daughters. Or Grégoire, the "Parisian" who blows his cash at the famous hotel Ivoire. A true chorale comedy, Aya of Yop City is a chronicle of an unexpected Africa, modern and urban."
The film features the voice work of Senegalese star Aissa Maiga, amongst others. Needless to say, her involvement alone is enough to make this a must-see for me.
There's no word on whether we'll get a formal release here in the U.S., so Aya de Yopougon is definitely one to look out for if it comes to your city, as it will in New York this weekend.
It screens Saturday, March 29, at 4:30pm, at BAM Rose Cinemas, as part of BAMcinématek series New Voices in Black Cinema.
To preorder tickets, click HERE.
Watch the trailer below, which, unfortunately, isn't subtitled in English. The poster follows: