Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 HBO Boss Says Issa Rae's Series Casting Now, Slightly Different in Tone from Web Series, Don't Expect Until 2016/2017 Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' Nice! Lupita Nyong’o Will Star in Danai Gurira's Liberia Civil War Drama ''Eclipsed' S&A Call for Films That Speak to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement - Cash Award for the Strongest S&A Call for Films That Speak to the #BlackLivesMatter Movement - Cash Award for the Strongest Watch Episode One of Controversial Caribbean-Set TV Series ‘Chee$e’ Watch Episode One of Controversial Caribbean-Set TV Series ‘Chee$e’ John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' John Legend and His Get Lifted Production Company to Executive Produce WGN America's 'Underground' Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Marvel Hopes to Release a New Netflix Series Every 6 Months - Including 'Luke Cage' & 'The Defenders' of Course Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' Queen Latifah Will Play Wiz and Mary J. Blige Is Evillene in NBC's Musical Production of 'The Wiz' 'Shaft' Reboot Draws 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris as Writer - Studio Aiming for Something More Comedic 'Shaft' Reboot Draws 'Black-ish' Creator Kenya Barris as Writer - Studio Aiming for Something More Comedic 5 Tips on Writing No-Budget/Low-Budget Feature Screenplays... Back (or Rather Black) By Popular Demand... 5 Tips on Writing No-Budget/Low-Budget Feature Screenplays... Back (or Rather Black) By Popular Demand... What's Wrong with Being Black and Chasing Your Hollywood Dream? What's Wrong with Being Black and Chasing Your Hollywood Dream? NBC Rethinks Broadcast Runs for New Summer Comedies, 'Mr. Robinson' & 'The Carmichael Show' NBC Rethinks Broadcast Runs for New Summer Comedies, 'Mr. Robinson' & 'The Carmichael Show' Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August Here's the List of Films & TV Series Coming to (and Leaving) Netflix's Streaming Library in August 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season 'Key & Peele' Will End After Its Current Season Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' Check Out the Official Theatrical Trailer for Stanley Nelson’s 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution' 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 Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding Third 'Best Man' Movie Gets a Title, an Official 2016 Release Date & A Most Unexpected Wedding 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...

Watch Striking Teaser For Frances Bodomo's 'Afronauts'

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act April 16, 2013 at 10:43AM

If it's not already clear, Frances Bodomo is an up-and-coming filmmaker to watch. Her latest short work - the Super 16 film, sumptuous, other-worldly Boneshaker (which stars Quvenzhané Wallis) - made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
0
Afronaut

If it's not already clear, Frances Bodomo is an up-and-coming filmmaker to watch. Her latest short work - the Super 16 film, sumptuous, other-worldly Boneshaker (which stars Quvenzhané Wallis) - made its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January.

It continues to travel the international film festival circuit, winning acclaim along the way.

Frances has already moved on to her next film, which I think is even more intriguing than Boneshaker, especially as we continue to have conversations about the dearth of black science fiction-centered stories in the market place - although this is much more than a sci-fi narrative.

Titled Afronauts, the film is based on a true story, which goes as follows:

In 1964, immediately following Zambia's independence, grade school science teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso set up the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space Research, and Astronomical Research in an old farmhouse 7 miles outside of Lusaka. Without resources (the £7,000,000 grant he applied to from UNESCO never came through), he hoped to launch a spacegirl (17-year-old Matha) and two cats into space before America or Russia could. To prepare his astronauts, Nkoloso rolled them down hills in 44-gallon oil drums or cut the rope of a swing at its highest point to simulate weightlessness. We do not know what became of them, other than that Matha became pregnant and was taken away by her parents.

The film's starring cast of actors includes Diandra Forrest, Yolonda Ross and Hoji Fortuna.


More from Frances on her motivations for tackling this particular story on film:

I am extremely excited to tell an underdog story from the perspective of exiles and outsiders, the people who most need the promises of the space race. The people whose stories are lost or silenced to an iconic mainstream history that documents fact. What do you do when you can't get "out there"? We are interested in telling an imagined history, a history for those who—resourceless—are forgotten to the pages of written history. We are interested in following characters that have not been able to find a home on earth and are therefore most attracted to the promise of the space race. We are interested in talking about lack of access to science, and different definitions of technological advancement. We are interested in exploring modern-day myths: the iconic place of the Apollo 11 touchdown in our collective consciousness, and the importance of myth in an enlightened age of scientific exploration.

30% of the film's financing is coming from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and she's receiving professional equipment, and post-production facilities from NYU, where she's a student. And to make up the rest of the film's budget, Frances set up a Kickstarter campaign to raise an additional $10,000 which will go towards:

- secure a desert location

- pay for stock footage from 1969

- cover accommodation and travel costs

- feed the cast & crew

- keep the cast & crew safe during scenes that involve fire

- shoot on the revolutionary Arri Alexa camera

- pay for film festival submission fees

Thus far, the campaign has raised just over $8,800, with 5 days to go. So if you'd like to chip in, click HERE to head over to the project's Kickstarter page, or within the widget below.

You can also *like* the Afronauts Facebook page HERE to stay updated.

To assist with the fundraising campaign, Frances put together a short teaser for Afronauts, which she unleashed this morning, and is embedded below. So check it out. I'm loving the look of this thus far and I'm looking forward to seeing the full film when it's done.



Shadow & ActNewsletter