African Filmmaking, Restless City Get Some Love at MTV Movie Awards

7 Jun

The MTV Movie Awards isn’t something that’s on my radar — blame it on the fact that I didn’t grow up watching the annual shows (no cable as a kid) and I officially aged out of the show’s target audience  about nine or ten years ago (also, I still don’t have cable). So I didn’t tune in Sunday night for all the bronze bucket o’ popcorn teen screaminess. But had I known that MTV added a category for Best African Movie this year, and that Restless City, a film I have been casually cyberstalking for a month, was nominated, I may have clicked over to MTV from the NBA Finals for a minute or two. (I didn’t find out about the nomination until yesterday via the film’s Twitter page. Like I said, casual cyberstalking.) Restless City didn’t win — the Congolese feature Viva Riva! did — but it’s still cool to see RC and African filmmaking at large get some recognition. Let’s just talk about Restless City right now though.

Restless City movie poster

The movie is the first feature by photographer/filmmaker/fashion insider/dude I want to become friends with Andrew Dosunmu. Originally from Nigeria, Dosunmu started out working as a stylist for Yves Saint Lauren in the ’90s and went on to become a fashion photographer and sought-after music video director. The diverse influences from Dosunmu’s background come together in Restless City, which tells the story of a very hip-looking, Vespa-riding African immigrant living in New York. I haven’t seen it yet, but the stills from the film are gorgeous:

Restless City film still

Restless City film still

Restless City film still

Restless City film still

All photos by Jenny Baptiste.

Restless City premiered at Sundance this year and another screening sold out at BAM in NYC over the holiday weekend, but there’s no word yet on when or if the film will get a wide release. I have two high hopes for this film: first, that it will reach my current locale of Wilmington, NC, or at least some city nearby; and second, that its recognition at the MTV Movie Awards along with its ilk will inspire some kid to shun the Twilight franchise and OD on some African films instead.

Have you seen the film? Thoughts?

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