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Onwurah Filmography
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Non-Aligned Films

PO BOX 52617, LONDON N7 0WY

t: + 44 (0) 20 7687 0123

e: nonaligned@boltblue.com

FILMOGRAPHY

Hang Time

30 mins Colour / 35mm / 2002

Kwame Achebe lives in the sprawling shantytown in Nigeria. He is a young, poor, but talented basketball player, whose desperation to wear the right shoes to impress a basketball scout from America, ends in tragedy.

Official Selection

New York African Film Festival

Pan African Film Festival

International Film Festival, Rotterdam

Zanzibar International Film Festival

Dortmund International Film Festival

Behind The Mask

30 mins / Colour/ 16mm / 1997

The Nigeria of today was once the most powerful kingdom in west Africa, with a history going back over 1000 years. But when, in 1896, an oracle informed the then ruler Oba Ovronramwen that he was the last of his line, he knew his people was damned. Using stories and interviews – with author Ben Okri, for example -, the film recounts another chapter of British colonial history.

Winner

Oberhausen Short Film Festival

Official Selection

Pan African Film Festival

Cologne Film Festival

Welcome II The Terrordome

92 mins / Colour / 35mm / 1996

Welcome II The Terrordome is a fast paced, vibrant, action thriller set in the decaying and racially segregated city of the near future. Employing a powerful mixture of historical narratives, the film charts the life of the McBride family over three traumatic centuries. Running parallel to the main themes of the simmering sexuality and interracial love are underlying stories of gang violence, police brutality and revenge. The visual style is strong and unflinching, the message biting.

Winner

Best Film, Cologne Film Festival

Best Film, Birmingham International Film Festival

Audience Award, Verona Film Festival

Official Selection

Ouagadougou (FESPACO)

I Bring You Frankincense

30 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1996

A moving drama of a young mixed-race boy’s coming of age against the backdrop of family conflict and racism. After growing up in a small town in England, his mother decides to move to London and his life takes a different turn.

Winner

Best TV Drama, Race in Media Awards

Best Film, Oberhausen Short Film Festival

Official Selection

Toronto Film Festival

Pan African Film Festival

The Desired Number

40 mins / Colour / 16 mm / 1995

First broadcast on American television the documentary explores women's health issues and population management in Nigeria and puts paid to myths of African over population.

Official Selection

Premiered at the United Nations General Assembly

White Men Are Cracking Up

20 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1995

A detective is investigating the strange circumstances, which surrounds the death of several middle-aged white men who have committed “suicide”. As he gets deeper into the case he realises that a mysterious black women is a common thread that links the deaths. As he seeks to reveal her identity he becomes obsessed with her and is in danger of becoming her next “victim”.

Official Selection

   Boston Int’l Women’s Film Festival

   Flanders Film Festival

Vancouver Film Festival

Monday’s Girls

50 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1994

For girls in the Wakirike tribe in Nigeria the events leading up to marriage are very important. Once they reach marriageable age, they take part in the “Iria”, a ceremony that begins with a public chastity test and ends with confinement to a fattening-up room, where they are fed, pampered and instructed in wifely and motherly skills for five weeks. After which they are plump, which is a sign of wealth and prosperity, and a prosperous woman is very sought after for marriage.

Official Selection

Toronto Film Festival

Flight of The Swan

11 mins / Colour / 35mm / 1993

A haunting, poetic semi autobiographical film charting a young black girl’[yearning to become a ballet dancer. When rejected from a prestigious dance school (who's ever heard of a black swan?) a dancing guardian spirit comes to her rescue. 

Winner

Best Film, Chicago Film Festival

International Short Film Contest, Huesca

Official Selection

Sundance Film Festival

San Francisco Film Festival

The Body Beautiful

25 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1992

This bold exploration of a white mother who undergoes a radical mastectomy and her black daughter who embarks on a modelling career reveals the profound effects of body image and the strain of racial tension on their bond. Starring Ngozi Onwurah's real life mother the film interweaves memory and fantasy to explore the depths of maternal strength and daughterly love.

Winner

Best Short Film, Melbourne Film Festival

Best Film, Montreal Film Festival

Official Selection

New York Film Festival

Berlin Film Festival

Guggenheim – “Lights on Africa” 

And Still I Rise

30 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1992

Dark, sultry, wild, savage, exotic and erotic. Many people have difficulty seeing black women as they are, because of an eagerness to impose upon them an identity based on any number of myths. Constant and continual devaluation of black womanhood make it extremely difficult for the black female to develop a positive self-image. The documentary looks at how these myths and stereotypes have been created, how they are perpetuated and whether black women can reclaim their own sense of self.

Winner

Prized Pieces, National Black Programming Consortium, USA

Best Short Film, Films de Femmes 

Official Selection

Toronto Film Festival

Chicago Film Festival

International Film Festival

Festival Cinema Africano, Milan

Who Stole The Soul?

30 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1991

A hard-hitting drama-documentary exploring the exploitation of Black music and musicians. The programme looks at the historical importance of music to Black culture. The programme achieved critical acclaim when broadcast by the BBC.

Winner

Best Educational Documentary, Royal Television Society

Prized Pieces, National Black Programming Consortium, USA

Official Selection

Cologne Film Festival

Coffee Coloured Children

16 mins / Colour & B/W / 16mm / 1990

This unsettling film conveys the experience of children of mixed racial parentage. Suffering from the pain of racial harassment a young girl and her brother try to wash their skin white with scouring powder. This emotional semi autobiographical testimony to the internalised effects of racism and the struggle for self-definition is a powerful catalyst for discussion.

Winner

BBC Showreel Awards

Best Film, Golden Gate Awards, San Francisco Film Festival

Prized Pieces, National Black Programming Consortium, USA

Best Short Film, Films de Femmes

Best Film, Oberhausen Short Film Festival

Official Selection

Vancouver Film Festival

Best Wishes

15 mins / Colour / 16mm / 1990

Friendships come under strain as AIDS is introduced into the equation. This personal tale of a friends suffering and the changes in perception and behaviour that his illness raises forces the most enlightened of viewers to think of what their reaction would be?

Winner

Best Documentary, Fuji/Yorkshire Television Awards

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