Welcome to members of the film community and the audiences they serve!
This is a campaign to raise $75,000 to support the launch of Akoroko LLC a new African cinema platform that was established by former IndieWire staff writer and Shadow and Act founder Tambay A. Obenson in May 2022.
The campaign launched on September 15, 2022, and remains open for contributions. Funds are being put to work immediately. Akoroko (www.akoroko.com) is primarily a one-man operation. Help is desperately needed: researchers, writers, access to information and films, tech expertise, legal expertise, general management, and more.
Akoroko aims to serve as a bridge between African film industries and the rest of the world via consistent, robust, candid coverage that's local yet globally accessible. Its multi-pronged approach will include film journalism (criticism, conversation, original reporting, and analysis), consultation, cataloging, and hand-picked film streaming.
Reasons to Support Akoroko's Fundraising Efforts:
Consistent Coverage of African Film and Television: Akoroko will provide consistent, robust, and candid coverage of African film and television that is local yet globally accessible, filling a gap in the international media landscape.
Celebrating the Diversity of African Cinema: Akoroko will celebrate the diversity and richness of African cinemas, showcasing films from different regions, languages, genres, and perspectives.
Elevating Public Discourse: Akoroko will elevate the public discourse around the African moving image, fostering critical appreciation, cultural awareness, and social engagement.
Supporting the Growth of African Film Industries: Akoroko will support the growth and development of African film and television industries.
Connecting African Film Professionals Globally: Akoroko will connect African film professionals with global opportunities, such as festivals, markets, distribution, co-production, and collaboration.
Offering Consultation Services: Akoroko will offer consultation services to filmmakers, producers, investors, and policymakers who want to tap into the potential of African film and television markets.
Cataloging and Archiving African Content: Akoroko will catalog and archive African film and television histories, creating a valuable resource for researchers, educators, students, and enthusiasts.
Curating and Streaming African Films: Akoroko will make accessible, via streaming, a hand-picked selection of African films that are otherwise hard to access or unavailable on other platforms, expanding the audience and reach of African cinema.
Educating and Inspiring the Next Generation: Akoroko will educate and inspire the next generation of African filmmakers and critics, offering workshops, masterclasses, mentorship programs, and grants.
Contributing to Global Recognition of African Cinema: Akoroko will contribute to the global recognition and appreciation of African cinema as an art form and a cultural expression.
You will find below a more detailed outline if needed:
- A link to a detailed 16-page PDF outline of the socioeconomic environment Akoroko LLC is entering, the current problems, and Akoroko's solutions to those problems.
Founder Tambay A. Obenson’s experience in the African film space continues to be sought by industry professionals worldwide, for whom a bridge has been elusive.
Additionally, social media engagement with our target markets has surpassed expectations. Contemporary African films are highlighted daily, educating followers via short documentaries, contextual essays, analysis, original reporting, and more.
Followers are diverse and global — journalists, programmers, curators, filmmakers, scholars, actors, and more.
Conversations have been provocative and insightful, some of them going viral. Partnerships are developing.
TIFF International Programmer, Nataleah Hunter-Young, on how she believes Akoroko can have an impact on the African cinema landscape.
Tanzanian American filmmaker Ekwa Msangi, whose feature debut FAREWELL AMOR was selected by Criterion Collection — rare for a debut — contextualizes the space Akoroko is entering, and its potential impact.
South Africa-based Nigerian filmmaker Akin Omotoso, creator of Netflix's latest South African series THE BRAVE ONES, speaks on the impact Akoroko is already having.
Ethiopian American producer, writer, curator Mehret Mandefro, Realness Institute, speaks to whether the world is ready for an unapologetically African perspective in storytelling.
Nigerian Journalist, founder of the trailblazing Inside Nollywood, Anita Eboigbe, on breaking Nollywood's culture of silence, and elevating the level of public discourse.
Tanzanian writer/director Amil Shivji, whose VUTA N'KUVUTE (TUG OF WAR) is Tanzania's second-ever entry for Best International Feature Film Academy Award consideration, spoke to Akoroko about his African cinema journey.
South African producer Steven Markovitz of Big World Cinema — producers of acclaimed titles including RAFIKI and TUG OF WAR — on African filmmakers not losing their voices in the face of growing foreign interest and investment in the continent.
Meet the Team: Part II — More on why Akoroko is such a timely response to the current expansion of the African film industry!
Tambay A. Obenson
Born in Nigeria, spreading his formative years across three countries — Nigeria, Cameroon, and the United States — Tambay Obenson has been a thought leader and one of the most respected voices in the global Black cinema space for 15 years.
It’s a journey that began with Shadow & Act (which he founded in 2009 and sold to Blavity in 2017) and continued with Indiewire, where he covered Black film and television from a global perspective from 2018 to 2022.
Tambay co-founded the joint venture Shadow and Act Films LLC in 2010, a film financing and production initiative that backed bold filmmaking by Black filmmakers.
Tambay also co-founded and curated the New Voices in Black Cinema Film Festival, which ran for nine years at BAMCinematek in Brooklyn, NY.
He’s been invited to speak at academic institutions, including Yale University and The New School, moderate and participate in numerous panel discussions, and lend his expertise as a consultant.
In a career that spans 15 years, Tambay has become a trusted and influential voice in the cinema of Africa and its global diaspora.
He's currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Africa is overflowing with creativity, and its untapped filmmaking landscape is one of the world's richest and most diverse areas. It has the potential to disrupt stereotypes and economies while cementing identity within communities.
This is the environment that is Akoroko’s entry point. Please join me!