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Africa First films at Sundance

Posted January 25, 2010

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Three of last year's Africa First program––Wanuri Kahlu's dystopic sci-fi tale Pumzi, Jenna Bass' work of historical magical realism The Tunnel, and Dyana Gaye's upbeat road-trip musical Saint Louis Blues--have been programmed in a section called "New African Cinema" at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Wired.com's Brendan Seibel inteviewd Pumzi's director Wanuri Kahlu via Skype about her film and its connection to the new global Sci-Fi:

Like recent standouts District 9 and Sleep Dealer, the short film taps into Third World realities and spins them forward for dramatic effect. But to produce Pumzi, Kahiu looked to the past, as well as the future.

She researched classic 1950s films to create her movie’s futuristic sets, comparing the processes of matte painting and rear-screen projection with indigenous African artwork.

“We already have a tradition of tapestries and functional art and things like that, that loan a backdrop for films,” Kahiu said.