Season eight of “AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange,” the nation’s only documentary series about life, art, and culture across the African Diaspora, concludes with two stories of hope.
Inspired by youth, “My Africa Is” by Nosarieme Garrick and “Native Sun” by Terence Nance and Blitz the Ambassador are short films that comprise the final episode. The series is hosted by FOX hit “Empire” star Jussie Smollett, produced by National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) and co-presented by American Public Television (APT).
The films premiere on Monday,January 25, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on the WORLD Channel.
Garrick’s “My Africa Is” travels to Nairobi, where dynamic youth are embracing the entrepreneurial spirit as gamers, engineers, and rock musicians. Viewers will meet inventors and designers working to build a better Kenya.
Originally a popular web series designed to challenge the prevailing media narrative about Africa, “My Africa Is” was tapped for broadcast when Garrick won $100,000 from NBPC’s 360 Incubator and Fund last year.
The “My Africa Is: Alternative Nairobi” is the pilot for what will become a new public television series exploring a variety of African nations and capturing an insider’s view of a continent on the verge of a new era of prosperity and growth being driven by its youth.
Watch the “My Africa Is” trailer here:
Terence Nance and Blitz the Ambassador’s “Native Sun” is a vibrant narrative short that follows an 8-year-old on an odyssey through Ghana in search of his father after the early death of his mother.
“We opened the season with African youth looking to Europe for opportunity and closing with youth who are creating opportunities in their own communities and new vision of Africa,” said NBPC Director of Programs and Acquisitions and “AfroPoP” Executive Producer Kay Shaw. “’My Africa Is’ and ‘Native Sun’ both show the promise of Africa through the drive and vision of its youth.”
Watch the “AfroPoP” interview here:
“AfroPoP” premiered on January 18 with “Days of Hope” director Ditte Haarløv Johnsen’s insightful film on West African migrants in a search for opportunity and safety in Europe. The weekly series continued with Jérôme Guiot and Thierry Teston’s “Pan! Our Music Odyssey,” a joyful celebration of the melodious steel drum invented in Trinidad and Tobago.
“AfroPoP” journeyed to São Vicente in Cape Verde with Pablo García Pérez de Lara and Marc Serena’s “Tchindas,” about a transgender woman so cherished that her name has become synonymous with LGBT people in the area. The show then headed to Oakland, California, with N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni’s “First Friday,” which showcases a popular monthly street festival whose existence is thrown into question after the death of a young Black man.
“AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” is produced by Angela Tucker and directed by Duana Butler. The series is produced with the generous support of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Arts.
For details on “AfroPoP,” visit www.blackpublicmedia.org. APT distributes the series to the full public television system in February 2016. Viewers may find out when and where to watch, including additional air dates for each of the episodes, by checking local listings or online at www.APTonline.org.
ABOUT THE HOST
Jussie Smollett stars as “Jamal Lyon” on the hit series “Empire” from producer/director Lee Daniels. His role allows him to blend his acting, singing and songwriting skills in the high-octane family drama, which is a historic hit on FOX. Smollett’s feature film credits include “The Mighty Ducks,” Rob Reiner’s “North,” and Alex Haley’s “Queen” (alongsideHalle Berry and Danny Glover). He also appeared in the telefilm “A Little Piece of Heaven,” opposite Cloris Leachman, and starred with his five real-life siblings in the network comedy “On Our Own.” Smollett recently appeared on “Revenge” and “The Mindy Project,” and was seen in the independent film “Ask Me Anything.” He received rave reviews for his portrayal of “Magnus,” a gay medical student hosting his college friends in New York City, in the 2012 film “The Skinny.”
Smollett will be seen next in the new WGN thriller “Underground” in 2016, and he is currently recording his album, described as a mix of pop and soul with alternative hip-hop beats.
ABOUT THE PRESENTERS
The National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC) is committed to enriching our democracy by educating, enlightening, empowering and engaging the American public. We support diverse voices by developing, producing and distributing innovative media about the Black experience and by investing in visionary content makers. NBPC provides quality content for public media outlets, including, among others, PBS and PBS.org, andBlackPublicMedia.org as well as other platforms, while training and mentoring the next generation of Black filmmakers. Founded in 1979, NBPC produces the “AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange” documentary series and manages NBPC 360, a funding and training initiative designed to accelerate the production of important Black serial and interactive content.
ABOUT AMERICAN PUBLIC TELEVISION:
American Public Television (APT) has been a leading distributor of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations since 1961. In 2015, APT distributed one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the United States. Among its 300 new program titles per year, APT programs include prominent documentaries, news and current affairs programs, dramas, how-to programs, children’s series, and classic movies. “America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated,” “Rick Steves’ Europe,” “Doc Martin,” “Nightly Business Report,” “Midsomer Murders,” “Vera,” “NHK Newsline,” “Lidia’s Kitchen,” “Globe Trekker,” “Simply Ming,” and “P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home” join numerous documentaries and performance programs popular with public television viewers. APT licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service. Entering its 11th year, Create® TV—featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming—is distributed by APT. APT also distributes WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.
ABOUT WORLD CHANNEL:
The WORLD Channel delivers the best of public television’s nonfiction, news, and documentary programming to U.S. audiences through local public television stations and streaming online at worldchannel.org. WORLD reached 35.8 million unique viewers 18+ last year (55 percent adults 18-49) and over-indexes in key diversity demographics.* Online, the WORLD Channel expands on broadcast topics and fuels dialogue across social media, providing opportunities for broad and diverse audience interaction (*Source: Nielsen Local Buyer Reach Scorecard 01/14-12/14). WORLD is programmed by WGBH/Boston, in partnership with American Public Television and WNET/New York, and in association with the American Public Television and National Educational Telecommunications Association. Funding for the WORLD Channel is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding for America ReFramed is provided by the MacArthur Foundation.