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Angelina Jolie

By Rebecca Hawkes

22 Sep 2014


Kenyan actress Lupita Nyong'oital FM

Kenyan actress based in Hollywood, Lupita Nyongo will together with the director of the 12 Years a Slave Steve McQueen get an award on October 21.

The two are expected to receive the Hollywood Breakout Director Award and New Hollywood Award, respectively at the 17th annual Hollywood Film Awards.

Previous recipients of the New Hollywood Award include Robert Pattinson, Gabourey Sidibe, Jennifer Lawrence, Felicity Jones and Quvenzhane Wallis.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, founder and executive director Carlos de Abreu said, “We look forward to celebrating this exceptionally talented director and actress for their outstanding work and creative vision."

The Shuga actress plays Patsey -- a slave who receives particularly unkind attention from her master (Michael Fasbender). The movie is about a true story of a free black man from the north who was deceived and sold into slavery in the south in mid-19th century America.

Lupita stars in the movie alongside Hollywood bigwigs like Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard and Brad Pitt.

Kenya Makes Movie Magic with Born Free, Out of Africa and Tomb Raiders II

The sequel of the 2002 hit movie, Tomb Raider, uses Kenya as shoot locale. Kenya's reputation as the ultimate adventure destination has been strengthened by the arrival of Angelina Jolie and the crew of Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, who are currently using the spectacular landscapes and wildlife of Kenya as the backdrop for Lara Croft's latest adventure.

Angelina and her adopted son Maddox are both based in Kenya for the duration of the shoot. She and the crew of the major Hollywood production have been shooting action sequences in beautiful Hell's Gate National Park. This is a popular location for film production, and the massive volcanic cliffs and towers have appeared in many other movies including the early production of King Solomon's Mines and the historical epic Mountains of the Moon. Shooting Will later move to Amboseli National Park, home to some of Africa's largest elephant herds and stunning views of Mt Kilimanjaro.

Tomb Raider 2: The Cradle of Life is a sequel to the 2000 hit movie based on the extremely popular Eidos Video Game. The new film is directed by Dutch director Jan de Bont (Speed, Twister)- taking over from Simon West- and sees Academy Award Winner Angelina Jolie reprising her role as Lara Croft, globe trotting archaeologist and treasure hunter. The new film also stars African actor Djimon Honsou- the star of Amistaad and Gladiator.

Kenya has long been a popular destination for film-makers, with the readily accessible wildlife, spectacular landscapes and traditional cultures making this the perfect cinematic setting for a range of productions including the Academy Award winning Out of Africa, the real life murder mystery White Mischief and more recently To Walk with Lions, the biopic of famed conservationist George Adamson. Recently, the successful staging of the hit CBS series Survivor Africa has helped renew interest in filmmaking in Kenya. Tomb Raider 2: Cradle of Life was released worldwide in, 2003.

Kenya At The Oscars

Kenya showcased in Best Foreign Language Film at the 2003 Academy Awards. There was Oscar Glory for Kenya on Sunday March 23rd with the announcement of the winner of this year's Academy Award for 'Best Foreign Language Film'- "Nowhere in Africa". This critically acclaimed German film was shot on location in Kenya, showcasing our wonderful landscapes and celebrating our rich cultural heritage.

 Since its release in Europe, the film has won over 14 international awards at film festivals around the globe including an impressive haul at the 2002 German Film Awards- where it won 5 Awards, including Best Film and Best Director.

The film is a moving account of a Jewish family forced to flee their homeland by the rise of the Nazis in 1938. The screenplay was based on an autobiographical novel written by Stefanie Zweig, who wrote of her childhood experiences of Kenya. The story appealed greatly to Academy Award winning Director Caroline Link, who adapted the book for the screen.

Link felt that it was important that the film was shot in Kenya, which she considered an important part of the story, because "the details have to be true…the people tell much about the country and lend a sense of place to the film".

When she brought her crew to Kenya, the spectacular landscapes immediately won her over. "The expanse, the variety of nature…the landscape changes enormously, ranging from voluptuously green coffee and tea plantations and forests, to arid savannahs, from rolling hills, to the gigantic Rift Valley"

With such a wide and varied canvas to work on, she chose her locations carefully, intentionally avoiding the better-known tourist areas and taking her cast and crew to more remote areas, including the arid Bogoria Reserve, Lake Baringo and the high fertile hills around Nyeri and Nyahururu.

The result is a film with a uniquely Kenyan character that may seem unfamiliar even to frequent visitors to the country. The film avoids the romantic clichés of colonial era dramas and big game adventure stories. The film's real sense of character emerges from its refusal to treat Kenyans as just part of the backdrop, and integrating them into the story as real characters.

Link was very impressed by the Kenyan people, "When we first visited, there had been a drought for three years…yet, in spite of everything, the people were so friendly, laughing, giggling. Such joy of life!" This same joy is evident throughout Nowhere in Africa. She worked closely with the local people on each of her locations, and took great care to present their cultural traditions accurately. The film contains footage of traditional Pokot rituals, as well as a traditional Kikuyu rain making sacrifice under a Mugumo tree in the shadow of Mt Kenya.

The film shows that with both time and respect, cultures can coexist, learn from each other, and be changed forever. This is the legacy of Kenya's rich culture and Nowhere in Africa celebrates both Kenya and Kenyans. The film is already screening throughout Europe and the USA. Check your local press for more details and play times.




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