In an alternate history, around the 1960s, Zambia joins the race to conquer space. Edward Mamuka Nkoloso, a World Wsar ll veteran, develops a space program that assigns twelve Zambians to launch into space. The program, named the Zambian National Academy of Science, Space Research and Philosophy, pulls all the stakes on this mission and they start their Odyssey to conquer space.
Afronauts is a space science fiction story developed by Ghanaian filmmaker Frances Bodomo. The story revolves around a seventeen year old girl, Matha Mwambwa, who courageously becomes the mission’s lead cadet among the twelve afronauts going to space.
Frances got to sit down with The Awl, in an interview, to discuss the short film which is soon to become a full-length feature film.
Frances got to mention quite a lot about the film, the industry and her personal view/life. As a filmmaker, she pointed how hard it was to try and upend an industry with African SciFi which constantly forced filmmakers to feel like they needed to “change the view/stereotypes of Africa”. This took her some time to gain a foothold which later felt ‘boring’ and only needed that she told an authentic story.
Personally, Frances speaks about how she finds herself in a transformative phase. The filmmaker, at first, felt like she needed to explain herself while she wove her way through the craft. But later on she started to become more inclined to expressing herself rather than following the former. It speaks volumes on what Afronauts really is, a project meant to express a potentially gripping story, told from a purely expressive perspective.
It doesn’t take much to notice what was poured into this movie creatively and from the clip below you can see a little of what’s to come and what it embodies.
The rest of the interview follows Bodomo as she speaks more about about the story and how scifi is gaining more popularity in Africa. She also mentions other works, both available and upcoming, like Dumzi and the yet-to-be-released Ethiopian film Crumbs.
Afronauts might be set to be announced soon but at the moment it’s geared to be in the works for being a full-length feature film. It’s pulse also stands to note the significance of less represented characters in today’s film, mainly minorities, women and others (Oscars). The protagonist embodies these people in way that’s moving to see even from the short trailer.
Distribution of this film is set to cover most African countries, including Zambia, and Frances hopes this will include many others as well.