Ekwa Msangi
writer • director • producer


Selling the Shadow to Support the Substance…

Ekwa’s award-winning and critically acclaimed feature film Farewell Amor premiered in competition at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, garnering 100% on Rottentomatoes, and was bought for distribution by IFC Films. Previous to that, she has written & directed several shorts, most recently award-winning comedy Soko Sonko (The Market King), and Farewell Meu Amor starring Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngauja, and actress Nana Mensah of the famed series An African City. For Farewell Amor Ekwa was awarded the Jerome Foundation Grant, Tribeca All Access Fellowship, Cine Qua Non Lab Fellowship, IFP/No Borders, and Sundance Feature Film Development Fellowship. Ekwa has also written & directed several drama series for mainstream broadcasters in Kenya and MNET South Africa, including The Agency, MNET’s first-ever original hour-long Kenyan drama series. In the past Ekwa has been adjunct faculty at Tisch School of the Arts, as well as a recurring mentor in Mira Nair’s East Africa based Maisha Screenwriting Labs. Currently, Ekwa is the resident educational instructor with the African Film Festival, and teaches Screenwriting at The New School and Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, Brooklyn College. One of Ekwa’s key goals as an artist is to transform our society’s images and relationships with African cultures, and to empower African filmmakers in telling their stories.


Ekwa on IMDb


Director's Reel

Farewell Amor

Feature Film


Writer/Director/Producer Ekwa Msangi DP: Bruce Francis Cole

After 17 years in exile, Walter finally reunites with his wife and daughter and they quickly discover how the years of separation have turned them into absolute strangers. As they attempt to overcome the personal and political hurdles amongst them, they rely on the muscle memory of dance to find their way back “home.”

Watch the Trailer

African CInema NOW!



Writer/Director/Producer Ekwa Msangi

Half hour episodes in conversation with African film artists discussing their work, inspiration, and everything between the pen and the screen.

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Farewell Meu Amor

Short Film


  • Writer/Director/Producer: Ekwa Msangi
  • DP: Shawn Peters

On the morning of the long-awaited reunion with his exiled family, a man is faced with the heartbreak of a different type of parting – from his lover.

Farewell Meu Amor Website

Soko Sonko (The Market King)

Short Film

  • Writer/Director/Producer: Ekwa Msangi
  • DP: Andrew “Dru” Mungai

When her mother falls sick, Kibibi’s father, Ed, is tasked with taking her to the market to get her hair braided before school begins. Soko Sonko is a hilarious, fish‐out of‐water roller‐coaster of a journey, about a well‐intended dad who braves the fires and goes where no man has gone before…because only women have been there!

Soko Sonko Website

Current Projects

Farewell Amor (Working Title)

After 17 years of separation following the Angolan war, Walter’s wife Esther, and daughter Sylvia are finally granted visas to join him in the US. They quickly discover that the years of separation and struggle have turned them into absolute strangers: Esther has become a religious zealot and Walter is ashamed to admit that he doesn’t feel the same fire for her. Sylvia, whom he left when she was months old, is too dutiful and obedient to openly show the pain and confusion that she feels from the perceived abandonment of both her parents. Yet she is still in awe of this almost mythical figure that she’s been waiting all her life to meet. As Walter tries to reconnect to both, he is reluctant to release Linda, the lover he’s known for his past few years in exile. Instead, he tries to convince her to remain a part of his life, but she’s no longer willing to mark time or play second fiddle to his charade of a “normal family life.” As they all attempt to overcome the personal and political hurdles amongst them, they each rely on dance to remember themselves, and to find their way back to each other ...
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Feature Film to be shot in Nairobi, Kenya. (currently in development with Babylon International) An apolitical college professor comes to ...
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All My Friends Are Married

Web series to be shot in New York City, written by Mercedes Brazier-Thurman. A quirky comedic webseries with a blend ...
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all my current projects

News & Views

#TelltheTruthHollywood: An Open Letter to Hollywood in the Time of #BlackLivesMatter

The past few weeks...months...have been a true test of everything. The highs of finally releasing our film to so much ...
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/ News & Views

Black Panther: Open Letter [in praise of] director Ryan Coogler

Comrade Ryan! What a magnificent triumph and a blessing your latest film is! As an African female filmmaker, born in ...
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/ News & Views

Self Care in a Time of Madness…

So Charlottesville and the KKK. And Barcelona. And any number of non-Western countries going through all sorts of political shit ...
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First there was Sarafina!, and now The Queen of Katwe

It's hard to explain what it's like to have grown up NEVER seeing your own image in a movie or ...
Read More
/ Africa, African Film, Directors, News & Views

all my news & views

Kindly direct any writing or directing inquiries to:
Ken Lee (Manager)
Brillstein Entertainment Partners
(212) 659-5110

Craig Kestel (Agent)
William Morris Endeavor
(310) 285-9000



NEW YORK STAND UP!! Our film "Farewell Amor" finally comes home this weekend at the 2020 Urbanworld Film Festival!! Get your tickets at: https://www.urbanworld.org/2020/farewell-amor
Thank you @durbaninternationalfilmfest for awarding our film with both "Best Screenplay" and "Best Actor" for the incredible Ntare Mbaho Guma Mwine @bewareoftime. What an honor, so exciting!
#Sudan, Free @Hajoojkuka. We demand his release!

Repost from his South African producer @stevenmarkovitz:

Hajooj Kuka, with four other artists, have been jailed for two months in Khartoum today on trumped up charges. hajooj has touched many with his friendship, wisdom, talent and bravery. hajooj is @theacademy member and award-winning filmmaker of #BeatsoftheAntonov and #AKasha. We call on the #Sudanese government to release the artists immediately.

The convicted artists are:
Duaa Tarig Mohamed Ahmed.
Abdel Rahman Mohamed Hamdan.
Ayman Khalaf Allah Mohamed Ahmed.
Ahmed Elsadig Ahmed Hammad.
Hajooj Mohamed Haj Omar.

📸 @arterialnetworkhq

What an incredible, generous soul this man was, what a gift he's given us all, what an example of a spirit overflowing and what can be accomplished when a person is determined to make a mark. Journey well King, Journey well...
TONIGHT!! During our Philly premiere of "Farewell Amor" closing night of the illustrious Blackstar Film Festival, we will be keke-ing and chatting it up on Twitter! Join actor @bewareoftime, Super-producer @huriyyahmwright, the dopest DP @brucefcole and the world's best choreographer, all the way from Angola @manuelkanza from 7:30-8p EST on @blackstarfest Twitter page! See you there!
Hey y'all! Catch me on @blackstarfest this morning for BlackStarLive! Come check it!


TODAY! Join us!! https://t.co/2zxmDQfqQF
ekwapics photo
American Cinematheque @am_cinematheque
Explore the power of cinema in unearthing your core humanity in a panel with Cynthia Erivo, Shaka King, Philippe Lacôte, @franklinleonard, @ekwapics, @EuzhanPalcy & @Powerkeni. Moderated by AAFCA's @gilrobertson. Sat, Feb. 20th at 11am PT. RSVP link below.
https://t.co/iTe6fnAaQE https://t.co/zm2mulQkia

Wonderful article chatting with my right-hand-man @franciscole on his beautiful work in our film #FarewellAmor. Thank you @Panavision for amplifying! https://t.co/lHNr9c7B8m
ekwapics photo
Panavision @Panavision
"For me personally, I really appreciate the fact that I got to tell a story in this particular way, in a way that’s independent in its voice." Writer-director Ekwa Msangi and cinematographer Bruce Francis Cole detail the visual language of Farewell Amor. https://t.co/LFBKhdOZsE https://t.co/lREQzOTktk

Oh I loved this interview, thank you so much @cinemaforallpod ! https://t.co/u0TEkjhTrZ

Guuurrllll you too!! Super, super proud!! Yes!! https://t.co/vL47auzKH3

29) FAREWELL AMOR (2020) - @ekwapics feature film debut is quiet, delicate, and full of so much spirit. This film dissects the family dynamic, explores the value of culture, and reunites what is lost. Beautiful and important, it is a new favorite! Watched at @alamowinchester. https://t.co/tQmkBCgjR0 ekwapics photo

Join #FilmFatales for a discussion about making the leap from indie film to the studio world on Friday March 12th at 2pm PT. With Ekwa Msangi ( @ekwapics), Laura Terruso, Leslye Headland( @LeslyeHeadland) and Lena Khan.

RSVP: https://t.co/aQCBfBgAr9
#IndieFilm #StudioFilm https://t.co/VriCIUlFu7
ekwapics photo

Writer-director Ekwa Msangi and cinematographer Bruce Francis Cole detail the visual language of Farewell Amor.
@Panavision @ekwapics
https://t.co/6MNM9x8U5r https://t.co/ztrLvbnAoH
ekwapics photo
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