Ekwa Msangi
writer • director • producer

    

Selling the Shadow to Support the Substance…
About


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

The Agency

2009

  • Created/Directed by: Ekwa Msangi
  • DP: Nick Oloo

Set in the fast-paced, demanding world of advertising, featuring a stellar cast including veteran star David Mulwa and rising star Ngwatilo Mawiyoo, The Agency is must-see local drama, filmed in Nairobi. M-Net’s first ever drama series created in Kenya, it is an explosive 13-part series directed by Ekwa Msangi.
A 13-part, 48 minute television series, Televised continent-wide starting January 20th, 2009.
Commissioned by MNET. All Season One episodes directed by Ekwa Msangi.

Watch Episode 4

Watch “The Agency” teaser

Behind the Scenes

2009

  • Directed by: Ekwa Msangi
  • DP: Sammy Maina

A 25-min television magazine pilot episode which puts a spotlight on the crews and casts behind some of Kenya’s hottest television shows.
Created as a pitch for Kenya network programmers, currently in circulation.

Watch Pilot Episode 

Block-D

2009

  • Directed by: Ekwa Msangi
  • DP: Eric Ndung’u

An original series centered on the dramatic and often comical relationships between a colorful group of tenants in an apartment building in Nairobi’s Kalifonia estate. The show is a satirical take on their often melodramatic interactions, providing an inside look into the development of community, where strangers become neighbors, friends and maybe even family.
Televised country-wide starting October 2009.
Commissioned by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, Produced by Spielworks Media.
All Season One episodes directed by Ekwa Msangi.

Watch Pilot Episode

Higher Learning

Promo Pitch
2009

  • Directed by: Ekwa Msangi
  • DP: Nick Oloo

A pitch created for sponsors of a new 25min television series based in a fictional Kenyan University.
The show was commissioned by NTV Kenya, Produced by Spielworks Media, aired country-wide on NTV starting April 16, 2010.

Watch “Higher Learning” Promo

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 ...
Read More

Eastlands

Feature Film to be shot in Nairobi, Kenya. (currently in development with Babylon International) An apolitical college professor comes to ...
Read More

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 ...
Read More

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 ...
Read More
/ 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 ...
Read More
/ 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 ...
Read More

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

PRESS
CONTACT
Kindly direct any writing or directing inquiries to:
Ken Lee (Manager)
Brillstein Entertainment Partners
k.lee@bep-ny.com
(212) 659-5110
 

Craig Kestel (Agent)
William Morris Endeavor
ckestel@wmeentertainment.com
(310) 285-9000

Socials

FACEBOOK

Ekwapics
Ekwapics
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
Ekwapics
Ekwapics
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!
Ekwapics
Ekwapics
#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

#freehajoojkuka
#freedomofexpression
#sudan
Ekwapics
Ekwapics
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...
Ekwapics
Ekwapics
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!
Ekwapics
Ekwapics
Hey y'all! Catch me on @blackstarfest this morning for BlackStarLive! Come check it!

TWITTER


This was such a fun conversation and review!! thank you ladies for your thoughtful breakdown! you have a new fan here as well! https://t.co/Qrs1phtcfI
ekwapics photo
The New Chitlin Circuit @TNCCPod
[NEW EPISODE] This week, we reviewed family-drama #FarewellAmor 💔👨‍👩‍👧 (2020) from dir. @ekwapics. Starring @BewareOfTime, @LadyzjahKitty & #JaymeLawson

LISTEN+SUBSCRIBE 🎧
#TheNewChitlinCircuit #PodsInColor
https://t.co/1K4jNmt79b https://t.co/rhCaeqPlz1

Despite living in NY for 20+ yrs, my sharpest memory of appreciating #DMX's unbridled energy is dancing to his music at a club in Uganda and being completely entranced by that energy. In that moment I felt saved and seen. May he rise in power!✊🏾

this was one of my faves with one of my faves!! https://t.co/HDpeJIXlLd

📷 What an incredible week at the @luxorafricanfilmfestival where @farewellamorfilm took home Best Diaspora Film! Thanks to all these wonderful people for making the week so memorable. Shukran Luxor! (at Luxor, Egypt)... https://t.co/Qx4e5ccOnI

What an incredible week at the @luxorafricanfilmfestival where @farewellamorfilm took home Best Diaspora Film! Thanks to all these wonderful people for making the week so memorable. Shukran Luxor! @ Luxor, Egypt https://t.co/uRDrcXp5Ds

We need to care about the characters, worry about them. Car chases don't buy tickets - *people* buy tickets. Make the action scenes about *people*. https://t.co/hDbVpG47jp #scriptchat #Film #amwriting #writing #screenwriting #scriptsecrets

And now...a word from @ekwapics, the brilliant Tanzanian American director whose multi-award winning, Sundance hit, feature debut: FAREWELL AMOR opens #hraff on April 22!

Tickets: https://t.co/UzfTmP3f4J https://t.co/ZFgu4AhHML
ekwapics photo

This was such a fun conversation and review!! thank you ladies for your thoughtful breakdown! you have a new fan here as well! https://t.co/Qrs1phtcfI
ekwapics photo
The New Chitlin Circuit @TNCCPod
[NEW EPISODE] This week, we reviewed family-drama #FarewellAmor 💔👨‍👩‍👧 (2020) from dir. @ekwapics. Starring @BewareOfTime, @LadyzjahKitty & #JaymeLawson

LISTEN+SUBSCRIBE 🎧
#TheNewChitlinCircuit #PodsInColor
https://t.co/1K4jNmt79b https://t.co/rhCaeqPlz1
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