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

KFW Mathare 4A School


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

A 20 minute documentary commissioned by KFW Bankengruppe to capture their building of a new primary school in one of Kenya’s poorest slums, Mathare.

Watch “KFW Mathare 4A School”

The Baba Project


  • Directed and edited by: Ekwa Msangi

After the sudden death and whirlwind funeral of my father, Prof K.F. Msangi, in January 2003, I found myself back in New York two weeks later with nothing but an album of some old pictures. I picked up the phone and started calling his friends and close family to ask them what they remembered most about his life.
A short film made for my Oral-History class at Gallatin, NYU with Prof. Judith Sloan.

Watch “Baba Project”

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 ...
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/ Africa, African Film, Directors, News & Views

all my news & views

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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!


📹 Just loved this young Queen’s enthusiasm and excitement for our film. Thank you @tricia_theangel for the love, it means so much! Aluta Continua! PS. We’re on @netflixsa only in Africa, on @ifcfilms platforms in North America and @mubi... https://t.co/NoX1BWZZB4

Just posted a video @ Brooklyn, New York https://t.co/CvhopINq67

I simply adore John Akomfrah and it was truly an honor to have this chat with him about my first film. Onwards! https://t.co/Xzx92cRenj

Really fun interview! https://t.co/ZHKcu28fa6
ekwapics photo
KenyanVibe @KenyanVibe
In this first episode, we chat with Ekwa Msangi, writer and director of the award-winning and critically acclaimed feature film, Farewell Amor. https://t.co/Y8G8wtEDbx https://t.co/f5LMkKLEXf

📷 Today marks 18 years since my Baba transitioned. Its also the week that would’ve marked his 56th wedding anniversary! Its a time of big transitions in my world as well as the wide world and I always try to remember how much zest and... https://t.co/A6fHdLW4oO
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