A step towards bigger things for African sci-fi

2015-03-08 18:29

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For a not-so-secret sci-fi nerd/comic book junkie like me, an African short film featuring futuristic graphic elements and superheroes is an absolute treat. Nigerian film maker Nosa Igbinedion has made this possible with Oya: Rise of the Suporishas, which features some bone-chilling scenes and a whole lot of riveting action.

The film starts off with the search for a missing girl called Rebecca, and I expected a Taken-esque storyline, but I was terribly mistaken. Instead, the flashy film deals with the summoning of supernatural powers in a fight of good versus evil.

My bias for the genre aside, I take my hat off to the whole team. The make-up and costume design are innovative, and draw well on traditional African styles, while still retaining that hardcore edge associated with crime-fighter films.

The fight scenes straddle the delicate balance between brutal and effective, and are elegant – almost like Brazilian fight dancing; a consistent pleasure to watch.

The ending is rather vague, which was a little frustrating considering the short 12-minute runtime. But as I was wallowing in disappointment, I read that the film makers intend to adapt the short film for the silver screen.

Considering the complexity of the pilot effort, this is a welcome decision, and I’m sure any series will make for riveting watching. Combining quality acting, production and supernatural elements drawn from African experience, it will likely spur on more efforts from local producers in this genre.

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