‘Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret’, directed by Mozambican João Ribeiro, which adapts a story by Angolan writer Ondjaki, has been nominated in five categories at the Kisima Music and Movie Awards in Africa in Kenya.
Nominees for the 2020 Kisima Music and Film Awards were unveiled at the Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya, on 7 December, ahead of the awards ceremony on 13 December.
According to the list published on the awards website, the movie is nominated for Africa Best Feature Film; João Ribeiro is nominated for Africa Best Director; ‘Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret’ is also nominated under Africa Best Producer; young Keanu Santos is on the short list for Best Lead Actor; and Ana Magaia has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress
‘Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret’ premiered in February at the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles, United States.
According to the Portuguese producer Fado Filmes, the film is a co-production between Mozambique, Portugal and Brazil, and the cast has three young actors in the leading roles: Keanu dos Santos, Caio Canda and Thainara Calane Barbosa, joined by Anabela Adrianopoulos, Dmitry Bogomolov, Filimone Meigos and Flavio Bauraqui.
‘Grandma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret’ is an adaptation of Ondjaki’s novel of the same name, published in 2008, which took the writer to the finals of the former Portugal Telecom prize, and won him the Brazilian Jabuti prize, in the Youth Literature category.
The story, inspired by the author’s childhood memories, is set in Luanda in the 1980s, specifically the Praia do Bispo neighbourhood and its children, during the construction of the mausoleum of Agostinho Neto, first president of the Republic of Angola.
In an explanatory note presenting the work, the Mozambican director urges that the novel be read as “an adventure book”, saying it has “very peculiar characteristics, a mixture of childhood memories with dreamlike fantasy, a look at a moment in history filled with small stories”.
Following the premiere in Los Angeles, the film received the Best Fiction Feature Film award at the Plateau-International Film Festival in Praia, Cape Verde, and was selected for the African Film Week in Maputo, the Cannes International Pan African Film Festival and the Black International Cinema Festival in Berlin.
In 2021, the film will be shown at the New York African Film Festival and at the African Film Festival in Avignon et Provence, France.
‘Grandma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret’ enjoyed financial support from the Ibermedia programme, the Ancine Agency (Brazil) and the Portuguese Film and Audiovisual Institute (ICA).
João Ribeiro was born in Mozambique in 1962, and is the author of short and feature films, having made his debut with ‘Fogata’ in 1992, based on a text by Mia Couto. His previous feature film, ‘The Last Flight of the Flamingo’, is also an adaptation of a novel by Mia Couto.
Source: Lusa via Club of Mozambique