By Ray Pride



NEW YORK, September 16, 2013 – Andrew Dosunmu will direct Focus Features’ drama with music Fela Kuti, which is currently in development. Focus CEO James Schamus and co-CEO Andrew Karpen made the announcement today.

A human rights activist, sexual revolutionary, and political maverick, Fela Kuti was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. He was the king of Afrobeat, a fusion of jazz, funk, psychedelic rock, and Yoruba chants and rhythms. Taking on Nigeria’s rapidly changing and often corrupt government in the 1970s, Fela pushed boundaries in art and life. His legacy as a charismatic visionary continues to inspire the contemporary hip-hop world and generations of artists who believe in the power of music to transform people and cultures.

Focus executive vice president, international production Teresa Moneo is supervising Fela Kuti for president of production Jeb Brody. The Cine Mosaic production is produced by Lydia Dean Pilcher and Leigh Blake.

The production’s source material is Michael Veal’s 2000 book Fela: The Life and Times of An African Musical Icon, and is not an adaptation of, or affiliated with, the Broadway musical Fela! Fela Kuti will include original music from the performer himself. Nigerian poet Chris Abani and Mr. Schamus have written the most recent drafts of the movie’s screenplay.

Mr. Dosunmu’s latest feature as director is Mother of George, starring Isaach De Bankolé and Danai Gurira; the movie world-premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews and was released theatrically by Oscilloscope this month. A native of Nigeria, Mr. Dosunmu began his career as a design assistant with Yves St. Laurent. He became a well-known photographer, and his film work started through a music video he made with Isaac Hayes. He has since directed music videos for artists including Youssou N’Dour, Aaron Neville, and Common. Mr. Dosunmu has also directed episodes of the hit South African television show Yizo Yizo. His documentary Hot Irons (1999) won the Reel Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and Best Documentary at FESPACO, Africa’s largest film festival. His acclaimed debut fiction feature, Restless City, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was released theatrically by Screen Media Films in 2012. Mr. Schamus and Mr. Karpen commented, “Fela Kuti lived many lifetimes in just the one, so Fela Kuti will not be a standard biopic. The combination of Andrew Dosunmu’s insight into characters and relationships with Fela’s spectacular music will enthrall audiences around the globe.”

Focus Features and Focus Features International ( comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.

Current and upcoming Focus Features releases include The World’s End, the new comedy reuniting director Edgar Wright with actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost; Dallas Buyers Club, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner, and Jared Leto; the comedy Bad Words, directed by and starring Jason Bateman; the true-life dramatic thriller Kill the Messenger, directed by Michael Cuesta and starring Jeremy Renner; the comedic fable The Boxtrolls, the new animated feature from LAIKA, directed by Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable with a voice cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Toni Collette, Elle Fanning, Isaac Hempstead-Wright, and Tracy Morgan; Black Sea, the suspenseful adventure thriller starring Jude Law for Academy Award-wining director Kevin Macdonald; and Fifty Shades of Grey, the highly anticipated film adaptation of E L James’ #1 bestselling book that is being directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson and stars Charlie Hunnam and Dakota Johnson.

Focus Features and Focus Features International are part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, world-renowned theme parks, and a suite of leading Internet-based businesses. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.


#                                                                                  #                                                                  #

Comments are closed.

Quote Unquotesee all »

“We don’t have any idea what the universe is. Wise people have always told us that this is proof you shouldn’t think, because thinking leads you nowhere. You just build over this huge construction of misunderstanding, which is culture. The history of culture is the history of the misunderstandings of great thinkers. So we always have to go back to zero and begin differently. And maybe in that way you have a chance not to understand but at least not to have further misunderstandings. Because this is the other side of this question—Am I really so brave to cancel all human culture? To stop admiring the beauty in human production? It’s very difficult to say no.”
~ László Krasznahorkai

“I have a license to carry in New York. Can you believe that? Nobody knows that, [Applause] somebody attacks, somebody attacks me, oh, they’re gonna be shot. Can you imagine? Somebody says, oh, it is Trump, he’s easy pickings what do you say? Right? Oh, boy. What was the famous movie? No. Remember, no remember where he went around and he sort of after his wife was hurt so badly and kill. What?  I — Honestly, Yeah, right, it’s true, but you have many of them. Famous movie. Somebody. You have many of them. Charles Bronson right the late great Charles Bronson name of the movie come on.  , remember that? Ah, we’re gonna cut you up, sir, we’re gonna cut you up, uh-huh.


One of the great movies. Charles Bronson, great, Charles Bronson. Great movies. Today you can’t make that movie because it’s not politically correct, right? It’s not politically correct. But could you imagine with Trump? Somebody says, oh, all these big monsters aren’t around he’s easy pickings and then shoot.”
~ Donald Trump