Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido’s superhero-inspired short film “Twaaga” (in English, “Invincible”), made via the Focus Features’ Africa First program, was featured on this blog a few years ago, as well as the short film he made before that, the 25-minute award-winning samurai-influenced “Hasaki Ya Suda” (a short that helped get him into the 2011 Berlinale Talent Campus, as well as a slot among the fourth class of Focus Features’ Africa First filmmaker program). As I recall, “Hasaki” was a strong favorite of many of you when we published it. That was a good 4 or 5 years ago.
In my past conversations with Cédric, he talked about being influenced by samurai movies of yesteryear, especially those from the master himself, Akira Kurosawa (“Seven Samurai,” “Throne of Blood,” and “Yohimbo”). Cédric is also a superhero fanboy, and has said that he plans to make films about black people that incorporate unlikely/unexpected elements, and that are within genres that historically and still currently ignore the contributions of people of African descent. His Focus Features Africa First project “Twaaga” as well as “Hasaki Ya Suda,” certainly fit the bill.
Monsieur Ido, who’s also an actor (and whose older brother, Jacky Ido, currently appears in Shondaland’s new ABC series “The Catch”) is set to make his feature film directorial debut with a dramedy titled “Chateau,” which he’s teamed up with fellow French writer/director/producer Modi Barry, to make.
To be filmed in Paris’ Chateau d’Eau – a neighborhood where many Africans live – the film will “recount the trials and tribulations of a group of hair salon hustlers whose fast talk and tall tales see them accidentally entwined in the district’s best kept sentimental secret.”
France’s MK2 Films is repping the film at the Cannes Film Market (Marche du Film) where it is being shopped to international buyers.
“MK2 is thrilled to be on board such an original project set in a community of Paris so rarely brought to the screen and, even more rarely, in such a touching and humanizing way and by filmmakers who know the real heart of their subject,” said MK2 Films’s head of sales and acquisition Juliette Schrameck.
The film is produced by One World Films and SRAB.
Neither of Ido’s films are online; below you’ll find trailers for both: