AfroPop Season 8 is here!

Get ready for a very special journey

AfroPop has delighted audiences for seven seasons. Season eight’s stories are just as beautifully and poignantly told but will take audiences closer to the emotional and spiritual heart of the people, places and cultures of Trinidad, East and West Africa and even here in the U.S. and Europe.

Click here to watch a playlist of behind-the-scenes AfroPop videos, including interviews with the show’s producers, filmmakers and this season’s host, Jussie Smollett. —>

Days of Hope

Premiering January 18th, 2016

As immigration and refugee concerns dominate the news, AfroPoP takes on migration and asylum head on. The series begins its journey on the Saharan shores of the Atlantic Ocean as an African immigrant sets off to Europe with buoyant expectations of a better life. Director Ditte Haarløv Johnsen’s Days of Hope (January 18) is a nuanced look at the unflinching courage of three West African migrants who cross the Sahara desert and Atlantic Ocean in a search for opportunity and safety.

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Pan! Our Music Odyssey

Premiering January 25th, 2016

The next stop is the Caribbean with Pan! Our Music Odyssey (January 25), a joyful celebration of the melodious steel drum. Directors Jérôme Guiot and Thierry Teston explore the magical instrument from its development in Trinidad to its celebration around the world, as bands from across the globe gather to compete in the ultimate steel band competition: Panorama.


Heading to São Vicente in Cape Verde, we meet Tchinda, a transgender woman who is so cherished that her name has become synonymous with LBGT people in the area. Pablo García Pérez de Lara and Marc Serena’s Tchindas (February 1) follows the celebrated character, out and proud since 1998, as she and her cohorts prepare for the beloved annual carnival.

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First Fridays

Premiering February 8th, 2016

The festivities continue as AfroPoP travels to Oakland, California—a city with a reputation as one of the most dangerous in America—as it works to rebrand itself through its successful First Fridays monthly street festival. The murder of a young Black man sends the city reeling, threatening the very survival of this community celebration and, perhaps, the town’s very renaissance. First Fridays (February 8) by N’Jeri Eaton and Mario Furloni follows six Oakland figures as their lives connect one Friday at this showcase of art and culture.

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Native Sun

Premiering February 15th, 2016

The journey ends on the ultimate expression of hope—our youth—with shorts from the west and east coasts of Africa (Monday, February 15). Nosarieme Garrick’s My Africa Is, set in the bustling, modern city of Nairobi, introduces viewers to dynamic youth envisioning a new Kenya—designers, inventors and musicians changing the face of their communities through innovation and entrepreneurship. Terence Nance and Blitz the Ambassador’s Native Sun helps viewers see Ghana through the eyes and dreams of an eight-year-old in search of his father.

My Africa Is

My Africa Is peers into the soul and spirit of Nairobi through three stories of innovation. Viewers will meet game developers who create African superheroes to inspire Kenyan youth; a self-taught engineer who builds drones as a solution to Kenya’s poaching problems and trans youth in the technology to build human capacity; and two rock band that are part of a growing rock scene in Nairobi. Along the way, viewers will be introduced to the city, a restless and bustling metropolis with a musicality and energy that only locals can fathom. Meet the Africa that most don’t know but which is the reality of millions.

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The Series Team

Duana Butler

Duana C. Butler (Series Director) is an independent filmmaker based in Harlem, U.S.A. Ms. Butler co-produced “Miss Navajo” (Director: Billy Luther) which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens November 2007. She recently served as Curator/Producer of WNET/Thirteen’s “Reel New York” and “Reel 13 Shorts” series. Ms. Butler is presently completing her feature documentary “Harlem Stories: A Community in Transition” (working title).

Angela Tucker

Angela Tucker (Series Producer) is a Brooklyn based filmmaker and writer. She directed the web series entitled BLACK FOLK DON’T, which will begin its second season in June 2012. She was the Director of Production at Big Mouth Films, a social issue documentary production company that is a project of Arts Engine, Inc. There, she produced several documentaries for NBC and PBS, including PUSHING THE ELEPHANT (IDFA, Independent Lens) about a Congolese mother and daughter separated over 12 years.(A)SEXUAL, her directorial debut is a feature length documentary about people who experience no sexual attraction. It premiered at Frameline in San Francisco and is currently doing the festival circuit. She received her MFA in Film from Columbia University where she was awarded a Dean’s Fellowship. Angela has her BA with Honors in Theater and African American Studies from Wesleyan University. In 2010, Angela was a Yaddo fellow. You can follow her on Twitter @tuckergurl.

DAYS OF HOPE - Ditte Haarløv Johnsen

Award-winning film director Ditte Haarløv Johnsen grew up in Maputo, Mozambique, in a family where both parents were involved in governmental development work. She is a photographer and has exhibited her work in Syria, Canada, Denmark and South Africa. She graduated from the documentary department at the Danish Film School in 2007 with her much acclaimed film One Day about a Nigerian prostitute in Copenhagen. Days of Hope is Ditte’s first feature-length documentary.


Jérôme Guiot is the Belgian winner of the 2014 Victory music with Formidable for Stromae. Jérôme studied at INRACI graduated in 2009 in editing and directing. Some of his recent works includes PAN! Our Music Odyssey in 2014, The Voice Belgium (season two director), The Meri Project and several other video clip and web documentaries.


Thierry Teston has been a director since 2009. He has worked on several video clips such as Renan and Give him the Ooh La la, as well as on many documentaries. In 2010, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Constantin 2010 for Selah Sue, a documentary for France 5. His documentary La Cité de la Danse was the official selection of FIPA 2013.


Kim Johnson (writer), currently the Director of the Carnival Institute of Trinidad and Tobago, an Anthony N. Sabga Laureate for Arts & Letters, is the foremost historian of pan. Johnson is a Senior Research Fellow at The Academy for Arts, Letters, Culture and Public Affairs at The University of Trinidad and Tobago. His ongoing projects include The Virtual Museum of Trinidad and Tobago (an online encyclopedia of TT culture) and Ways of Hearing, a study of music in the Americas. Johnson’s forthcoming books include Jahaji Tempo: A Biographical Prelude to Indo-Trini Music and the multimedia pan exhibition The Audacity of the Creole Imagination.

TCHINDAS - Pablo García Pérez de Lara

Pablo García Pérez de Lara has directed two full-length films: Fuente Álamo, the Caress of Time (2001), selected in Karlovy Vary and Butterfly (2007), in the official section of Karlovy Vary and San Sebastián. His short film Alicia Portrayed (2002) was selected by the Semaine de la critique du festival de Cannes. He’s been the Director of Photography of the acclaimed Familystrip from Luís Miñarro and The K Effect: Stalin’s Editor (2012) from Valentí Figueres, screened in 60 festivals. He teaches cinema in the school in the Cinema in Curs program.

TCHINDAS - Marc Serena

Marc Serena is a journalist and this is his directorial debut. He normally works as a screenwriter for Spanish TV as TVC, TVE and Barcelona TV. He has just published Un-African love? (2014), compiling voices from the LGBT community from 15 African countries. His previous book, Trip to the 25 (2011), received great success in Asia, where it has been published in Chinese and Korean.


N’Jeri Eaton is a freelance producer, editor and youth media educator. Her short film Perry County (IDA Awards nominee) screened at festivals around the country is now being distributed by New Day Films. City Fish (Audience Award Winner, Doc Challenge) premiered at Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival and was broadcast on the Documentary Channel. She was Associate Producer for The Waiting Room (Gotham Awards and Independent Spirit Awards nominee). Eaton has produced work for and others. She has also worked for the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) as a Video Production Instructor, teaching production skills to at-risk youth in Oakland and San Francisco. She is currently the Content Development and Initiative Manager at the Independent Television Service (ITVS). Eaton received her M.J. at the UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and her B.A. in Visual Media Arts Studies from Emerson College.

FIRST FRIDAY - Mario Furloni

Mario Furloni is a Brazilian filmmaker and cinematographer based in Oakland, California. He is co-director of the documentary First Friday and cinematographer and co-producer in the ITVS-funded documentary The Return. Mario studied documentary filmmaking at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, where he was a Carnegie-Knight News21 fellow, and his documentary/journalism work has appeared on PBS and in the New York Times and TIME, among others. His film Pot Country (co-directed with Kate McLean), won Best Documentary at the USA Short Film Festival (2012), was official selection at Hot Docs (2012), Big Sky (2011) and a national finalist for the 2012 Student Academy Awards. He recently shot the Sundance short After My Garden Grows, directed by Megan Mylan. He’s currently developing the narrative feature Freeland, supported by IFP and San Francisco Film Society.

MY AFRICA IS - Nosarieme Garrick

Nosarieme Garrick is Nosarieme Garrick is a director with roots in Nigeria and the United States. She started My Africa Is as a Web-based series to share the stories of young people living, thriving, inspiring and connecting the world community. The series is now having its broadcast television debut. As a writer, she has covered African culture for outlets like MTV Staying Alive, CNN, Afripopmag, Africa is a Country, and Women’s eNews. In 2010, she founded Vote or Quench, a youth empowerment campaign educating young Nigerians on the importance of their vote in local and national elections. Garrick also spearheaded the live production of the first youth-centered presidential debate.

NATIVE SUN - Terence Nance

Terence Nance is a Dallas-born artist, who makes films, music videos, installations, performances and music (under the name Terence Etc.). His first feature film, An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmaker magazine selected him as one of the 25 new faces of independent film. Oversimplification won the 2012 Gotham Award for “Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You” but has since been released theatrically in the US, UK, France, and South Africa. Terence is also an accomplished music video director having collaborated on short films and music videos with Blitz the Ambassador, Cody ChesnuTT and Pharoahe Monch to name a few. Terence is currently developing his next feature film.

NATIVE SUN - Blitz the Ambassador

Blitz the Ambassador (S. Bazawule) is an award-winning musician and filmmaker born in Accra, Ghana and based in Brooklyn. Blitz has released three studio albums, Stereotype (2009), Native Sun (2011) and Afropolitan Dreams (2014) and has toured in 32 countries at festivals such as Roskilde (Denmark), Solidays (France) Mawazine (Morocco) Virada Cultural (Brazil). His current film project is Diasporadical Trilogia filmed in Accra, Brooklyn and Salvador Bahia. Blitz won the prestigious Vilcek Award in 2013 which honors immigrant contributions to American society and is a 2016 TED Fellow.

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