EXCLUSIVE: On the heels of its Audience Award win at the 2024 Slamdance Film Festival, dramedy African Giants, written, directed and produced by Omar Kamara, has been picked up for worldwide distribution by Juno Films. Juno plans an extensive festival release followed by a state-side theatrical release this summer, with a multi-platform digital release to follow in the fall.
Taking place over a weekend visit in Los Angeles, the film watches as two first-generation Sierra Leonean American siblings navigate the changing dynamics of brotherhood after a surprise announcement. Elder brother Alhaji (Dillon Daniel Mutyaba), an aspiring actor living in Los Angeles, is visited for a weekend by his younger brother, Sheku (Omete Anassi), a second-year law student at George Washington University. Unknown to Alhaji, Sheku has come with a specific intention: to reveal that he will be dropping out of law school and moving to LA to pursue acting, just like his older brother. As the weekend draws to a close, the two must reconcile with each other and familial expectations.
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The deal was negotiated between the film’s producer Leo Blumberg-Woll and Vondah Elizabeth Sheldon, CEO of Juno Films.
In a statement on the acquisition, Sheldon noted that “Omar’s film highlights the challenges faced by two ambitious brothers whose emigrant parents have high expectations. Under Omar’s direction, a quiet family drama plays out about sibling love that will reverberate with anyone who has a brother. It is a wonderful addition to our slate of award-winning African films.”
Added Kamara: “We are delighted that Juno Films has selected African Giants. This is a film by Africans, for Africans and we look forward to working with Vondah Elizabeth to bring the film not only to North American audiences but to African and European audiences as well. Juno Films has long since established itself as a hub for building the notoriety of rising filmmakers and I’m extremely excited to see what we can do with African Giants all around the world.”
Recent releases for boutique distributor Juno Films include Lasse Hallström’s Hilma and the Gaelic comedy Roise & Frank. Other critically acclaimed titles from the company include The Most Beautiful Boy in the World and What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.