Ekwa Msangi’s feature debut has secured distribution. A press release announced that IFC films snagged North American rights to “Farewell Amor,” an intergenerational immigrant story.
Written by Msangi, the drama tells the story of Walter (Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine), who, after 17 years in exile, “finally reunites with his family after being forced to leave Angola for New York City. We meet the family as Walter is picking up his wife, Esther (Zainab Jah), and daughter, Sylvia (Jayme Lawson), from the airport to bring them home to his one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment. They quickly discover how the years of separation have turned them into absolute strangers,” the pic’s synopsis details. “As they attempt to overcome the personal and political hurdles amongst them, they rely on the muscle memory of dance to find their way back ‘home.’”
“Ekwa Msangi is an exciting new voice in independent cinema and we are honored to partner with her to introduce ‘Farewell Amor’ to North American audiences. We are thrilled to support Ekwa and welcome her into the IFC Films family,” said Arianna Bocco, EVP of Acquisitions and Productions at IFC Films.
Msangi added, “We’re so delighted to have found a supportive and caring home for ‘Farewell Amor’ in IFC Films, and that Arianna and her team are as excited as we are to share this labor of love with the world. Not many are bold enough to distribute a story about an African family fighting for love, and the fact that IFC sees the human story in our film and are willing to champion it says a lot about them. If there were ever a time that our world needed a reminder of our humanity, it is now,” she emphasized.
“This story was inspired by the true relationship of an aunt and uncle who have been separated due to visa and immigration issues for over 20 years, yet still hold on to the hope of being reunited one day,” Msangi told us ahead of “Farewell Amor’s” world premiere at Sundance in January. “I often wondered what a reunion would look like, and so this is my creative response to that question. That was the inspiration,” she explained, “but it’s not something that only foreigners experience. What about people who are incarcerated? Or those who travel for work? There are so many reasons that make separation from our loved ones very common in this day and age, and I wanted to look at that.”