In person: Director Andrew Dosunmu
Andrew Dosunmu’s kinetic, gorgeously photographed debut feature tells the story of Djibril, an Africa immigrant surviving on the fringes of New York City, where music is his passion, life is a hustle, and falling in love is his greatest risk. Djibril’s life can only go upward; he wants to be a pop star and one day return to Africa where his mother and father toil for a meager living. By day he sells merchandise on Canal Street for a small income, but he continuously seeks a way to succeed as a singer. When Djibril meets Trini, a prostitute under the control of Bekay, the local loan shark, his life assumes new purpose and momentum; however, whether Djibril and Trini can outrun Bekay’s nefarious influence is another story.
¨Camera-scoured Manhattan wouldn't seem to have many secrets left, but the extraordinarily beautiful Restless City achieves revelation on two tiers — in the kinetic landscape of the city itself and in the world of Senegalese immigrants, whose struggle evolves just beneath the sightlines of the average New Yorker.¨ — Variety
¨In this intense twist on the American Dream, director Andrew Dosunmu vividly captures the pulsating dynamic of New York city's pan-African community, a robust aggregation that subsists amid an often hostile foreign environment.¨ — Hollywood Reporter
¨The story is something of an amble into narrative territory that feels familiar and the non-professional cast shows their roots - but the multitude of striking images and bold scoring mean it remains a mesmerizing, if dreamlike watch.¨ — Eye for Film
Andrew Dosunmu was raised and educated in Nigeria and began his career as a design assistant at Yves Saint Laurent, where he eventually became a creative director and photographer. Dosunmu’s first narrative feature, Restless City, premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in the NEXT program. His documentary Hot Irons (1999) won the best documentary award at FESPACO, the Panafrican Film and Television Festival at Ouagadougou, and the Reel Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Dosunmu continues to work as a photographer, and has directed episodes of the widely acclaimed South African television show Yizo Yizo as well as many music videos. Dosunmu presented his short film Hot Irons at 14 Pews on Saturday, January 12, 7 p.m. His latest film, Mother of George, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.