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Kino Lorber and Dedza Films present the first collaborative release of short films by underrepresented emerging talents

Kino Lorber and Dedza Films are announcing their first collaborative release of WHO WILL START ANOTHER FIRE, an international short film omnibus showcasing the works of nine emerging filmmakers from underrepresented communities around the world.
On June 11, the films will be released digitally on KinoMarquee.com in partnership with art house cinemas across the country and day and date on VOD at KinoNow.com, followed by a limited edition DVD available for purchase at KinoLorber.com. There is a Charles Burnett introduction to the inaugural collection available as a bonus feature on the dvd. Select in-person screenings will also take place across the nation with independent theaters that are open.
The title WWSAF refers to Malawian poet Jack Mapanje’s “Before Chilembwe Tree” (1981), in which he asks, “Who will start another fire[rl1] ?” This film collection, in various ways, propose an answer to his question. Each of these stories is personal and distinctly told, but unified by themes of rebirth and growth. The Dedza Team notes that “these films reject the idea of art for art’s sake and do not exist in self-designed aesthetic vacuums. Their creation represents a necessary reckoning for their makers and so perhaps, too, their viewers. These are growing films by growing filmmakers, made for the future and the past, presented for you to experience for the first time now and again and again afterwards.”
Kino Lorber announced in October 2020 its support of Dedza Film’s new distribution initiative founded by Kate Gondwe, formerly an intern in Kino Lorber theatrical department. The new company’s mission is to foster diversity, build community and cultivate the next wave of emerging filmmakers, inviting submissions from talented student filmmakers around the world. Kino Lorber is serving as an incubator for this welcome initiative and is consulting with the Dedza Films team in all areas of[rl3]  marketing, publicity, and distribution in the digital and home video space. The shorts were curated and acquired by the Dedza team, who sought new voices that align with Dedza’s mission.
DEDZA Scrapbook will also be released with the omnibus, an online initiative from aspiring film critics of color who will write about each film and will be on DedzaFilms.com. The goal of this supplement is to further build a community of emerging talent whose work and discourse can uplift each other.
The trailer for the collection was created by 17-year-old editor Clementine Narcisse and the anthology’s poster designed by artist Ify Chiejina, who designed the Criterion Blu-Ray cover of Ousmane Sembenè’s Mandabi.
Official selections for WHO WILL START ANOTHER FIRE:
Like Flying
Directed by Peier Tracy Shen | USA | 15m | Mandarin & English
Official 2021 Selection: Nashville, Palm Springs International Shortfest, Cinequest
A young Chinese-American girl navigates her childhood through her parents’ broken relationship.
Family Tree
Directed by Nicole Amani Magabo Kiggundu | Uganda | 17m | Luganda & English
Official 2021 Selection: Pan-African, Ngalabi International Shorts, Reel Sisters of the Diaspora, Capitol Hill
We meet Nagawa, an 8 year old schoolgirl, whose day is almost like any other. She’s presenting a school project about her family tree to her classmates and teacher. According to Nagawa, her family consists of just herself, her Mum, and her Dad, who she only gets to see once a week. This is her normal. When her mother Margaret picks up Nagawa from school, she doesn’t have the heart to tell her daughter that her beloved father has been in a terrible accident. They arrive at the hospital to pay vigil. Her father, an Honourable in the Ugandan parliament is widely popular, and a few people are assembling outside the private ward— including his mistresses with his and their children. Nagawa doesn’t know any of these people and they don’t know her. What follows for Nagawa is an awkward, confusing and heartbreaking afternoon as her parents’ betrayal sets in.
Troublemaker
Directed by Olive Nwosu | Nigeria | 11m | Igbo
Winner: Best Student Film Award at Discover Film Festival 2019, Best Director at Queens World Film Festival 2020; Nominee: Best Short Award at Raindance 2020, Africa in Motion Film Festival 2020
Obi is hot, bored, and desperate for something to do. When his best friend, Emeka, gives him a packet of firecrackers, the boys decide to have some fun. However, things escalate in unexpected ways, as Obi learns for the first time that actions have consequences, and that there are still things he cannot understand.
Polygraph
Directed by Samira Saraya | Israel | 20m | Arabic & Hebrew
Winner: Honorable Mention at Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival 2020
Official Selection: Queer Screen, Rose Filmdagen, Wicked Queer: Boston’s LGBT Film Festival, Kashish Mumbai International Queer, MIX Milano
Based on a true story, Yasmine, an openly lesbian Arab nurse living in Tel Aviv, finds out that her lover Or, an intelligence officer in the Israeli army, has been reporting on their relationship. Their liaison is further strained by the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict and by Yasmine’s sister’s visit, who arrives from the West Bank not knowing that she is going to meet the occupying enemy at her own sister’s house.
The Lights Are On, No One’s Home
Directed by Faye Ruiz | USA | 10m | English
Official Selection: BFI Flare, Outfest Fusion, Long Distance
Mar, a trans woman who left home years ago, returns to her old neighborhood to find her childhood home. Upon her return, she’s confronted with the changes that gentrification has brought to the place she once knew so well. With all her old paths back home gone, she wanders the streets aimlessly. Memories of her early transition, the places she went, her family, her best friend and a drug addiction she can’t seem to shake resurface in unexpected and painful ways. Forced to contend with the ways in which she has remained static in a place that has seemingly changed overnight, she searches for a way to make peace with these changes or maybe just a familiar place to rest her head.
By Way of Canarsie
Directed by Emily Packer & Lesley Steele | USA | 14m | English
Official Selection: DOC NYC, BlackStar, Twin Cities Black, Better Cities, Prismatic Ground, Third Horizon
A wandering portrait of an oft-neglected shoreline community, By Way of Canarsie imagines possible futures at odds with a peaceful present. Through brief encounters, observational mise-en-scene, and expressive use of analog film, we begin to understand this predominantly black New York City neighborhood’s shared desires for recognition and respect. As some community members advocate for a commuter ferry at the local pier, others reflect on the current use of natural resources, the indigenous history, and the impending environmental concerns that encompass Canarsie’s relationship with the water as it exists today. The competing futures for Canarsie Pier present complications about how and for whom this public space serves.
The Rose of Manila
Directed by Alex Westfall | Philippines | 12m | Tagalog & English
Official Selection: San Diego Asian, National Film Festival for Talented Youth, BFI Future, Ivy, CineYouth – Chicago International, 2021 Athens International Film and Video
An imagining of the formative years of Imelda Marcos, who, as one half of the Marcos regime, would become infamous for embezzling billions from the country to sustain her extravagant lifestyle. Here, the fate of a young girl and an entire nation become entangled as the absent mother of a country is born.
Slip
Directed by Nicole Otero | USA | 11m
Official Selection: Indie Memphis Film Festival 2019
A woman arrives home at the end of a regular day, but as she begins to turn in for the night, she is overcome with a sense of restlessness. Unable to fit inside her own world, she goes back out into the night. Her journey around a mostly vacant city, obscured by darkness, cascades in space and time, away from one feeling and in search of another. Featuring singer-songwriter Tei Shi.
Not Black Enough
Directed by Jermaine Manigault | USA | 19m | English
Official Selection: Flatpack, L.A. Shorts International, Aesthetica Short, Hollyshorts, Tallinn Black Nights, Emerging Lens Cultural
Directed by Jermaine Manigault
A young African-American man struggling to find his identity within his community meets a persuasive relic of the past. Featuring Corey Knight (We Are Who We Are) and Patrick Decile (Moonlight).
About Dedza Films
Dedza Films is a distribution initiative dedicated to curating & facilitating the distribution of films from the next wave with a focus on underrepresented communities, regional filmmakers, and the early works of emerging storytellers. Dedza aims to treat these stories in a way that is often reserved for features and help filmmakers who were impacted by COVID-19, which affected festival and release plans. Our mission is to curate, community build, and partner with other initiatives and organizations focusing on changing the landscape. Who Will Start Another Fire is Dedza’s first release, which will have its theatrical and virtual cinema run on June 11 and then release as a limited edition DVD distributed by Kino Lorber.
About Kino Lorber
With a library of over 4,000 titles, Kino Lorber Inc. has been a leader in independent art house distribution for 35 years, releasing 30 films per year theatrically under its Kino Lorber, Kino Repertory and Alive Mind Cinema banners, garnering seven Academy Award® nominations in nine years. In addition, the company brings over 350 titles yearly to the home entertainment and educational markets through physical and digital media releases. With an expanding family of distributed labels, Kino Lorber handles releases in ancillary media for Zeitgeist Films, Cohen Media Group, Greenwich Entertainment, Artsploitation, Palisades Tartan, Menemsha Films, Raro Video, and others, placing physical titles through all wholesale, retail, and direct to consumer channels, as well as direct digital distribution through over 40 OTT services including all major TVOD and SVOD platforms. In 2019, the company launched its new art house digital channel Kino Now which features over 1000 titles from the acclaimed Kino Lorber library. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kino Marquee initiative was launched in 2020 pioneering “virtual theatrical” releases of art house films with revenue shares that allows audiences to support almost 400 local independent theaters.
ABOUT DEDZA FILMS FOUNDER – KATE GONDWE
Kate is a Malawian-American pursuing her undergraduate degree at Emerson College. She is the founder of the shorts distribution initiative Dedza Films, supported by Kino Lorber. Dedza Films is dedicated to acquiring short films from underrepresented communities and creating space for emerging storytellers. Kate has interned at Kino Lorber, Film Comment, NEON, and recently Mubi. Her start in film began as an emerging programmer apprentice at the Tallgrass Film Festival, a program sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and FilmWatch grant recipient. Aside from distribution, Kate works as a producer on independent productions and aims to direct as well.

Vic
Editor / Writer / Producer For Drop the Spotlight