A girl, 2 cats and a rocket

Afronauts, based on a true story, is an alternative retelling of the 1960s space race. Science teacher Edward Makuka Nkoloso has established a National Space Academy of Science, Space Research, and Astronomical Research in an old farmhouse outside of Lusaka. As America prepares to send Apollo 11 to the moon, he leads a ragtag group of exiles in the Zambian desert who are trying to beat America to the same destination. Their mission is to get 17-year-old Matha (who is pregnant) and two cats there first. There’s only one problem: the afronauts disappear without a trace.

The Zambian space odyssey inspired Spanish photojournalist Cristina de Middel‘s award-winning photo book, The Afronauts. Watch a slideshow of her images here.

Now filmmaker Frances Bodomo will bring Nkoloso and his team to our screens with her short film. It’s partly funded by a film grant and she created a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to cover production costs. More than $12 000 has been pledged. Her previous short film Boneshaker, starring Quvenzhané Wallis, premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Supermodel and actress Diandra Forrest (you can see her in Kanye West’s music video, Power) will be playing Matha and prolific actress/director Yolonda Ross (HBO’s Treme, Yelling to the Sky and her own film Breaking Night) will star as Auntie Sunday.


AFRONAUTS TEASER from Frances Bodomo on Vimeo.

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