MUBI will release Martine Syms’ entertaining debut feature “The African Desperate,” the film follows 24 hours in the life of Palace, Syms’s fellow visual artist Diamond Stingily. The film will open theatrically in New York on September 16, with a nationwide rollout to follow. Syms will also be presenting the film internationally as part of an in-person event tour throughout September and October in the US and Europe. Following the theatrical release and events, the film will be available to stream globally on MUBI.
The African Desperate had its World Premiere at this year’s International Film Festival Rotterdam and North American Premiere as the Closing Night film in New Directors/New Films.
The African Desperate follows artist Palace Bryant (Diamond Stingily) on one very long day in 2017 that starts with her MFA graduation from a white liberal arts college in upstate New York and ends at a Chicago Blue Line Station. Set against the lush backdrop of late summer, Palace navigates the pitfalls of self-actualization and the fallacies of the art world. Shot through with Syms’s celebrated conceptual grit, humor, social commentary, and vivid visual language, The African Desperate leads us on an intimate and riotously funny journey through picturesque landscapes and artists studios, from academic critiques to backseat hookups, and from the night of a wild graduation party to the morning of a lonely trip back home.
Said Martine Syms: “MUBI was my top choice while I was working on The African Desperate. I’m overjoyed to be partnering with them to bring my film into the world. I’ve been a fan and subscriber since day one. It’s a dream collaboration.
The African Desperate is a self-funded project. I had a vision and I took a risk to make it a reality. I want to make epic, thoughtful, imaginative films that speak to MY reality. MUBI’s interest in the project proves that this kind of filmmaking is essential right now. They stepped in to help bridge the world of art and film, and bring The African Desperate to a wide audience.”
Watch the official trailer for The African Desperate.