KAMPALA – M-Net, the MultiChoice Group’s flagship channel on DStv Premium, has acquired the rights from The Walt Disney Company to screen Black Is King across Africa. The film by Beyoncé is based on the music of The Lion King: The Gift from last year’s release of Disney’s The Lion King. The teaser and trailer about this new visual album are already taking the world by storm.
More good news is that M-Net will bring Black Is King to the continent within 24-hours of its debut on Disney+. The M-Net screening is scheduled for Saturday, 1 August at 20:00 CAT and 21:00 EAT/WAT. And, DStv customers who don’t have access to M-Net can shrug off any FOMO (fear of missing out). As a special treat for those subscribing to other DStv packages, the MultiChoice Group will open M-Net to DStv Compact Plus, Compact, and Family for two hours on the night that Black Is King arrives in Africa. Furthermore, DStv Premium customers will be able to enjoy it on DStv Catch Up for 30 days.
“Showcasing this landmark visual album and global television event to as many of our loyal viewers as possible, MultiChoice Group and M-Net yet again cement their reputation as Africa’s most-loved storyteller, “says Yolisa Phahle, MultiChoice Group CEO: Video Entertainment. “We’re very excited to be part of this global event, but what makes Black Is King even more important for us, is that it shines the spotlight on the many phenomenal African creatives who were involved in the project – both on-screen and behind the scenes.”
Christine Service, Senior Vice President of The Walt Disney Company Africa, adds: “Black Is King is a powerful, relevant and timely creative and celebratory expression of identity that we felt was important to be shared with fans across Africa as it launched globally on Disney+. We’re thrilled to continue the journey that started with The Lion King.”
Starring featured artists from the film’s music soundtrack as well as guest appearances, Black Is King tells the story of a young king’s journey through betrayal, love, and self-identity. Guided by his ancestors, father, and childhood love, he earns the virtues needed to reclaim his home and throne.
Thus, it reimagines the lessons of last year’s The Lion King for today’s young kings and queens in search of their own crowns. The film was in production for a year, with a cast and crew that represent diversity and connectivity.
Black Is King features an impressive list of diverse voices on its creative team, including directors Emmanuel Adjei (the film Shahmaran), Blitz Bazawule (the film The Burial of Kojo), Pierre Debusschere (Mine and Ghost videos for Beyoncé), Jenn Nkiru (BLACK TO TECHNO film), Ibra Ake (creative director and producer on This is America video for Childish Gambino), Dikayl Rimmasch (CACHAO, UNO MAS film), Jake Nava (Crazy in Love, Single Ladies, Partition videos for Beyoncé) and co-director and long-time collaborator of Beyoncé, Kwasi Fordjour.
The list of additional co-directors and second unit directors adds to the crew’s global representation, including Dafe Oboro, Julian Klincewicz, Derek Milton, Meji Alabi, Joshua Kissi, Alexandre Moors and Deon Van Zyl.
Filmed in various locations, the film’s cinematography captures beautiful people and landscapes across continents, starting in New York, then Los Angeles, South Africa, West Africa, London and Belgium. From all those places came an extraordinary cast of actors and dancers that influenced the film’s rich tableau and vibrant choreography.
The new trailer provides a glimpse of some of the special guests in the film. They include models Aweng Ade-Chuol and Adut Akech, supermodel Naomi Campbell, Tina Knowles-Lawson, author, and Academy Award®-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o, singer Kelly Rowland, Pharrell Williams, and JAY-Z, among others. Many artists featured on The Lion King: The Gift album also makes appearances.
Among the well-known Mzansi stars featured in Black Is King are Connie Chiume (Gomora), Nandi Madida (The Road), Nyaniso Dzedze (Binnelanders) and Warren Masemola (The River).