Ekwa Msangi

She // Her // Hers

[ID: Portrait of a woman with long, black hair and brown skin. She smiles, almost as if in mid-laugh. Her head thrown slightly back, her eyes half open, and her body tilting left. Her right hand is raised up to her shoulder, mid-motion, giving the image an even more candid feel. She wears a bright yellow, off the shoulder, African printed top.]

Writer and Director
Brooklyn, NY
2022 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by Paul and Annette Smith.

Ekwa Msangi’s critically acclaimed feature Farewell Amor premiered in competition at the 2020 Sundance film Festival, where it earned her the Sundance/Amazon Producers Award. The film was bought for distribution in North America by IFC films and worldwide by MUBI and Netflix. It garnered a 98 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes and earned Msangi recognition with an NYWIFT Award for directing, the 2020 Durban International film Festival award for best screenplay, and the 2021 film Independent Spirit’s Someone to Watch Award.

She has also written and directed several shorts, including the award-winning comedy Soko Sonko (The Market King) and Farewell Meu Amor, starring Tony Award nominee Sahr Ngaujah and Nana Mensah. She is both a 2020 Sundance Momentum Fellow and a 2020 BAFTA Breakthrough.

In addition, she has written and directed several works for mainstream broadcasters in Kenya, including The Agency, MNET’s first-ever original hourlong Kenyan drama series. She has taught screenwriting at The New School, the Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. One of Msangi’s key goals as an artist is to transform our society’s images and relationships with African cultures and to empower African filmmakers in telling their stories.

Portrait photo by Nadia Kist.