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News and Press

SALAY to Screen at The Black Harvest Film Festival

SALAY will screen at the Gene Siskel Film Festival for the 19th Annual Black Harvest Film Festival in Chicago, IL.


BIKO Recording Artist Maij Hova Collaborates with Dancehall King Dallas B

Rapper Maij Hova, signed to Biko Studios’ Sierra Leonean music label, released two new singles and music videos in December, 2012. The talented newcomer who writes and produces his own music, will release his debut album in 2013, and will feature collaborations with Dallas B, among others.

View his latest music videos here.

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BIKO Studios’ SALAY wins Best African Film at San Francisco Black Film Festival

The San Francisco Black Film Festival has announced the winners of their 2012 film series. Of the 90 films that were presented in this year’s festival, the SFBFF panel of judges selected 11 official winners in each of the individual categories.

BIKO Studios’ SALAY was awarded the title of Best African Film.

The owner of BIKO Studios, Ali Kamanda is currently on set shooting another film in Sierra Leone and was alerted by phone that his film had won. “What a labor of love this has been,” writer/producer/director Kamanda said when he found out the news. “I feel so blessed… I can’t wait to tell the cast!!”

To view the San Francisco Black Film Festival’s official announcement, click here.


SALAY to Screen at the San Francisco Black Film Festival

Biko Studios is proud to announce that SALAY has been named an Official Selection at the San Francisco Black Film Festival. The festival will be held June 15 – 17, 2012 in San Francisco, CA.

SALAY’s screening date and time are TBA.

Tickets go on sale June 1.

“The mission of the San Francisco Black Film Festival is to celebrate African American cinema and the African cultural Diaspora and to showcase a diverse collection of films – from emerging and established filmmakers. This is accomplished by presenting Black films, which reinforce positive images and dispel negative stereotypes, and providing film artists from the bay area in particular and around the world in general, a forum for their work to be viewed and discussed. SFBFF believes film can lead to a better understanding of and communication between, peoples of diverse cultures, races, and lifestyles, while simultaneously serving as a vehicle to initiate dialogue on the important issues of our times.”

San Francisco Black Film Festival website


BIKO Studios Receives Two Award Nominations at San Diego Black Film Festival

BIKO Studios’ current film release, SALAY, received two award nominations this weekend at the San Diego Black Film Festival; Best Diaspora Film and Best Director.

SALAY screened at the SDBFF on January 28th, 2012 as a “Big 8” Film, considered one of the top films in the festival.

Ali Sulaiman BIKO Kamanda with his producer, Jorge Angelo Redmond


SALAY to Premiere at the San Diego Black Film Festival

SALAY has been selected to screen at the San Diego Black Film Festival in January 2012. This will be the film’s world premiere, featuring a Q&A session with director Ali Kamanda immediately following the screening.

Date and time of screening will be announced on the SDBFF website by January 2, 2012.


Principal Photography Wraps on “Karmic Komplexities”

On December 9, 2011, BIKO Studios wrapped principal photography on it’s second short film, “Karmic Komplexities”, an interracial relationship drama.

The film was written by, and stars rising Sierra Leonean actor Kather Sei, with the beautiful and talented British actress from the hit BBC show “Dance X”, Ms. Rana Roy.

Post production will start soon with the release date set for early 2012.


BIKO Studios to film BLVD in 2012

BIKO Studios is slated to start pre-production in 2012 on BLVD, a Mexican-American urban drama about two boys living in the inner city of Los Angeles.

Cast and crew calls coming soon.

Contact BIKO for details.


Ali Kamanda wins Best Shorts Award

October 23, 2011

Independent filmmaker Ali Kamanda of BIKO Studios, has won a prestigious Award of Excellence for Social Justice from the Best Shorts Competition. The award was given for Kamanda’s compelling short film, SALAY, which was shot in rural Sierra Leone with local actors to illuminate the difficult choices women are often forced to make to advance their opportunities in life. SALAY features Abibatu Shaw as Salay, a young woman grieving the loss of her mother, who feels the desire to direct her own life despite the pull of local traditions. Despite an intense rainy season and numerous production setbacks, filmmaker Ali Kamanda persevered to complete this moving portrayal of the dynamic between male and female relations.

“On behalf of everyone involved in the making of this film, I am so grateful and deeply honored for having received the award for Social Justice because the purpose of the film is to reignite the dialogue within my country about the conditions that can enable human traffickers to prey on innocent young women”, says SALAY writer, producer, director Ali Kamanda. “Hopefully this film helps shed light on such an important issue that continues to plague many developing countries.”

The Best Shorts Competition recognizes film professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to pofound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film industry. Information about the Best Shorts Competition and a list of recent winners can be found at www.bestshorts.net.

In winning Best Shorts laurels, BIKO Studios joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award. Thomas Baker, Ph.D., who chairs the Best Shorts Competition, had this to say about the latest winners, “Best Shorts laurels are not easy to win. Entries are received from around the world. The Best Shorts Competition helps set the standard for craft and creativity. the judges were leased with the exceptionally high quality of entries. The goal of the Best Shorts Competition is to help winners achieve the recognition they deserve.”