THE RAIN DOWN IN AFRICA: A Portland-based blogger is planning to direct the first-ever Tuareg-language feature film in West Africa. Christopher Kirkley, the âguerrilla ethnomusicologistâ behind the Sahelsounds blog and record label (see âAfrica High-Tech,â WW, Oct. 24, 2012), has developed a script starring Mdou Moctar, a guitarist from Niger whose music Kirkley discovered via the Saharan cellphone MP3-trading network. The story centers on a struggling young musician who rides around the desert on a purple motorcycle. If that sounds a lot like Purple Rain, itâs not an accidentâthe title, Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, translates to âRain the Color of Blue With a Little Red in It.â Kirkley spent three weeks in the Nigerien city of Agadez last year, developing a treatment and shooting initial scenes with an all-local cast. Heâs currently running a Kickstarter campaign to help cover the budget and will shoot in February. âIâd like to get it into festivals, but obviously the most important thing is getting it to Niger,â Kirkley writes. He plans to release the movie through regional DVDs, and potentially in electronic form so it can be shared through cellphonesââwhich is how many people choose to consume media now, anyways,â he adds.
TOO MUCH TV: Portland filmmaker Gus Van Sant has been tapped to direct an episode of upcoming WGN miniseries Ten Commandments. Each of the directorsâa motley group that also includes Lee Daniels, Michael Cera and Wes Cravenâwill helm a modern tale inspired by one of the commandments. No word when the show will air. >> Vancouver, Wash.-based fashion designer Seth Aaron Henderson snapped up his second Project Runway crown Jan. 9, and the next day news dropped that two Portlanders are competing on another reality-TV fashion show. Amy Sim and Brady Lange both appear on Under the Gunn, hosted by Tim Gunn. The first episode airs Thursday, Jan. 16, on Lifetime. >> Vancouver, B.C., will pose as Portland in two new TV series slated soon to begin production. The BBCâs paranormal drama The Intruders and Foxâs crime series Backstrom are both set in Stumptown, but will be shot in Canada.
BREW VIEWS: Regal Cinemas locations at Pioneer Place, Bridgeport Village, Lloyd Center 10 and Tigard 11 Cinemas have all applied to serve booze. >> Hot on the heels of the cityâs first nonprofit bar, here comes a nonprofit brewery. Ex Novo Brewing Co. is planning to open in early 2014 and is âcommitted to donating 100 percent of our net profits to organizations that are working to effect positive social change both in Portland and around the world.â >> Turn! Turn! Turn! has moved into the Record Room space at 8 NE Killingsworth St. Owner Scott Derr says heâs expanding the concept, however, adding not only more beer taps but more retail beyond records, from old magazines to clothes and books, plus some food items. âItâs a dream I had for a while,â he says. âSo when this spot opened up, I came in.â