Somehow I wish this piece was a review of EVERYTHING IS LOVE, the last round of the trilogy of confrontational albums about Jay Z and Beyonce’s first joint album, which amazingly celebrates resilient black love and proud black extravagance. But it’s not, this time we’re putting the focus on the gutsy six minutes takeover of the Louvre in Paris for APESHIT which was directed by Ricky Sai and Jenn Nkiru, a rising British-Nigerian filmmaker who was the second unit director for the short film.
Nkiru’s first short film “En Vogue” is a reflection of stunning and energetic portraits of New York City’s ballroom culture, a safe space for black and brown LGTBQ youth. In 2018, her work “Rebirth Is Necessary”, a fuse of astounding moments of black experience won the best documentary at the London Independent Film Festival.
“I’m very interested in the concept of black universality — a centering of blackness from which others can also empathize and assign an aspect of themselves,” Nkiru told the British Council earlier this year.
Later that same year, she directed another short film in commemoration of International Women’s Day that featured Afro-British dancer Zini Minott whizzing around the galleries of Tate museum. A graduate of Howard University, Nkiru started working as a production assistant on film at age 15 and since then, it’s been black eminence all the way.
Like Nkiru, several young women music video directors are having a moment this year. Karena Evans directed visuals for Drake’s latest singles God’s Plan, Nice for What and I’m Upset. Janelle Monáe recruited Emma Westenberg for her labia-loving “Pynk.” Also singers SZA and Syd of the Internet both directed flicks for their own songs as well. With Apeshit, Nkiru takes her rightful place in this exciting new girls’ club of directors – MIC