Competition Documentary Feature
Dusty & Stones
Directed by: Jesse Rudoy
USA, 2022, 83m
In English and SiSwati with English subtitles
Art and genres transcend territorial lines. This beautiful crowd pleaser chronicles the remarkable ride of cousins Gazi “Dusty” Simelane and Linda “Stones” Msibi, a determined duo of struggling country singers from the tiny African kingdom of eSwatini (known as Swaziland at the time of filming), who long for their big break. After receiving word that a record producer in Nashville has seen them perform on YouTube, they are invited to the United States to record and then perform at an international battle of the bands in Jefferson, Texas. But Dusty & Stones soon realize that dreams are not always fulfilled so easily. Setbacks with scheduling and dealing with less than cooperative organizers reveal to them that nothing in life is as simple as it seems. Will Dusty and Stones return home after the competition local heroes, or will they come back with their tails between their legs? Even if you’re not a country music fan, this wonderful film is so engaging and heartfelt that you will leave the theater big fans of Dusty & Stones. Their optimism and love of music is that infectious!
Ampe: Leap into the Sky, Black Girl
Set in the sister cities of Accra, Ghana, and Columbus, Ohio, through the lens of the Ghanaian traditional jumping and clapping game, “Ampe,” this sweet film takes us on a journey of sisterhood, friendship, loyalty, and nostalgia.
USA/Ghana, 2022, 18m, Directed by Claudia Owusu and Ife Oluwamuyide