The Red Carpet
Stepping out onto the sidewalk in front of the Ryerson Theatre in Toronto, our view turns to the lineup that stretches down the street as far as one can see. It’s only 5PM and the energy outside of the theatre is charged with excitement and anticipation for the world premiere of our documentary film, Giants of Africa as envisioned by Academy Award Nominated director Hubert Davis.
The red carpet begins with a very special guest – Ryan Otsimi, who is one of our star athletes and alumni campers from Nairobi, Kenya. With bright lights, flashes and velvet rope, this is Ryan’s first time in Toronto and his first time ever seeing the film of which he is an integral character. Following Ryan are those who brought us all the way from Africa to TIFF – the film crew – including Director Hubert Davis, Executive Producer Michael Gelfand, Producer Josiah Rothenberg and others. Finally, the man of the hour, Masai Ujiri arrives wearing traditional African attire and complimented by his beautiful wife Ramatu. While interviews wrap up, the rest of the cast and crew, as well as the Giants of Africa team, friends and family enter the theatre. As a celebration and thank you, GOA & volunteers have placed over 1250 t-shirts over the seats, with each section representing each country and flooding the room with colour.
See more pictures from the Red-Carpet & Premiere Here
After a few opening words from TIFF Artistic Director, Cameron Bailey, the film begins and the room is silent with outbursts of laughter during lighthearted moments, and whispers and murmurs as the audience finally understands just how special and amazing these kids truly are. The film ends and a thunderous applause and standing ovation occurs with the audience yelling and whistling – an experience that will not soon be forgotten by Masai & our team. After several moments, Masai, Godwin Owinje, Hubert Davis, Michael Gelfand, Josiah Rothenberg, Coach OBJ, Temi Fagbenle and Ryan Otsimi stand on stage for an emotional Q&A session, during which Ryan breaks down saying that being invited to Toronto and seeing the film for the first time was a dream.
Lavelle on King Street West held our after-party celebration, where guests mingled and enjoyed african infused music from none other than Toronto DJ Lissa Monet. The night was filled with smiles, laughs, hugs and dancing, talking with old friends and meeting new ones, all the while capturing pieces of the night on polaroid for those to take home. After so much hard work, including the end to our month of camps in August – the night was a beautiful milestone to celebrate how far Giants of Africa has come, and inspire us as we venture further in the coming years.
See more pictures from the After-Party Here