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TV Network Targeting African Diaspora Launches in Atlanta

Atlanta – There aren’t that many media entities owned by minorities but the people behind Dias TV seek to change that. Dias TV officially launched last Sunday during a premiere for one of their movies, The Domino Effect. The event was in Atlanta, GA, and it wasn’t a normal movie premiere. Dias TV’s motto is “celebrating diversity in the diaspora” and they did just that.

Prior to the showing of the movie, viewers were treated to three performances that reflected the culture of the African diaspora. The first was a steel drum player who did a few selections reminiscent of the Caribbean. The next was a group of American b-boys who delighted the crowd with their moves and tricks. Lastly, Ima dance troupe took everyone back to the motherland with their colorful costumes and fast paced dancing. There was also a banquet after the movie that allowed people to sample cuisine from Africa and the Caribbean.

Dias TV is setting out to create “Diaswood,” the African diaspora’s version of India’s Bollywood and an answer to the lack of black faces in Hollywood. “We are challenged with barriers in breaking into mainstream film or stage because of our uniqueness; yet it is our uniqueness that makes us stand out, proud and tall above many,” wrote Eve Otaigbe, creator of The Domino Effect and CEO of Afrimedia Entertainment, in a statement. “We are not Hollywood or Bollywood or Nollywood. We are Diaswood. And we intend to create our own industry.”

Dias TV crew interviewing cast member Lisa Brown, an Atlanta-based actress

The movie, The Domino Effect, was also a display of diversity. Although the movie was written and created by Otaigbe, a Nigerian woman, and the movie followed a format common in Nigerian movies, the actors were from everywhere including Atlanta, Jamaica and Nigeria. In addition to being diverse, the movie was a treat as well. Most Americans aren’t familiar with Nigerian cinema and The Domino Effect is a great introduction to that genre. There were heavy religious themes but it wasn’t overwhelming to the point where someone who isn’t religious couldn’t enjoy it. Also, the movie was rife with drama and dealt with a range of issues, including adultery, coming out as gay to family and sexual abuse.

“This is not a movie you see once,” said Nickie Mckenzie, one of the movie’s stars. “You will want to see it again and again.” Some may think she is biased but that description was accurate.

“It teaches you what to keep your focus on, what is most important to you. Family. God. So that you don’t get distracted by things going on around you, so that is what you expect to get from The Domino Effect,” she said about the movie. “Also, what affects one person affects everybody. It is the domino effect. You need to be careful about what you do and what you say because it can come back to haunt you. Focus on God and once you do that, it’ll be alright.”

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