virtual event; open to all mentees, mentors, program alum, and the public
Join us for an evening that will empower everyone to create the stories they want to see in the world. Filmmaker and Author Lande Yoosuf will share her professional journey and what led her to write her debut novel, Ko-Foe!
After writing and directing an original short film about a Nigerian-American bride who confronts her mother to gain autonomy over her wedding day, “Second Generation Wedding,” Lande wanted to explore her characters and story in more detail. When industry professionals told her that people would not be interested in hearing the stories she wanted to tell, she decided to make it happen for herself and wrote her debut novel to expand on the short film.
Her story will serve as a case study for the expansive, endless opportunity that writing presents for creatives, regardless of the format or medium of the final product. Lande will inspire writers to never limit their talents to only one area of creativity.
Lande Yoosuf is a Nigerian-American novelist, Huffington Post blogger, screenwriter, filmmaker and cofounder of the non-profit organization Black Film Space. She developed her writing skills through classes taught by Jackson Taylor, a novelist and the Associate Director at The New School’s Graduate Writing Program. Her previous career was in reality television where she casted, developed and helped produce reality television shows for almost 15+ years. Lande is based in her hometown of Brooklyn, New York.
More about Ko-Foe…
Kofo, a Brooklyn-bred Nigerian-American woman, straddles between appeasing her parents’ vision of success and finding her true identity outside of their world views. Maintaining this balance was manageable until she met the male version of herself–a British-Nigerian named Tunde.
She naively assumes her family (mother, father, sister) will take a liking to Tunde, but his addition to the family brings disruptions of their pursuits of the status quo. It also prompts jealousy from her sister, who often fades into the background to keep the focus on Kofo.
Kofo’s father Akeem simultaneously exposes a long-held secret that was formerly a family taboo. This news doubles down on the existing life stressors of the women in the family, scattering them all into a state of frenzy over the loss of their main patriarch.
“Ko-Foe” is a story about a West-African family that builds its identity on a false foundation, while striving to maintain their cultural values and assimilate into Western society. Kofo’s relationship forces the entire family to engage with their community authentically, and to confront each other after years of avoiding uncomfortable truths.
all mentees, all mentors, program alum and the public