It feels like there is a more laid-back approach to the Oscars this year, or maybe it’s just me, and the fact that it’s my second time around. But last year by this time, there were already giant Oscar statues all over the exterior of the Kodak Theatre, and they’re not there yet. Running behind or just change of schedule…?
There are plenty of other stories happening outside of the Oscars to keep me busy too. I stopped by Urth Cafe on Melrose Avenue, a spot I often go to when in LA as it’s great for meet-ups and catch-ups, to speak to Hakeem kae Kazim. I actually met up with him there the last time I interviewed him. The Nigerian-born, loved-in-South Africa actor has just finished wrapping up a role on NCIS alongside LL Cool J, (whom he is says is such a great guy, committed to his craft, and yes, the ladies still love him!) Hakeem’s also been involved in a Nigerian film that plays on the whole CSI franchise, which was screened at the Pan African Film Festival here in LA earlier this week. Over green tea and cheesecake, he explained how the event, now in its 20th year, is evidence of the growth in films from his home country and others on the continent.
Another story on the go is Battle LA. A different film about aliens from a different South African-born director. There’s an aggressive marketing campaign for the film, which has been directed by Jonathan Liebesman and stars Aaron Eckhart.
Went to a screening of the film and I’m due to interview the cast and director on Friday so will have more for you then. As for my opinion on the film, well, now that is an entirely different post altogether! What I will say is this, District 9 it is not…
Keep listening to Eyewitness News for my reports from Hollywood.