Like an airborne disease caught in the wind, Christopher Columbus settles upon the “new world” with a manifest detailing strange ideas of untold greed. He himself is also a mere vessel; within his veins flows the promise of immortality… a seductive concept both infectious and inevitable.
Spanning 500 years of colonial destruction, Nosferasta: Shadow of the Wind follows Oba, a young West African sold by his own rulers to the Europeans in exchange for a single musket. In the first years of the 16th century, Oba is shipped to the Caribbean where he is seduced by the vampire Christopher Columbus who infects him with vampirism, ensuring Oba’s undying allegiance to Columbus and the colonial project. Oba and Columbus, a duo as unlikely as they are undead, work behind the scenes, pulling the strings of “new world” geopolitics and slowly spreading vampirism throughout the Western Hemisphere.
By the late 20th century, the theology of Rastafari has also spread. As Oba learns about this first truly anticolonial religion, he begins to reflect on the vampiric destruction he has been inflicting for centuries. For the first time, his loyalty to Columbus begins to waver.
Oba realizes his truth and his place in this sick world: If Columbus is the disease of Babylon, perhaps Oba, the dread vampire, is the cure.
Through the forms of a vampire film, Nosferasta examines the guilt of being complicit in imperial conquest, while also acknowledging the extreme difficulty of truly unlearning centuries of vampiric conditioning. At its core Nosferasta asks: How can you decolonize what’s in your blood?
About The Team
Adam Khalil (Co-Director) Adam Khalil, a member of the Ojibway tribe, is a filmmaker and artist from Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, whose practice attempts to subvert traditional forms of ethnography through humor, relation, and transgression. Khalil is a core contributor to New Red Order (NRO) and a co-founder of COUSINS Collective. Khalil’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, Walker Arts Center, Lincoln Center, Tate Modern, HKW, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Toronto Biennial 2019 and Whitney Biennial 2019, among other institutions. Upcoming exhibitions will be held at Gasworks (London), Spike Island (Bristol), and Artists Space (NYC). Khalil is the recipient of various fellowships and grants, including but not limited to: Sundance Art of Nonfiction, Jerome Artist Fellowship, Cinereach and the Gates Millennium Scholarship.
Bayley Sweitzer (Co-Director) is a filmmaker living and working in Brooklyn, whose practice revolves around an ongoing attempt to repurpose narrative film form in order to convey radical political possibilities. His work has been shown at Film at Lincoln Center, Walker Art Center, Tate Modern, Berlinale, Anthology Film Archives, Bozar in Brussels, Pacific Film Archive, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Other Cinema in San Francisco, and Artists Space in New York City. Sweitzer has received recent moving image commissions from the Park Avenue Armory in New York City, Gasworks in London, and Spike Island in Bristol. Sweitzer also works professionally as a focus puller and is a member of the International Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Local 600.
Oba (Co-Writer and Actor) is a multi-disciplinary artist and chef born in Trinidad. His paintings, sculptures and t-shirts have been featured at Motel Gallery and Rumplestiltskin, Brooklyn. He was lead singer of the avant-noise supergroup Dead Companionship from 2016-2018. Oba’s world-class corn soup has been slurped at the legendary Club Temptation in Flatbush, as well as fine establishments and barbecues across the world.
Anne Alexander (Producer) Anne Alexander is a Brooklyn based producer, director and founding partner of Cousins production studio. Recently her short film What’s In a Pronoun screened at Cannes Lions in 2019 and at the 2020 Damn These Heels LGBTQ Film Festival hosted by the Utah Film Center and Jazzberry (dir. Maxwell Nalevansky), a short film she produced starring Samantha Robinson, was an official selection at the 2020 Newfest Festival. She is currently in production on a documentary short for the WNBA.
Nosferasta: Shadow of the Wind is a Cinereach grantee.