15 Movies By African Directors You Can Stream Right Now, From 'Girlhood' To 'Difret'

With Black Panther hitting theaters in February, there's no better time than now for audiences to embrace Africanism in cinema. Black Panther, out Feb. 16, is, after all, the first time a major superhero movie is set in Africa. The global reach of other African films is taking off these days, due to their accessibility on platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, iRokoTV and several others. This is a great thing not just for African film industries such as Nollywood (Nigeria's Hollywood), which dominates African film selections on Netflix, but for all audiences. Seeing African films, made by African filmmakers, can open your mind and give a voice to underrepresented stories that deserve recognition.

With a large selection of movies making their way to streaming apps and online, there's no shortage of African films out there that you can stream and enjoy. From horror to drama and romance, no genre is left untouched on this list of African movies, all made by African filmmakers. If you're not familiar with non-Hollywood films, this is the perfect time for you to explore the diverse and exciting storytelling happening outside of America. So, without further ado, here are 15 African films you can and should stream today.

1. Fifty

Fifty The Movie on YouTube

Fifty follows four women who are all approaching 50, hence the title. From marriage to divorce to love to new endeavors, this movie has it all, and is a great look at Nigerian cinema.

Available on Netflix.

2. The Wedding Party

TIFF Trailers on YouTube

Dozie Anwuka (Banky W.) and Dunni Coker (Adesua Etomi) find their lavish wedding plans turning into chaos when their parents start feuding and exes show up.

Available on Netflix.

3. Like Cotton Twines

RLJE Films on YouTube

An American teacher (Jay Ellis) is sent to a remote school in Ghana to try and give young students a better education. At one point, he tries to save one of the girls from a religious custom in which she will be offered as a slave to the "gods."

Available on Netflix.

4. Difret

godigital on YouTube

Difret focuses on the case of child bride Aberash Bekele (renamed as Hirut Assefa in the movie) who was 14 when she was abducted and raped — and who then murdered her rapist in self-defense. The movie also sheds light on the Ethiopian Women Lawyers Association and their heavy involvement in Assefa's case, which was led by Meaza Ashenafi.

Available on Netflix.

5. Road To Yesterday

RTYTheMovie on YouTube

Genevieve Nnaji and Oris Erhuero star in Road To Yesterday as a struggling couple who try to save their marriage by taking a road trip.

Available on Netflix.

6. Ties That Bind

YouTube

Kimberly Elise stars in an emotional movie about a group of women who run a Ghana clinch and bond over experiencing of the loss of children.

Available on YouTube.

7. Ayanda

Film Independent on YouTube

A young designer and mechanic named Ayanda (Fulu Mugovhani) works in of her late father's garage to refurbish old cars, hoping to save her father's old business with the help of her friends and artistic talent.

Available on Netflix.

8. The African Doctor

UniFrance on YouTube

The African Doctor is a family comedy about a Congolese doctor who needs to gain French citizenship and so decides to practice medicine in a small French village. When there, he encounters racist and rude behavior, and his existence in the village causes the community to adjust in major ways.

Available on Netflix.

9. Mom, Dad, Meet Sam

Restless Distribution on YouTube

In many African families, interracial dating can be a big issue, and this movie tackles that subject. Josiah (Joseph Benjamin) takes his white English girlfriend back home to Nigeria but his family's dramatic response turns the trip into a complete disaster.

Available on Netflix.

10. Veve

OneFineDayFilms on YouTube

Produced by non-profit production company One Fine Day Films, Veve is a Kenyan film about a corrupt politician and the enemies he makes while trying to win his election.

Available on Netflix.

11. The Pearl Of Africa

Creative North on YouTube

The Pearl of Africa isn't directed by an African filmmaker, but is a documentary that covers a subject many African communities rarely discuss because it's taboo. The doc follows a Ugandan transgender woman named Cleo, living in a country that passed an anti-homosexuality bill.

Available on Netflix.

12. Gone Too Far

YouTube

Gone Too Far is a A British-Nigerian film about two brothers, Ikudayisi (O.C Ukeje) and Yemi (Malachi Kirby) who grew up in very different countries. Yemi has become accustomed to living a British life, and finds seeing Ikudayisi live a Nigerian lifestyle in London to be embarrassing.

Available on Netflix.

13. Hard To Get

FilmBuff Movies on YouTube

Hard To Get is an awesome action film, packed with great cinematography and a lovely romance.

Available on Netflix.

14. Girlhood

Strand Releasing on YouTube

Girlhood captures what it means to grow up as an African girl in a European neighborhood. Marieme (Karijde Toure) joins a girl gang in the projects of Paris, which slowly brings her out of her shell and causes her to make some less than stellar decisions.

Available on Netflix.

15. The Duplex

irokotv | NOLLYWOOD on YouTube

African horror movies aren't typically as filled with special effects or scares as American ones, but this one is worth a watch.

Available on Netflix.

There is power in African cinema, and these films are proof.