Tchaiko, blue afro with shaved sides and back is in front of a mirror that makes her appear as a three headed creature wearing a sweatshirt covered with cats

Tchaiko Omawale

Los Angeles, CA

Tchaiko received the Creative Capital Award in 2024. Tchaiko is a writer/director whose filmmaking is influenced by growing up in 8 countries by age 16. Themes of living in and in-between, fill her work. Her impulses for fantasy connect to African indigeneity and the healing powers of body and spirit. She centers an ethic of care, a creative process grounded in intuition and deep listening to her body, her dreams and motherhood. Her debut feature film SOLACE, about a Black girl navigating an eating disorder, is streaming on Paramount + and KweliTV, and won Special Jury Mention for Best Ensemble cast at the LA Film Festival and an Audience Award at the New Orleans Film Festival.

Workshopped in a South African township, the audience was invited to recognize their community’s relationship to self-harm and disordered eating with compassion. The film’s outreach included a conversation about food, trauma and the Black body with Roxane Gay and Franklin Leonard. Her fantasy short film SITA, featuring the late Chadwick Boseman, was curated by Alisha Wormsley for Afronaut(a) film series DVD Magazine. The film also exhibited in the Project Row House show “Black Women Artists for Black Lives Matter,” co-curated by Simone Leigh, the first Black woman to represent the US at the Venice Biennale. Tchaiko’s most recent commercial work – a Pinterest spot featuring Tracee Ellis Ross. Her episodic work: QUEEN SUGAR, CHERISH THE DAY, SACRIFICE and GOOD TROUBLE. For more


Tchaiko Omawale

Tchaiko of House Omawale, Second of Her Name, Mother of Flame, Seeker of Truth, Breaker of Chains.

Artist Bio

Beast is a character-driven film that interweaves our world and fantasy. Magical elements are performed by both actors and puppets with special and visual effects that immerse us in theatrical visuals of production design, wardrobe, hair and makeup (think: Bjork’s music video worlds). Fiction intercuts with documentary footage from the filmmaker’s archive of coming of age in Africa, Asia and Europe. This film shows T, a Black woman in her 40s navigating infertility. This project is a biomythography about the Black Maternal Health Crisis told through the filmmaker’s story. The narrative engages elements of fantasy filled with magical relics, time travel and the horror of a Beast with flesh-melting saliva who wants to kill T’s babies.

Set in our world where the weight of racism terrorizes Black Girlhood and Black Motherhood, this story traverses time and geographies, showing white supremacy, capitalism and colonization embodied by the Beast that causes war, death and intergenerational trauma. T is at war with the Beast. He shape-shifts into an incubus, killing her babies in the fantasy and the real world. She discovers her fibroid tumors are the Beast’s spawn and is determined to slay him. This epic journey shows how anti-Blackness, colorism and misogynoir are at play in an unjust system that kills Black women and our babies. The tone encapsulates the terrors of infertility and postpartum depression. This film will release theatrically both on domestic and international screens then stream. The discussion will continue with hosted screenings through an impact campaign.

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