Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 23 August 2019

Donald Glover debuts new film with Rihanna after Coachella performance

'Guava Island' features several Childish Gambino tracks, as well as a cameo from Letitia Wright

Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, stars in a just-released short film with Rihanna. AFP
Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino, stars in a just-released short film with Rihanna. AFP

He wowed Coachella crowds with his live set on Friday night, but that wasn't the only body of work Donald Glover was showcasing this weekend.

The multi-talented actor, writer, comedian and musician unveiled his new film, in which he stars alongside fellow singer Rihanna, after his performance.

Guava Island is a tropical, musical release that features Glover – also known by his stage name, Childish Gambino – as Deni Maroon, a musician throwing a festival for his fictional island community. Rihanna stars as Kofi, Deni's girlfriend, in the 55-minute film, which includes music by Glover and a screenplay by his brother, Stephen.

The film premiered at Coachella on April 11 ahead of Glover's set, with the Atlanta star revealing the drama would stream for free on Amazon Prime until 6.01pm Pacific time on April 13. It is now available on the streaming service for members.

It's the first feature film from director Hiro Murai, who was behind Glover's award-winning video for This Is America, and was shot in Cuba last year. Also starring Nonso Anozie and Black Panther's Letitia Wright, Guava Island explores themes of immigration and politics with a hearty dose of social commentary.

Alas, Rihanna doesn't have a singing role, and Glover doesn't release any new music, rather he performs new takes of some of his hits, such as Feels Like Summer and Summertime Magic.

"I would have committed to Donald sight unseen,” Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, told Variety on receiving a teaser of the film's concept from Glover. “I knew whatever he wanted to amplify would have relevance and be entertaining. He has that ability to create cultural moments and spread a message that’s interesting.”

Updated: April 14, 2019 01:22 PM