Mercury Afrograde

Mercury Afrograde

Mercury Afrograde

Directed by Blanche Akonchong

Type of Project: Comedy
Length: 22:10
Producers: Blanche Akonchong, Nora Bode
Editor: Blanche Akonchong
Cinematographer: Bettina Avila
Sound Designer: Louis-Julien Pannetier

When Nickelle discovers her older sister Zina is queer, she confides in her about another secret she’s been keeping - a suspected pregnancy. Nickelle relies on Zina to buy her Plan B, in agreement to keep their secrets confidential from their religious parents. They learn their mother’s been living a double life, and realize they’re not the model African family.

Blanche Akonchong
Blanche Akonchong


Blanche Akonchong is a writer, director, and actress from Riverdale, GA. A first generation American, her parents immigrated to the U.S. in the early 90’s, from Cameroon, a country in West Africa.

She studied Music Business at New York University’s Steinhardt, and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Music. Having a lifelong passion for music and producing, Blanche worked at various music and TV  companies such as Showtime, Viacom, Spotify, and Atlantic Records. In undergrad she was a recipient of the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship. Blanche worked on various student films and television shows while pursuing her music studies. She enrolled in NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Film Program in 2018 and is in her third year.

Her identity as a queer Black woman has lended her a unique set of encounters that she presents within her films. In 2019 she wrote, directed, edited, scored and starred in her third short film “Mercury Afrograde.” She was awarded NewFest’s Emerging Black LGBTQ+ Director Award in 2020. Mercury Afrograde received an Honorable Mention for Best Short at Woodstock Film Festival and an IFP Gotham Awards Student Short nomination. It has screened at Afrikana Film Festival, Cucalorus, NewFest, and Woodstock Film Festival. Her goal is to create a comedic television show which chronicles the Black and LGBTQ experience in a post-modern way.