Actress Nana Mensah, who starred in Netflix’s The Chair and had a role in the A24 Sundance hit After Yang, makes her directorial debut with Queen of Glory, which won her the Best New Narrative Director prize at the Tribeca Festival last year. Described as a “follow-up on the classic immigrant’s tale,” the film stars Mensah as Sarah, a PhD candidate who inherits a Christian bookstore in the Bronx following her Ghanaian immigrant mother’s sudden death.
A year after its debut at Tribeca, Queen of Glory is being released theatrically. I had the chance to speak with Mensah about the process of making the film, her first time directing, and what audience response to the film has been like so far.
You can watch the video above, and read below for an official summary and where to watch.
Brainy scientist Sarah Obeng (Nana Mensah, Netflix’s “The Chair“), a doctoral student at Columbia University, is weeks away from following her very married boyfriend to Ohio when her mother dies suddenly. Her inheritance? A small, but beloved, Christian bookstore in the Pelham Parkway section of the Bronx where she was raised in the tight-knit Ghanaian immigrant community. Tasked with planning a culturally respectful funeral befitting the family matriarch, Sarah must juggle the expectations of her loving yet demanding family while navigating the reappearance of her estranged father all while grappling with what to do with the bookstore. Aided by an only-in-New York ensemble of Eastern European neighbors, feisty African aunties and a no-nonsense ex-con co-worker, Sarah faces her new responsibilities while figuring out how to remain true to herself.
Queen of Glory opens in New York City on Friday, July 15th, with more cities to follow.