Crowdfunded Project: Akosua Owusu’s Kwaku Ananse

A promising filmmaker uses a Ghanaian fable as a springboard to a modern story

@misscortes

A cool film project via my friend, producer Lisa Cortes, is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign.  The film, Kwaku Ananse, from director Akosua Adoma Owusu, received $10,000 from the prestigious Focus Features African First Program, but needs to raise another $35,000 of its budget in order to shoot.  Film is, after all, the most financially intensive of our artforms.

Here’s a blurb from the Kickstarter page:

“Kwaku Ananse” is an intensely personal project which draws upon the rich mythology of Ghana. The short film combines semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster in West African stories who appears as both spider and man. Ananse teaches us that there are two sides to everything and everyone. To explore this theme of doubleness, a fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nan Kronhwea attending her estranged father’s funeral. Nan’s father led two separate lives with two wives and two families — one in Ghana, one in the United States. Nan’s ambivalence about her father’s double life is a reflection of a broader truth about the nature of our personal relationships.

Great to see the strong team that’s been assembled to help make this happen.  Director Akosua Adoma Owusu was selected as one of Art Forum’s Top 10 artists. Producer Lisa Cortes has an Academy Award to her credit. Advising Producer Michelle-anne M. Small is the producer of Gun Hill Road, nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize in 2011. Julio Chavezmontes is a young mexican producer whose first film Halley will compete for a Tiger Award next year in Rotterdam. Cinematographer Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio is an internationally acclaimed Mexican filmmaker whose first film, the documentary Toro Negro, was produced by Alejandro Gonzalez-Iñarritu (Amores Perros, Babel, 21 Grams).

Sounds like an interesting project and the storyline with a father with two families brings to mind Tayari Jones’s recent novel Silver Sparrow.  Check it out and consider a contribution, support for which will help develop emerging cinema in a country where so many stories have yet to be told.

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Rob Fields is the founder and publisher of Bold As Love Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @robfields.

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