The Huffington Post recently named Akosua Adoma Owusu “Most Promising Filmmaker” at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and one of the “Top 30 Black Contemporary Artists Under 40”. Her semi-autobiographical film, Kwaku Ananse, has been winning awards of its own on the international stage this year. Now, both film and filmmaker are headed to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), where Kwaku Ananse will make its North American debut.
Kwaku Ananse is one of a handful of shorts being featured in the program titled To Repel Ghosts: Urban Tales from the African Continent, which showcases remarkably uncanny and fiercely contemporary African stories.
The Toronto International Film Festival describes Kwaku Ananse as “a spellbinding, semi-autobiographical interpretation of a traditional Ghanaian folktale in which the contemporary collides with the mythological in both content and form.”
The film’s quiet, deliberative tone draws viewers into the lead character’s experience, inviting empathy, and encouraging each of us to consider the state of our own relationships.
Owusu describes the film as “an intensely personal project” that is “a reflection of a broader truth about the human condition,” and “an effort to preserve a fable my late father passed on to me.”
Kwaku Ananse premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival and has since received accolades at the Cannes Short Film Corner and the French Film Academy’s Golden Nights Panorama, where it was included in the World’s Best Short Films category. It was produced by Lisa Cortes (Oscar-Nominated, Precious) and Julio Chavezmontes (Sundance New Frontier, Halley) and was created with the support of Focus Features Africa First, Art Matters and the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant.
Akosua Adoma Owusu is currently developing her feature debut, Black Sunshine which recently won the ARTE International Prize at Durban FilmMart and funding support by The Creative Capital Foundation.