Kwaku Ananse

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    Kwaku Ananse

    Directed by

    Ghana, USA, Mexico

    2013

    25 min

    • Akan

    Drama

    Berlin IFFCannes IFFToronto IFFFF Locarno

    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. The fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father's funeral. At the funeral, she retreats to the woods in search for her father.

    Awards

    • Best Short Film - African Movie Academy Awards

    Credits

    Cast
    Jojo Abot
    Koo Nimo
    Grace Omaboe
    Screenplay
    Akosua Adoma Owusu
    Cinematography
    Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio
    Editing
    Akosua Adoma Owusu
    Rodrigo Quintero
    Music
    Koo Nimo
    Ebo Taylor

    Director's Statement

    KWAKU ANANSE is an effort to preserve a fable my father passed on to me, and in turn to preserve a dying yet immensely rich culture.

    Production
    OBIBINI PICTURES
    Akosua Adoma Owusu

    Akosua Adoma Owusu

    Ghana

    Instead of ‘Africanizing’ Western stories, I’m interested in reclaiming African history rendering them into what is happening in the present day.

    Akosua Adoma Owusu (b. 1984) is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer, and cinematographer whose films address the collision of identities where the African immigrant located in America has a triple consciousness. Interpreting the notion of “double consciousness,” coined by sociologist and civil rights activist W. E. B. Du Bois to define the experience of black Americans negotiating selfhood in the face of discrimination and cultural dislocation, Owusu aims to create a third cinematic space or consciousness. In her works, feminism, queerness, and African identities interact in African, white American, and black American cultural environments. Named by IndieWire as one of six preeminent “avant-garde female filmmakers who redefined cinema,” she was a featured artist of the 56th Robert Flaherty Film Seminar programmed by renowned film curator and critic Dennis Lim. Owusu has exhibited worldwide, including at the Berlinale, Rotterdam, Locarno, Toronto, New Directors/New Films (NY), and London (BFI). Her film Kwaku Ananse won the 2013 Africa Movie Academy Award. Her film WHITE AFRO won the Medien Patent Verwaltung AG Prize at the 2019 Locarno Film Festival. Her work is included in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Centre Georges Pompidou, and the Fowler Museum at UCLA. She has received fellowships and grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Knight Foundation, Creative Capital, the MacDowell Colony, the Camargo Foundation and most recently from the Residency Program of the Goethe-Institut Salvador-Bahia. Currently, she divides her time between Ghana and New York, where she works as a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn.

    Selected Filmography