Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral James Franco Will Direct Film Based on Aziah "Zola" Wells' 148-Tweet Narrative That Went Viral Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Regarding 'Song of the South' – The Film That Disney Doesn’t Want You to See Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' Watch Mekhi Phifer in Trailer for "First-Person Shooter" Zombie Thriller, 'Pandemic' HBO Sets April Premiere Date for 'Confirmation' HBO Sets April Premiere Date for 'Confirmation' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch the Electrifying First Trailer for Don Cheadle's 'Miles Ahead' Watch: Tyler Perry Previews 'The Passion' 2-Hour Musical Event in New Orleans Watch: Tyler Perry Previews 'The Passion' 2-Hour Musical Event in New Orleans Before Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film Is Released, Get Prepped By Watching Charles Burnett's 2003 Documentary Before Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film Is Released, Get Prepped By Watching Charles Burnett's 2003 Documentary There Is a Precedent for the "DuVernay Test" to Consider... There Is a Precedent for the "DuVernay Test" to Consider... Idris Elba Makes SAG Awards History + Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah Collect Trophies Idris Elba Makes SAG Awards History + Viola Davis, Uzo Aduba, Queen Latifah Collect Trophies Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9 Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9 First-Look at David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in Amma Asante's 'A United Kingdom' First-Look at David Oyelowo and Rosamund Pike in Amma Asante's 'A United Kingdom' Poster: Mike Epps, Paul Mooney, Charlie Murphy Comedy-Thriller 'Meet the Blacks' Poster: Mike Epps, Paul Mooney, Charlie Murphy Comedy-Thriller 'Meet the Blacks' Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) Watch: OWN Previews New Primetime Series 'It's Not You, It's Men' (Tyrese Gibson & Rev Run Host) First Look at Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation' First Look at Nate Parker's Nat Turner Film, 'The Birth of a Nation' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' TV One Aims to Change the Reality Genre with New Series, 'The Next 15' Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton Is Heading to TV Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Why Was Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv) Really Replaced on 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'? Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting

Exclusive Interview with Leila Djansi at Cannes Film Market, 2011

Shadow and Act By MsWOO | Shadow and Act May 26, 2011 at 11:44AM

Most activity for films from/by/about the diaspora at Cannes Film Festival takes place in the film market. With its vast array of booths set up by production companies and sales and distribution agents from around the world, Le Marché du Film compares with any market one visits on one's world travels – but instead of arromatic spices, exotic fruit and veg and and an assortment of local arts and craft, this contained sprawl of creative commerce offers up a cacaphony of cinematic intrigue and wonder, with TV monitors and posters promoting the bizarre, the beautiful, the bemusing and the baffling from around the world.
3

Most activity for films from/by/about the diaspora at Cannes Film Festival takes place in the film market. With its vast array of booths set up by production companies and sales and distribution agents from around the world, Le Marché du Film compares with any market one visits on one's world travels – but instead of arromatic spices, exotic fruit and veg and and an assortment of local arts and craft, this contained sprawl of creative commerce offers up a cacaphony of cinematic intrigue and wonder, with TV monitors and posters promoting the bizarre, the beautiful, the bemusing and the baffling from around the world.

One of the biggest film markets, and perhaps the most prestigious, this is where determined and savvy filmmakers come to promote and sell their latest film projects, offering small theatre market screenings, DVD screeners and available geographical territories, in the hope of making a deal that'll support their livelihoods and spur them on to their next masterpiece. It's here that I met and interviewed Leila Djansi, award winning Ghanaian filmmaker (now based in the US), to talk about her latest film, Sinking Sands, which screened at the market, as well as her career to date, her future projects and the challenges of selling films to buyers who are often uncertain of, and unreceptive to, stories of a people that don't always fit stereotypes.

Starring Jimmy Jean-Louis, "The Haitian" of TV's Heroes fame, who also has several Hollywood film roles under his belt, and British-Ghanaian newcomer Ama K Abebrese, Sinking Sands also features talents from Nollywood and Gollywood (Nigerian and Ghanaian film industries) in prominent supporting roles and tells the tragic and insightful tale of a tender, loving relationship that turns to one of frustration, despair and violence from which both parties struggle, emotionally and psychologically, to extricate themselves from. The film was nominated for 9 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAAs) this year and endorsed by UNIFEM, Ghana, as a resource in its Say NO! to Violence campaign, which is championed by Hollywood actress, Nicole Kidman.

Djansi also introduces her next film, Ties That Bind, starring Kimberley Elise, Ama K Abebrese and Nollywood's Omotola Ekeinde.

Full of laughter and good humour, Djansi is not, however, one to distance herself from difficult subjects and, although she is fully cogniscant of the workings of the film industry and bears this in mind when developing her projects, nor is she one to pander to notions of lighthearted but limiting stories, or tales that dwell heavily on unobjective and narrow confines of the deprived, depraved and the negative, even though they might make for an easier sale. Her dreams for her film career, and cinema of the African diaspora in general, are as ambitious in scope and varied in content as they are pragmatic and strategic in planning. At the centre of her ambitions and goals is humanity – in all its shades, hues, colours... and skin tones.

Here's my interview with her at Cannes. Hopefully, you'll find it as inspiring, invigorating and insighgtful as I did.

Part 1


Part 2


Shadow & ActNewsletter