A film that we first screened at the 2011 installment of the New Directors/New Films Film Festival, has been picked up for online distribution by Vyer Flms (the company that did the same with another film we highlighted here on S&A - The Invader - last year)
It's a Ghanaian film titled The Destiny Of Lesser Animals, written and directed by Deron Albright.
The film, originally conceived as an homage to Akira Kurosawa’s 1949 masterpiece police procedural Stray Dog, tells the tale of a Ghanaian police officer, desperate to return to the USA, years after he was deported, who loses his newly-acquired counterfeit passport and visa, and launches an extensive search of Accra, the capital city, to recover the lost documents before someone else finds and uses them in his place. With the assistance and optimism of a veteran officer, his finds that his journey is riddled with conflict, which affects his few options.
The filmmakers described it as “a police film with the character study of an African deportee, struggling with life in a country to which he never thought he’d return.”
And like the film it’s paying homage to (Kurosawa’s Stray Dog), expect explorations of class conflict and masculinity.
The film stars Yao B. Nunoo, Fred Nii Amugi and Abena Takyi.
Vyer Films will be makingThe Destiny of Lesser Animals available for streaming in over 130 countries worldwide, in honor of the 57th anniversary of Ghana’s independence, starting on March 6, for a one-week period, exclusively on vyerfilms.com, marking the first global release for the distribution company.
The Destiny of Lesser Animals premiered at the New Directors/New Films Festival in 2011, and went on to screen at the Chicago International Film Festival, the LA Film Fest, SIFF, the Philadelphia Film Festival, and more.
Malcolm Woodard reviewed the film for S&A while it toured the film festival circuit, calling the narrative provocative, and was mostly pleased with it, despite some hiccups.
Overall, reviews were positive, from Eric Shlapack of the Examiner, calling it “a Ghanaian crime thriller that goes beyond the genre to become a work of art;” to The Hollywood Reporter singling out the films cinematography and writing, stating, “Shooting digitally frees [director Deron] Albright to immerse viewers in the country’s colorful, dynamics street life, which also conveys the chaos and squalor the characters are attempting to escape.”
With prior distribution throughout the African continent, the film’s release through Vyer Films marks the first time it will be available worldwide to non-festival audiences.
Watch the trailer below, and bookmark vyerfilms.com to return on in 2 days, on March 6, to watch the film (of course we'll remind you):