It's exciting that we're starting to see our first glimpses at the films from the 5 filmmakers selected for the 2011 class of the Focus Features Africa First program.
A few months ago, we got a first tease of Ghanaian American filmmaker Akosua Adoma Owusu's Kwaku Ananse. Today, a new, final trailer has been released, and is embedded below.
Here's how the project is described:
“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.
Those in the west may be most familiar with the story of Kwaku Ananse in the form of celebrated author Neil Gaiman's novel, Anansi Boys.
For those unfamiliar with the program, launched in 2009, Africa First was created "to foster and develop long-term relationships with some of the most promising up-and-coming filmmakers from continental Africa."
Each year, five filmmakers are awarded $10,000 each for production on a narrative short film made in continental Africa.
Akosua's Kwaku Ananse is produced by Lisa Cortes (producer/exec producer of a number of Lee Daniels-produced or directed films like Precious, Shadowboxer, The Woodsman and Monster's Ball), and Julio Chavezmontes via his PIANO production company.
We're looking forward to seeing the complete film, as well as those from the rest of her class: Cedric Ido (from Burkina Faso); Mark Middlewick (from South Africa); Zelalem Woldemariam (from Ethiopia); and Oshosheni Hiveluah's (Namibia).
Be sure to read Tambay's interview with Akosua from earlier this year, posted HERE.