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TIFF 2013: You'll Appreciate This Poster For Akosua Adoma Owusu's 'Kwaku Ananse'...

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act August 19, 2013 at 10:49AM

Well, I do, even if you don't! So there...
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Still From Akosua Adoma Owusu's 'Kwaku Ananse' - Focus Features Africa First 5th Class
Still From Akosua Adoma Owusu's 'Kwaku Ananse' - Focus Features Africa First 5th Class

Well, I do, even if you don't! So there...

I caught myself just staring at it for an extended period of time, zooming into areas, taking in and analyzing all its intricacies, and also trying to see if I could tell what the story was just from the poster alone.

It didn't help that I already know what the story is. But even if I didn't, this is a poster that would definitely have my attention once I laid eyes on it, and I'd immediately be curious to find out more about it. 

My familiarity with the title's history (specifically, drawing on Ghanaian mythology as you'll read in the synopsis below), and how it's worked into the design, also helps.

One of 5 filmmakers selected for the 2011 class of the Focus Features Africa First program, Akosua Adoma Owusu's Kwaku Ananse will screen at the Toronto International Film Festival next month; so if TIFF 2013 is in your future, this is one to add to your to-see list.

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.

And for those unfamiliar with the Focus Features Africa First 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 (which has already picked up a number of awards, and lots of acclaim) is produced by Lisa Cortes (producer/exec producer of a number of Lee Daniels-produced or directed films like PreciousShadowboxerThe 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).

The poster follows immediately below; you'll find the film's trailer underneath.

This article is related to: Akosua Adoma Owusu


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