When I was told about publicising a Ghanaian movie on amoafowaa.com, I showed no interest but my friend Perez Dziwornu insisted I did because of a special surprise, then this caught my attention.
“New York, NY USA: The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival (TFF), presented by AT&T, today announced the first 55 films to feature in this year’s festival. Among the films selected was the film “childreN of the mountaiN” produced in Ghana by I60 Productions.
The film is the first feature from writer, director and producer Priscilla Anany who took her short film “Hospitals (Korji)” to Cannes Film Festival in 2013. “childreN of the mountaiN” is about a woman who has a child with cerebral palsy and a cleft lip who believes she can get healing for her child. She wonders from disappointment to disappointment trying to leverage her meagre earnings as a yam trader in the market. The film is set in Accra, Ghana and also a remote village of the Volta region of the country by Lake Volta. The film is in Twi and Ewe and stars a fresh Ghanaian/Nigerian actor called Rukiyat Masud who has done films like “Chelsea”, “Black Beauty” and “Sorrow of Madness”. It has some industry heavyweights like Akofa Edjeani, Adjetey Anang, Grace Omaboe (Maame Dokunu), Dzifa Glikpoe, William Addo (Akpatseh) and Bex (Agbeko Mortty).
Films are submitted in their thousands to the major festivals. Sundance this year had 12,793 films submitted of which they chose only 122 features and 72 shorts. Tribeca received 6,626 films so for Ghanaian film to be selected is a big accomplishment.
Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal, and Craig Hatkoff founded the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 with the mission of contributing to the revitalization of lower Manhattan in the wake of the September 11 disaster. Thirteen years later, the Festival has grown at a remarkable pace, and brings together members of the international film community and movie-lovers of the US to the greatest and most diverse city to celebrate the power of film.
Writer∕Director Priscilla Anany said of the news “It took some time to make the film and it got to a point where the struggle to complete the film overshadowed the reason why I had started out to make the film in the first place. Being accepted into the Tribeca film festival awoke my drive and motivation and reminded me of why this story is important to share with the world any why it’s important to me.”
Still not convinced, he told me the movie was in two Ghanaian languages; Akan and Ewe with subtitles in English. That got me interested. For these two beautiful languages of Ghana to be promoted worldwide for others to see and familiarise with them was something that struck a chord. Then I watched the trailer and I was totally charmed. The story line of a dedicated mother with a child who had cerebral palsy and a Cleft palate facing challenges from within (in self doubt, pain and disappointments), facing challenges from the society who thinks it abnormal for a woman to have a child with disability, some associating it to all kinds of evil ( and we know that this is the reality on the ground where Ghana, I know, is concerned), For the Writer∕Director; Priscilla Anany, to think of this evil in society and make it into a movie whose dialogues catch attention and appeal to the senses of all is something that is not only commendable but extraordinary. So I thought, finally, some women will be empowered, finally, some parents will be stripped off their clothes of shame and clothed in understanding and love as they should, finally society will rethink its unfairness towards people living with disabilities and their families, finally some evil in the society is being shown the exit as enlightenment appears to claim its throne in the heads of those who lack understanding where people living with disabilities are concerned. Humans deemed snakes will reclaim their human status, humans tagged evil will have the evil severed from them. I thought on and on and on and they were all delightful thoughts.
What is equally catchy is the fact that this film represents the first full length feature film produced in Ghana and by a Ghanaian to be officially selected by such a major internationally recognised film festival. To applaud like I am doing now, you need to be there for the world premiere in New York on the 17th of April 2016 at Regal Battery Park Stadium 11 (RGL) 102 North End Ave, New York, NY 10281 6:30pm
“childreN of the mountaiN” will be first premiered on the 1st of July 2016 (Republic Day) at the Silverbird Cinemas, Accra Mall.
After my interview with Agbeko Mortty known as Bex, I understood that the movie was made for all the right reasons. Even the title having a special feature of end capitals to depict that anyone can have a disability. Luck may be a deciding factor in all that regulates the world. Although I would have loved for the Editing to be done in Ghana by Ghanaians, I will say it is absolutely a good start.
Good movies we watch, good books we read, give us the right knowledge, give us the right wisdom to discern facts and put ignorance in shame. A satire by all standards that raises questions and strikes the chords of conscience of every individual no matter how uninterested. For those in the USA, please watch the premiere and see from a different geographical era the cultures that differ, the love that anyone can relate with, the pain that anyone can feel and the humanity we share. I highly recommend this movie for anyone, everyone who wishes to be enlightened and wants to be in touch with his or her humanity.
For more information on the film one can engage with the producers on social media; www.facebook.com/childrenofthemountainfilm . Twitter @cotmfilm and Instagram @cotmfilm
Look out for the hash tags #ThisAfricanFilm #cotmfilm #indiefilm and #tribeca2016
Picture Credit: Q-Vision Limited.