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Short Film Programme 1 - African Storytelling: Image & Sound

Directors in Attendance


Yellow Fever
Kenya 2012. Director: Ng’endo Mukii

Made as her thesis project at London’s Royal College of Art, Ng’endo Mukii’s Yellow Fever is a deeply personal exploration of beauty, race, history, and the body. Animation, dance, and painterly images mix to explore the subject of skin bleaching, through the eyes of Mukii’s young niece. Colour, in English. 7 mins.


Jesus and the Giant
South Africa 2008. Director: Akin Omotoso

This modern-day fable set on the streets of Johannesburg tells the story of a woman seeking vengeance against the monstrous man abusing her friend. Using still-photography and saturated colours to striking, often startling effect, Director Omotoso (whose feature Man on the Ground also screens in this series), creates a haunting tale of love and revenge. Colour, in English. 12 mins.

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DIRECTOR BIO: Akin Omotoso was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, and studied drama at the University of Cape Town. While acting in several films including Blood Diamond and Shake Hands with the Devil, Omotoso distinguished himself as a director with a series of short films and his first feature film God is African. Currently, Akin is working on a film about the life of Nigerian activist and environmental martyr Ken Saro-Wiwa.


Ethiopia 2013. Director: Zelalem Woldermariam

A young Ethiopian composer and drummer struggles to come to terms with his traumatic past. Using textured sound and image, filmmaker Woldermariam crafts an atmosphere at once surreal and deeply affecting. Despite the heavy subject matter, the redemptive character of Ethiopian music will have you dancing in your seats. Colour, in Amharic with English subtitles. 18 mins.


Kwaku Ananse
Ghana/Mexico/USA 2013. Director: Akusoa Adoma Owusu

The latest short film from experimental filmmaker Owusu is an entrancing, semi-autobiographical turn on a well-known Ghanaian folktale. Following the trickster spider Ananse, and weaving together captivating images and music by famed Ghanaian Highlife musician Koo Nimo, this is a memorable exploration of storytelling, place, and belonging. Colour, in Twi with English subtitles. 26 mins.

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DIRECTOR BIO: Coming from Ghana, Akusoa Adoma Owusu studied film at CalArts and her work has been exhibited worldwide, including showings at MoMA and Viennale. Her previous short films, Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) and Drexciya, both travelled to multiple festivals and earned Owusu several awards. In 2011, she was awarded the Focus Features Africa First Grant, from which her most recent short film Kwaku Anase was funded. One of Artforum's Top Ten Artists, Owusu's work is informed by questions of diasporic identities, history, music and experimental representation.


USA 2013. Director: Frances Bodomo

Quvenzhané Wallis, Oscar-nominated lead of Beasts of the Southern Wild, stars in this atmospheric exploration of belief, ritual, and diasporic identities. A Ghanaian immigrant family takes a road trip to a Pentecostal church in Louisiana, hoping a traditional ritual can cure their problem child. With textured images and eerie use of landscape, Boneshaker explores the homelessness and rootlessness that accompany immigration. Colour, in English. 13 mins.