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Akosua Adoma Owusu

Submitted by: Tribeca Film Institute

Akosua Adoma Owusu

Akosua Adoma Owusu is an American filmmaker of Ghanaian descent. She received an MFA from CalArts in 2008. One of ArtForum‘s Top Ten Artists, Owusu is informed by personal diaspora, history, and cultural representation. Her award-winning short films including Drexciya and Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) have exhibited worldwide including at MoMA, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Rotterdam Film Festival, Berlinale, and London Film Festival. She participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus, Durban Talent Campus and was a featured artist at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2010. Owusu has served on the jury and screening committees for Festival 3 Continents and AFI Silverdocs. She is developing her first feature, Black Sunshine which was selected in Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors in 2012 and received support by the Creative Capital Foundation that same year. She is also a recipient of the Art Matters Grant and the Africa First award sponsored by Focus Features.

Upcoming Project

Black Sunshine (Development, 2014)

Set in a village in Ghana, Black Sunshine (pictured above) is a feature film about the love triangle of a promiscuous Ghanaian hairdresser, her European lover and her teenage albino daughter. Born albino, everything about Asabea sets her apart. Her days are spent caring for her ailing mother and dreams of escaping with her mysterious friend, Shebere. When she tries to balance her life between Effie and Shebere, she is pulled down two separate paths—and the places they lead her are darker than she could ever imagine. The film examines albino Africans as tropes for cross-cultural identity. The film explores conventional beauty, emotional violence, the social stigma of albinism in Africa and its impact on family dynamics.

Filmography

Kwaku Ananse (2013)

Kwaku Ananse is an intensely personal project which draws upon the rich mythology of Ghana. The fable is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father's funeral. Overwhelmed at the funeral, she retreats to the spirit world in search for her father.

Drexicya (2011)

Akosua Adoma OWUSU: Drexciya (EXCERPT 11-12) from ripbm on Vimeo.

Praised at the 2011 Tarifa African Festival for its "radical nature" and "poetic insight," this short film is an eerie portrait of an abandoned Olympic-sized public swimming pool in Accra, Ghana, set on “The Riviera” – on of Ghana’s first pleasure beaches. Inspired by the myth of Drexciya and Underground Resistance.

Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) (2009)

A lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana. The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair braiding on discarded white baby dolls from the West. The film uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment, me broni ba, which means “my white baby.”

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