Two films, written and directed by students from the School of Performing Arts at the University of Ghana, have been nominated for an award at the ongoing Pan African Film and Television Festival (FESPACO) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
The films, ‘The Mob’ by Gamel Baba Apalayine Junior and ‘The Photographer’ by Ibrahim Yakubu have been nominated in the Student Film Category for their “ingenuity and unique storylines.”
Despite the tough competition from about 14 other different films from across the continent, the young filmmakers are optimistic about a win for their movies.
“I felt really happy but scared a bit,” Mr Apalayine Junior, who had attended the Festival two years ago for the first time as an observer told Daniella Adu Asare.
According to him, he feels more honoured being nominated as this year’s edition marks 30 years since the legendary Ghanaian filmmaker Kwaw Ansah won the grand prize with ‘Heritage Africa’.
“It’s very monumental for me,” he added.
‘The Mob’ uses the theme of sexuality to hammer on the message of acceptance, love and respect.
Mr Apalayine Junior believes the theme of the film is timely as there is an ongoing global debate over homosexuality; a topic which has prominently featured at the ongoing Festival.
“We’re all just basically hypocrites,’ the young filmmaker, who admitted that his movie indeed come under a lot of backlash in Ghana observed.
Ibrahim Yakubu, a filmmaker whose work has been nominated
The other filmmaker in the same category, Ibrahim Yakubu, popularly called IB, revealed that the nomination came as a shock to him.
According to him, he was surprised because his film, ‘The Photographer’, did not receive as much praise from his lecturers as it has received at FESPACO.
‘The Photographer’ was the film IB presented as his final year project at the School of Performing Arts.
“I was trying to let people know how domestic violence is spreading across the world in different dimensions,” he told the reporter.
Despite the challenges of funding that IB experienced in producing the movie, he was happy to have made it this far.
“When you’re doing the good stuff, you’ll always have support from the international bodies and individuals who really understand your craft’’ he said. “I hope to win”.
If any of the two films win, a Ghanaian film would have won this category the second time running as Peter Owusu’s ‘Downside Up’ won the award during the last FESPACO in 2017.