Film in Africa today is very different from how it was a decade or two ago. New talents have emerged across the continent, and movie directors and producers use sophisticated equipment in their productions. The scripts written today are better and of high quality. West Africa leads the continent in film production. Nigeria and Ghana are especially credited for putting the continent on the global map. Nollywood and Kumawood movies are consumed by not only Africans but also by audiences in Europe, Australia, and the USA.
The pioneers in Kumawood started with movies shot in local Ghanaian dialects before proceeding to the English language for a wider audience. Kumasi is the heart of Kumawood movies. The Ghanaian film industry strives to increase the number of quality movies produced every year. A lot has changed since cinema viewing started in Ghana during the colonial days. 'Love Brewed in the African Pot' is reportedly the first movie to be privately financed in independent Ghana. The film was released in 1980. The following are the best 20 best movies to be produced in Ghana.
1. The Northern King (2017)
IMDb score: 8.5/10 | Run time: 1h 44m
This piece is supposed to be one of the best Kumawood movies. The crime movie stars Justin Ada, Henry Adofo, Anita Donkor, Versha Grant, and Jeffrey Forson. Amin Bello (Jeffrey Forson) goes back to his native country after his career as an American Airman only find that his best friend has turned into a drug lord. A battle between the two friends ensues as both of them are pitted against each other. Amin swears to destroy his friend Mannahn Abass (Henry Adofo ) as he is hellbent on being labelled the winner. The movie gets to be tense as everyone waits for the king to be dethroned.
2. Keteke (2017)
IMDb score: 8.2/10 | Run time: 1h 38m
If you are looking for great Kumawood movies to watch, you can't miss Keteke, which is set in the 1980s where the main form of transport is the railway. Boi (Adjetey Anang) and Atswei (Lydia Forson)are expecting a child, but something unfortunate happens when she is about to deliver. The two miss the train that was to take them to the hospital, and they are forced to make a crucial decision for their first born child to survive. Will the baby and mother survive after everything they went through?
READ ALSO: List of 2019 adventure films
3.The Destiny of Lesser Animals (2011)
IMDb score: 7.9/10 | Run time: 1h 29m
This one takes the third place among best Kumawood movies. Inspector Boniface Koomsin (Yao B. Nunoo ), an experienced police detective, gets on a perilous journey which exposes him to danger and risk. The brave detective has to get something that will help him achieve his ultimate goal. The journey he takes will determine his future as he wants to forget his past and fly to the United States. Other main characters in the movie are Francis Gbormittah, Abena Takyi, and Fred Amugi.
4. Children of the Mountain (2016)
IMDb score: 7.8/10 | Run time: 1h 40m
This film is about a woman who goes through pain and suffering so that her child can have a better life. Essuman (Rukiyat Masud ) plays the role of a single mother who sells yams to make ends meet. Her child was born with a cleft palate, and this made Essuman think of running away because of the myths people believed about children born with flaws. In a matter of time, she is hit with another problem. Her child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Essuman has to move from hospital to hospital to look for treatment. The movie showed how difficult it is to raise physically challenged children, especially for single mothers. Other stars in the movie include Adjetey Anang, Akofa Edjeani Asiedu and Grace Omaboe.
5.The Cursed Ones (2015)
IMDb score: 7.8/10 | Run time: 1h 40m
Godwin Ezeudu (Oris Erhuero ) acts as a disillusioned journalist who gets caught up in a witch hunt as he goes to report on a local festival. Pastor John Moses (Joseph Otsiman) maintains that for the village to be clean again, the young deaf girl has to be exorcised and killed. With this going on, Godwin has to find a way of saving the poor girl from the villagers who are now frightened by the pastor's remarks. Together with a school teacher, Godwin fights the misinformation and corruption being spread. The movie touches on religion, corruption, and morality.
6. Love Brewed In the African Pot (1981)
IMDb score: 7.8/10 | Run time: 2h 5m
Aba Appiah (Anima Misa ) is lucky to have come from a wealthy family. Love, however, does not choose whom one falls for. The wealthy Aba falls for poor Joe Quansah (Reginald Tsiboe ) whose father’s source of income is fishing. Aba’s father (George Wilson ) is not impressed by her daughter’s love for this young man and plots to stop their potential marriage. Drama ensues at some point, typical in movies of this nature. The end is unexpected.
7. No Time To Die (2006)
IMDb score: 7.7/10 | Run time: 1h 35m
This movie shows how humans get to be judgemental based on one’s profession, and even not want to be associated with you. Asante (David Dontoh ) is a hearse driver in Ghana. His efforts to find a woman to settle with are hindered because of what he does for a living. He is lucky to one day find a woman who is interested in him, and they both plan on getting married. One problem however arises; the father of the woman he fell for does not approve of their love. Asante beats all odds and marries the love of his life in the end. Other main characters in the movie are Fritz Baffour who acts as Ofori, Kofi Bucknor who plays the role of Owusu and Agnes Dapaa who acts as Aba.
8. The Burial of Kojo (2018)
IMDb score: 7.7/10 | Run time: 1h 40m
Kojo (Joseph Otsiman ) and Kwabena (Kobina Amissah-Sam) are brothers who are not particularly close. It happens that one day Kojo goes for a mining adventure but gets trapped in the mines all thanks to his vengeful brother. Kojo’s daughter (Cynthia Dankwa ) is now tasked with finding and rescuing her father. She is faced with challenges, some which she cannot handle on her journey to the mines. The film is thrilling and exciting.
9. Potomanto (2013)
IMDb score: 7.6/10 | Run time: 2h 9m
Former police officer Adane (Adjetey Anang )makes it his mission to bust and expose cheating partners after his girlfriend cheats on him. Something weird happens as he works on catching Susan (Marie Humbert ); he discovers that bizarre activities like illegal organ harvesting have been happening in the community. Faced with a new problem, Adane has to make a wise choice. The movie is action-packed as two individuals from opposing sides of the law are made to put an end to the strange murders.
READ ALSO: Latest African movies
10. Devil in the Detail (2014)
IMDb score: 7.6/10 | Run time: 1h 34m
The 2014 Ghanaian film shows how infidelity, betrayal, and lies rule the family unit. Starring Ama Ampofo as Claudia, Adjetey Anang as Ben Ofori, Smith Asante as Fred, Nse Ikpe-Etim as Helen Ofori and Mawuli Gavor as Sam, ‘Devil In The Detail’ exposes the rot in some marriages and consequences of love triangles, extramarital affairs, and fake love. The movie is full of drama that shows how easy it is to ruin a perfect marriage.
11. Princess Tyra (2007)
IMDb score: 7.6/10 | Run time: 2h 30m
The movie’s main characters are van Vicker, Jackie Appiah, Yvonne Nelson, and Oge Okoye. The storyline is that of a royalty who interacts with a pauper. Maafia (Jackie Appiah) gets pregnant for Prince Kay in unforeseen circumstances but gets disappointed when she goes to inform the prince of her pregnancy. The Prince’s mother is not particularly welcoming of Maafia, and that becomes a problem for her. The plot thickens as Ashley is made to resemble Maafia and later fall pregnant for the prince.
12. Kukurantumi (1983)
IMDb score: 7.5/10 | Run time: 1h 23m
This 1983 classic film serves as a good comedy production because of the storyline. Addey (Evans Oma Hunter ), a truck driver, travels through the capital to the village to get bread for his family. His trips across Kukurantumi and Accra enable him to live comfortably until he gets fired one day. His immediate thought is to marry off his daughter Abena (Amy Appiah) to a rich family, but Abena deeply loves Bob (David Dontoh). Seeing that her father has other plans, Abena and Bob run to go live in Accra, where life gets to be more difficult.
13. Silver Rain (2015)
IMDb score: 7.3/10 | Run time: 1h 35m
A poor street girl, Ajoa (Joselyn Dumas ) meets wealthy Bruce( Enyinna Nwigwe) in an awkward encounter. Bruce is the heir of Timothy fortunes, a company owned by his family. The movie shows how life is different for the two who live in different worlds. Ajoa struggles to change her social and economic status while Bruce discovers things he previously did not know about himself. The two have to join forces and fight anything that deters them from achieving their joint goal. ‘Silver Rain’ tells the story of love amidst societal commotion and class wars.
14. Sankofa (1993)
IMDb score: 7.1/10 | Run time: 2h 5m
Sankofa is Twi for ‘Go back and get it’. This 1993 movie follows the story of Mona Oyafunmike Ogunlano ), an African American fashion model who gets spiritually taken to a plantation in the West Indies as she is on a photo shoot in Ghana. Sankofa (Kofi Ghanaba ) is responsible for taking her in her past where she is a slave. Other stars in the movie are Alexandra Duah, Nick Medley and Afemo Omilami. The film has an eccentric plot.
15. Heritage Africa (1989)
IMDb score: 7.1/10 | Run time: 2h 5m
Quincy Bosomfield (Kofi Bucknor ) gets access to western education and grows to be a district commissioner. The story explores the life of a man who after being acquainted with the coloniser’s way of life, decided to forget his African culture and customs. He despises his African ways and adapts a different persona. Ian Collier, Anima Misa, Peter Whitbread, and Tommy Ebow Ansah were the main characters in the film. Heritage Africa is a political drama and educational film.
16. Cobra Verde (1987)
IMDb score: 7/10 | Run time: 1h 51m
Cobra Verde (Klaus Kinski ) is a gangster who is sent by his master to look after his slaves. Things get to be ugly when the slave master discovers that Cobra Verde interacts with his daughters. He decides to send him to Africa as a punishment instead of killing him. Cobra Verde feels out of place while in Africa, seeing that there are very few white men in the continent. His life takes a different turn after facing the torture, and he recruits a group of men as his soldiers. King Ampaw, José Lewgoy, and Salvatore Basile were the other main characters.
READ ALSO: Best action movies of all time
17. Nakom (2016)
IMDb score: 6.7/10 | Run time: 1h 31m
The 2016 drama film follows the woes of a young medical student who is forced to go back to his village after the passing of his father. Life in the village is depressing for him and his family as they lack a steady source of income. The film shows how poverty and struggle is the order of the day for families that do not have fathers. The movie stars Jacob Ayanaba, Grace Ayariga, Justina Kulidu, Shetu Musah, and Abdul Aziz.
18. The African Deal (1973)
IMDb score: 6.5/10 | Run time: 1h 45m
This 1973 drama follows the story of a section of the elite in Ghana and selfish people in business who tried to control the national resources of the West African country. An inter-racial affair against a section of the wealthy dealer shows how money, sex, political influence, and power can be used to manipulate state resources. The movie was released when Ghana was still a young nation and highlighted the issues the country was faced with at the time. The main characters were Calvin Lockhart, George Hilton, Anita Strindberg, and Yanti Somer.
19. Sinking Sands (2010)
IMDb score: 6.4/10 | Run time: 1h 45m
The 2010 movie tells the story of two lovers who fall out of love after one partner gets to be violent. Jimah Sanson (Jimmy Jean-Louis) becomes violent towards his wife Pabi(Ama K. Abebrese ) after he is scarred from an accident. The domestic accident which left Jimah with a permanent deformity turned him into a monster who constantly abused his wife. The movie shows the dangers of domestic violence and why it is good for one to leave before it's too late.
20. A Sting in a Tale (2009)
IMDb score: 5.5/10 | Run time: 1h 57m
Starring Adjetey Anang, Majid Michel and Lydia Forson, ‘A Sting in a Tale’ follows the story of two young graduates who use all they have to look for jobs. The two later come two learn that the world needs more than just the degrees they have. Will their job hunting be hectic? The movie shows the challenges young graduates in Ghana face as they tarmac from office to office.
Just like any other country in Africa, the film scene in Ghana focuses on distinct themes that are relatable to their target audience. Kumawood movies trigger conversations especially when the filmmakers shoot films that touch on social vices. The films mentioned in the article tackle some of those vices. Kumawood has the potential of becoming the largest film industry if the key players focus on specific aspects. Overall, the actors, actresses, directors, and scriptwriters in Ghana all put in some to good work to ensure that the industry never lacks content.
READ ALSO: 12 best sites to download series for free