Oscars 2020: Ghana selects 'Azali' for international feature film category

Oscars 2020: Ghana selects 'Azali' for international feature film category

- Ghana has submitted Kwabena Gyansah’s Azali for the International Feature Film category in the 2020 Oscars

- Azali stars 14-year-old Amina from a village in Northern Ghana who escaped to Accra from her impending marriage to a 70-year-old man

- This makes it Ghana's first-ever film submission to the Oscars

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Of a story about a teenage girl’s escape from an arranged marriage to a 70-year-old farmer, Kwabena Gyansah’s Azali is Ghana’s first-ever Oscar submission.

Kwabena Gyansah’s Azila has been selected by Ghana as its submission for the international feature film category at the 92nd Academy Awards take place on February 9, 2020.

According to www.hollywoodreporter.com, the film features Asana Alhassan in her first role as 14-year-old Amina from a village in Northern Ghana to the slums in Accra.

Amina, who was arranged to marry a 70-year-old farmer escaped her imminent marriage but finds herself on a truck being trafficked to Burkina Faso.

The 14-year-old was saved from the truck but she moved into Accra, choosing to survive over returning to her village and marriage.

Authored by Gwandellen Quartey and directed by Kwabena Gyansah, Azali was produced by Ghanaian companies, Ananse Entertainment with support from Motion Revolution.

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While the country has recently become a hotbed for international movie productions such Beast of No Nation, Forgiving Earth and the upcoming USA network television show Treadstone which features Jeremy Irvine, Azila is Ghana’s first film submitted to the Oscars.

Chairman of Ghana’s Oscar’s selection committee, Professor Linus Abraham, noted that Azali is a consciousness-raising film.

''We are very honored that for the first time, Ghana has found a film worthy enough to represent it at the 92nd Oscars. This has been a long time coming and it is a testament to the growth of the Ghana film industry,'' Professor Abraham said.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Ghanaian-American filmmaker Leila Djansi, reiterated that language and resources had historically been major challenges to the growth of the Ghanaian film industry.

Djansi also decried how language barrier affects marketing films noting that it’s easier if the film is in English.

The director of Like Cotton Twines further bemoaned the lack of interest by foreign film markets in African films beyond those that show war, extreme poverty or White saviors.

According to Djansi, this also greatly limits the creative voice and income.

However, Djansi reveals that things seem to be changing as more Africans embrace their local dialects which will help ''strengthen the identity of African cinema.''

Azali features A-list Ghanaian artistes including Adjetey Anang, Ama K. Abebrese and Akorfa Edjeani.

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Meanwhile, at 88 years, Comfort Offeibea Asante, has made impacting lives a hobby via her benevolent activities by making clothes and distributing them to needy persons across the country.

Comfort Offeibea Asante started sewing by herself at age 80 and now makes a difference in the lives of children by sewing and distributing it to needy kids.

Her recent kind gesture targeted the Kumasi Children’s Home with 30 pieces of ready-made outfits. 88-year-old Offeibea Asante was at Nhyira News after making her donation to the orphanage.

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Source: Yen

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