Thursday, April 19 - April 25, 2007
Festival of films on the environment in Accra
By: Nii Laryea Korley
THE third edition of the Environmental Film Festival of Accra (EFFA) kicks off tomorrow at the British Council hall in Accra. Over 50 films comprising documentaries, animation and drama from around the world, will be screened free to the public at selected venues across the city during the ten-day festival.
Started in 2005, the purpose of EFFA is to raise awareness about environmental issues faced both here and abroad.
A special aspect of this year’s festival is the inclusion of two short films made by children selected from schools in Accra. One was shot in the heart of James Town and the other across Accra. Kwesi Owusu, CEO of Creative Storm Multimedia who co-directs the festival with Claudia Dander, told Graphic Showbiz that the children, through workshops facilitated by the festival organizers, wrote down their concerns about the environment. These were shaped into some kind of scripts and the children were then taken out on location.
“We took them through the process of appreciation how a camera functions and what generally goes into making a film. They actually directed some of the scenes themselves but since it was their time around cameras we had to facilitate the process. It was their stories and we helped them film. The special afternoon screenings for children introduced at last year’s festival, were well received and will happen again this year”.
Also part of the festival again this year is the open-air screening at the Holy Gardens near Nkrumah Circle. It has been scheduled for Saturday, April 21. It scored very well with the large crowd that turned out for it last year and it is expected to be another day of good entertainment and education.
I Told You So,the comedy starring the late Bob Cole, Araba Stamp and Kweku Crankson, is one of the films to be shown at the open-air event which will also incorporate performances by some leading local artistes.
Films from and about Ghana will feature prominently in this year’s festival. Apart from the historical Freedom For Ghana which will be screened at the festival launch, others lined up to be screened include Living The Hiplife, a film tracing the history of hiplife, the economic hopes and musical dreams of young urban Ghanaians. Short and Tight attempts to explain the ampe game for girls and A Taste of Accra features candid interviews with Ghanaians of varying backgrounds living in Accra. Witches In Exilehas penetrating interviews with high-ranking government officials and human rights activists on banishment to isolated ‘witch villages.’ There are also Letter To Bob Geldorf, Hallelujah, Dammed By Relief, Sketches of Love, Panoply of Ghana and a rare clip on E.T.Mensah and The Tempos Band.
There is also a concentration on films from other African countries. Festival co-director Claudia D’Andrea said it was intentional so that the audience can relate more to the issue raised in them. African countries that have contributed films to this year’s EFFA include Liberia, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mauritania, Mozanbique, Mali, South Africa and Sudan. There are also films from the United States and France.
The current energy crisis is the instigation for a panel discussion on whether Ghana should go nuclear in her attempt to produce enough energy. The environmental Protection Agency, the Energy Commission, NGOs and the private sector will be represented at the discussion which starts at 2.00pm on Tuesday, April 24 at the British Council.
“Rivers are drying up, water bodies are dying and forest covers have been disappearing for many years’ now,” says Owusu. “The festival is one small way of throwing light on some of these issues and how they affect our lives so we can all have a collective responsibility to the environment which is for all of us.”
Venues for the free screenings are Alliance Francaise, Goethe Institute, British Council and Busy Internet.
Graphic Showbiz - April 19 - April 25, 2007 Page 3