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Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF) 2018 ends on a high note

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Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF) 2018[/caption] After eight days of educative and entertaining activities, one can comfortably say that the Black Star International Film Festival (BSIFF) 2018 ended on a great note. The closing ceremony took place at the Silverbird Cinemas, Accra Mall with a special screening of Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman which happened to be screening for the first time in Africa. Brief review of BlakKklansman BlackKklansman, which is based on a true story, tells the story of two undercover detectives; one black and the other of Jewish decent, who infiltrate the ranks of the White Supremacist group, Klu Klux Klan (a.k.a KKK) to expose the activities of “the organisation” as its members call it, and attempt to take it down along with its leaders. The movie exposes a secret agenda of the KKK; to get a pure white American who supports its philosophy into the White House and important positions in order to “cleanse” America. It ends with clips of recent real world clips of violence perpetrated by White Supremacists in America after the Trump’s election victory; hinting the fears African Americans and other Africans  in the diaspora currently live with. For me, it was a perfect climax for the festival, which has since its inception championed the the agenda to use film as a development tool and provided the platform for discussions on important issues that affect society. BlackKklansman lived up to the theme of BSIFF ’18 as it started a conversation about the development of Africa and it’s people right in the cinema. The selections for BSIFF ’18 were in line with the festival’s theme, as the various filmmakers told uniquely different stories of social issues through their lenses. Most of these films were not the sorts we regularly see in cinemas.That was a unique thing about the festival this year; guided by the theme, it gave the opportunity for filmmakers addressing important issues across the world the platform to show their works to the world. Black Star International Film Festival 2018 The festival started on 11th August with an opening ceremony at the Silverbird cinemas and Idris Elba’s film directing debut “Verdie” as opening Film. It was attended by the Second Lady of the Republic of Ghana, Hajia Samira Bawumia, who pledged her support to the festival. Each day of the festival saw screenings in the form of pop up cinemas, open air cinemas etc at venues such as Jamestown Cafe, Lokko House, Serallios, Silverbird cinemas, as well as panel sessions at the African Regent Hotel, Kempinski and NAFTI. Amongst other things, guests had the rare opportunity to meet and interact with filmmakers, learn from experts and establish networking connections. There was a Gala Awards Ceremony on the seventh day of the festival. It was attended by several known names and faces in the film, entertainment and tourism fraternities.The President of the Republic of Ghana, who was scheduled to be the Guest of Honour was conspicuously missing from the event. However, he was represented by the Honourable Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture, Mrs Catherine Afeku. For me (and others), the absence of the president was quite unfortunate as events of this nature that are striving to and actually putting Ghana on the map need to be supported by Government. The general public should be made to know that these events are endorsed and supported by government, not only in words but also in action; a message I believe the President’s presence would have loudly and clearly communicated. However, his absence did not mar the beauty of the night as he was well represented by the sector Minister, Hon. Catherine Afeku. The great musical and poetry performances during the night will not be soon forgotten. This year, BSIFF introduced a new non competitive category named after the theme of the festival. Films that made it into that category are,

  1. Ghana for You – Adamas Mensah
  2. Vagabonds – Amartei Armar
  3. Survivors – Arthur Pratt
  4. Corruption – Pascal Aka
  5. Both Saved – Afotey
Some filmmakers in the competitive categories won awards during the Yaa Asantewaa Awards session for their brilliant works. In all, seven films/filmmakers were awarded in six categories. They are,
  1. Best Women in Film:- Back to Natural: A documentary film
  2. Best Documentary:- “DNA- Using Genealogy to Change My (Slave) last name” and “The Rescue List”
  3. Best Animation:- A Kalaband Ate My Homework
  4. Best African Rising:- Watu Wote
  5. Best Short Film:- Little Fiel
  6. Best Feature:- Cleft Lip
Throughout the festival the festival, Miss Juliet Asante who aside being the President of the Black Star International Film Institute, is also the Board Chair of NAFTI (amongst other roles), reiterated the aims of BSIFF – creating global connections through film and connecting the world to African cinema. She emphasised that filmmakers in the country could, without compromising on quality, tell stories of relevant social and other issues in exciting ways, citing films that made it to BSIFF ’18 as examples of films that discussed issues within their societies and were still great films. BSIFF Volunteers Another interesting thing about BSIFF ’18 was the dedication and hard work of the team. Apart from the BSIFF board, the team was mainly made up of young volunteers who dedicated their time and skill sets to the success of the festival despite all the challenges they encountered. While commending volunteers for their commitment and impressive contribution to the festival, Miss Juliet Asante stated that, Ghana did not traditionally have the volunteering spirit, and was particularly grateful and impressed that these volunteers had without expecting any pay, completely committed themselves to seeing BSIFF ’18 come to a successful end. She was also excited about the learning, networking and other opportunities the volunteers have benefited. She said, “no one leaves the festival the same”. On several fronts, I believe BSIFF ’18 has been a great success. It is my sincerest hope that more media houses would partner the festival in future to improve publicity, more filmmakers (local and international) would partake in future, the public would be more involved, government would honour it’s promise to include BSIFF in the 2019 budget and continue to support it, and that more sponsors would come on board to support the festival, in order to collectively help realise the aim of connecting the world to African cinema and creating global connections through film.   Written by Baba Labanti.]]>

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Director Hafiz works with American Superstar ‘NEYO’ on ‘2 Million Secrets’

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Director Hafiz works with American Superstar ‘NEYO’ on ‘2 Million Secrets’ A directorial debut for American singer/ songwriter and performer Neyo, released on Friday 14th June, 2024. This is brand new song coupled with a music film titled ‘2 Million Secrets’

Directed by Neyo himself, co-directed by Christian Gilchrist, this film stares actress Deborah Ayorinde who plays the lead girl. This mini-movie was lensed by legendary British Director of Photography Arran Green.

Renowned Ghanaian Filmmaker, Salifu Abdul Hafiz who was privileged to work in the technical department of this project took to his instagram to express joy and gratitude for the opportunity to work on this high profile project.

He wrote: My first set in the UK happens to be one for the legendary @neyo ‘2Million Secrets’ OUT NOW!
Such a humbling experience. Thank you to my boss @arrangreen and the entire amazing team. Love forever inked 🙏🏽
Salifu Abdul Hafiz, widely known as Director Hafiz, has spent the past decade collaborating with some of the most prestigious brands, institutions, and celebrities worldwide. His impressive portfolio includes work with stars like Usher, Mr. Eazi, FuseODG, Idris Elba, Sarkodie, King Promise, and JoeBoy, to Mention a few, as well as organizations such as USAID, UN-IFAD, BBC, the Ban Ki-Moon Centre, and Global Citizens.

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As the founder of Digital Creative Media, Director Hafiz has led his team in delivering projects showcased on major global platforms, including BBC, the World Economic Forum, CNN, France24, and the World Climate Summit.

In an interview, the globe-trotting filmmaker expressed his excitement for the future, hinting at more international productions in the works. “This is just the beginning,” he said. “I’m thrilled about our upcoming projects. I see myself as an ambassador for our beloved Ghana, and my team and I are committed to raising the Ghanaian flag high.”

Director Hafiz also revealed plans for his annual workshop (Fine Cinematics Workshop), designed to give back to the community by educating current filmmakers and empowering the next generation.

“Additionally, Neyo and I have something exciting in the pipeline. Stay tuned and be the first to see it. Connect with me on Instagram @directorhafiz Thank you!”

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Following his recent accolades in the USA for a short film, Director Hafiz continues to collaborate with top talents like Neyo, further cementing his reputation and flying the Ghanaian flag high.

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Faith Collective Announces “The Kingdom World Tour – featuring Maverick City and Kirk Franklin” in Ghana

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The renowned Faith Collective is thrilled to announce that the highly anticipated “The Kingdom World Tour” will be coming to Ghana. In partnership with Culture Management Group Gospel, this monumental event is set to take place on August 18th, 2024.

The Kingdom World Tour – featuring Maverick City and Kirk Franklin, promises an unforgettable experience filled with worship, praise, and spiritual upliftment.
This event marks a significant occasion for gospel music fans in Ghana, as it brings together one of the most dynamic and influential groups in the genre.

Event Details:
• Date: August 18th, 2024
• Venue: To be announced
• Tickets: Available on https://www.kingdomworldtour.com

In collaboration with Culture Management Group Gospel, this event aims to foster a deeper connection within the gospel music community and inspire attendees through a night of worship and celebration.

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Kingdom World Tour has already made waves in several countries, and the Ghana event is expected to draw a large crowd of dedicated fans and newcomers alike. The venue will be announced soon, with details on how to purchase tickets available on kingdomworldtour.com

Instagram : @Faith_collective
@cmg.gospel

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Nigerian Eye at 15 : Nanahemaa Awindor, Victoria Michaels, Juliet Ibrahim,Dzifa Gray Honoured

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The British Council Auditorium in Ghana played host to the 15th-anniversary celebration of Nigerian Eye Newspaper on June 13, 2024. The event, themed “Trade Conundrum: Expanding Understanding of the ECOWAS Module as Catalyst to Prosperity in Sub-Saharan Africa,” brought together key stakeholders from Nigeria and Ghana to discuss trade and economic relations between the two nations.

The event featured keynote speakers from both countries, including representatives from the Nigerian High Commission and the government of Ghana. The auditorium was filled with dignitaries, business leaders, and individuals from various sectors, all gathered to celebrate the milestone achievement of Nigerian Eye Newspaper.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of awards to deserving individuals who have made significant contributions to building bridges between Nigeria and Ghana. The Bridge Builders Award category recognized Nigerians and Ghanaians who have made efforts to bridge the gap between the two nations, particularly through the creative economy.

Notable individuals who received the Bridge Builders Award include Ghana-Nigeria’s top model, Victoria Michaels, who has been championing education projects and mentoring youths in Ghana and Nigeria. Other recipients include creative economy entrepreneurs Dzifa Gray and Juliet Ibrahim, who have contributed to the growth of the Nigerian creative economy sector.

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The Changemaker Awards were presented to individuals making a difference in their communities. Recipients include Nanahemaa Obaapa Awindor, a development enthusiast whose healthcare work has impacted communities in Nigeria and Ghana, and Hon. Ifeanyi Abaekwume, founder of Earth Conscience Ltd and Hon.Archibold Cobbina the MCE of Ayawaso West Assembly.

Other awardees include Dr. Bayo Albert Asaolu, President of All Nigeria Community Ghana; Dr.Ijeomah Arodiogbu,Mr. Jouvence Babagbeto, founder of Eagle Vision Institute; Dr. Emma Okeson, CEO of Citylight Ghana Ltd; and Hon. Tochukwu Okere, Diaspora Affairs Committee Chairman at the Nigeria 10th National Assembly as well as Mr.Horthman the CEO of Asuogyaman Company Ltd Ghana. The Nigeria High Commission was also specially recognised with a Hero of Diplomacy Award for their support to Nigerian Community in Ghana

The event ended with a call to action for increased collaboration and trade between Nigeria and Ghana, with a focus on the ECOWAS module as a catalyst for prosperity in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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Joe Mettle Urges Team Eternity and Kwame Mickey to Resolve ‘Defe Defe’ Conflict Amicably

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I went to university without SHS education- Joe Mettle recounts struggles

Contemporary Ghanaian gospel artiste, Joe Mettle has called for Team Eternity Ghana and Kwame Mickey to come to a peaceful resolution regarding the copyright infringement dispute over the song ‘Defe Defe’. (more…)

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I’m no longer motivated by charts, sales – Beyoncé

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Multiple award-winning American singer, Beyonce has disclosed that she is no longer driven by charts and commercial achievements. (more…)

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Joey B is one of the best producers in this country but he hasn’t been credited before – Hammer

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Ghanaian artiste, Darryl Paa Kwesi Bannerman-Martin, professionally known as Joey B has been hailed by renowned music producer, Hammer as one of the country’s finest yet uncredited talents. (more…)

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