Ghanaian writer/director Leila Djansi won Best Screenplay three years in a row at the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) – for I Sing Of A Well in 2010, Sinking Sands in 2011, and Ties That Bind in 2012. Reviewing Ties That Bind, Indiewire hailed Djansi as an “ambitious filmmaker” who “crafts complex female characters so well” and “doesn’t shy away from female-driven, heavy and poignant themes that elicit intense emotions…”
Ama K. Ababrese won the Best Actress AMAA for her role in Sinking Sands. She plays Pabi, who is in a seemingly loving marriage until a domestic accident disfigures her husband Jimah (Jimmy Jean-Louis, aka The Haitian in Heroes). CNN included Sinking Sands as one of ten “Must-see African Movies Of The 21st Century,” with AMAA founder Peace Anyiam-Osigwe writing, “You cannot watch Sinking Sands and not be affected.” Sinking Sands also took home the AMAA for Best Make-up and four Ghana Movie Awards, including Best Picture.
Ties That Bind
In Ties That Bind, Ababrese co-stars alongside Time 100 alumni and Nollywood star Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde (Last Flight to Abuja) and four-time Image Award winner Kimberley Elise (Diary of a Mad Black Women). They play women from different walks of life bound together by a similar pain: the loss of a child. The three women journey together to redemption, love, life and forgiveness as they renovate a dilapidated village clinic.
Indiewire called it “emotionally rich… thought-provoking and engaging.” Ties That Bind also won Best Diaspora Film at San Diego Black Film Festival.
I Sing Of A Well
Djansi’s debut feature, I Sing Of A Well, is a period drama about Soraya (Akofa E. Asiedu) and a hunter, Dume (Godwin Kotey), betrothed to each other but threatened by slave raiders, the Mali Empire of Mansa Musa, and the unwanted attention of their prince (JOT Agyeman). I Sing Of A Well won the BAFTA Los Angeles’ 2011 Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) Choice Prize, as well as AMAAs for Sound and Costume Design. PAFF founder Ayuko Babu called it “a wonderful piece of cinema… As a people, it represents who we are; where we have been; and where we are going. The film enriches our soul, stimulates our senses, and entertains our audiences with a compelling storyline.”
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