The 58th Annual Meeting will feature two film screenings and a selection of films available for on-demand viewing in video booths in the Exhibit Hall. The Directors of the screened films will attend the conference, and will hold introductory sessions prior to the screenings. We hope you can join us for this exciting event, which is open to all Annual Meeting attendees.
We are featuring two major African directors. The films screened will represent the work of recent award-winning filmmakers. The African Studies Association is excited to announce that these film screenings are also sponsored by African Film Festival New York (www.africanfilmny.org) and the San Diego Black Film Festival.
The Thursday night screening will be held at the San Diego Library, immediately following the Welcome Reception. The Friday night screening will be held at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel and Marina, in room Harbor Island 2.
If you are planning to attend one or both of these screenings, you will need to pick up your ticket at the registration area.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 19
SAN DIEGO LIBRARY
Director Aksoua Adoma Owusu will present three films, Kwaku Ananse, Intermittent Delight, and Me Broni Ba. Akosua Adoma Owusu is a filmmaker with Ghanaian parentage whose films have screened worldwide in prestigious film festivals, museums, galleries, universities and microcinemas since 2005.
One of ArtForum‘s Top Ten Artists and one of The Huffington Post‘s 30 Contemporary Artists under 40, Owusu has exhibited worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Rotterdam, Centre Pompidou and London Film Festival. She is a 2013 MacDowell Colony Fellow and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow.
Her company Obibini Pictures produced award winning films including Afronauts, and Kwaku Ananse, which received the 2013 African Movie Academy Award for Best Short Film and was nominated for the 2013 Golden Bear prize at the Berlinale. The French Cesar Film Academy Golden Nights Panorama program included Kwaku Ananse in Best Short Films of the year. Focus Features Africa First, Art Matters and The Sarah Jacobson Film grant supported Kwaku Ananse in 2012. She was a featured artist at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2010 and received the Africa First award sponsored by Focus Features in 2011.
Owusu’s film Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful received the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2013.
Her most recent exhibitions include Prospect.3: Notes for Now in New Orleans, America Is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and The Art of Hair in Africa at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles.
Various universities and museums hold Owusu’s work for their research and permanent collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Fowler Museum, Yale University Film Study Center and Indiana University Bloomington, home of the Black Film Center/Archive.
She has M.F.A. degrees in Film/Video and Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts and received her BA degree in Media Studies and Art with distinction from the University of Virginia, where she studied under the mentorship of prolific avant-garde filmmaker, Kevin Jerome Everson.
Kwaku Ananse (2013)
Kwaku Ananse is an intensely personal project which draws upon the rich mythology of Ghana. The short film combines semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster in West African stories who appears as both spider and man. Ananse teaches us that there are two sides to everything and everyone. The fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father’s funeral. At the funeral, she retreats to the woods in search for her father.
“This short by Akosua Adoma Owusu offers a spellbinding, semi-autobiographical interpretation of a traditional Ghanaian folktale in which the contemporary collides with the mythological in both content and form.” – Toronto International Film Festival
Intermittent Delight (2007)
“The intersection of identity and cultural appropriation is at the heart of Akosua Adoma Owusu’s video Intermittent Delight. This carefully constructed work juxtaposes close-ups of batik textiles, fashion and design from the 1950s and 1960s, images of men weaving and women sewing in Ghana, and fragments of a Westinghouse 1960s commercial—aimed to instruct women on the how-to of refrigerator decoration. Constructed from a combination of 1960s Afrobeat, traditional Asante Adwoa music, and field recordings of West African men and women during production of cloths and garments, the soundtrack pulls the piece together and imbues it with a jolty and festive tone. The work touches upon the idea of feminism’s uneven geographical and historical development, and the nuances of labor conditions women face depending on where they live.”
– New Langton Arts
Me Broni Ba (2009)
Me Broni Ba is a lyrical portrait of hair salons in Kumasi, Ghana. The tangled legacy of European colonialism in Africa is evoked through images of women practicing hair braiding on discarded white baby dolls from the West. The film unfolds through a series of vignettes, set against a child’s story of migrating from Ghana to the United States. The film uncovers the meaning behind the Akan term of endearment, me broni ba, which means “my white baby.”
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20
SAN DIEGO SHERATON, HARBOR ISLAND 2
Director Dyana Gaye will present the film Des Etoiles (Under the Starry Sky).
Under the Starry Sky (2014)
Between Turin, Dakar and New York, the destinies of three people cross paths and become intertwined. From initial disillusions to decisive encounters, Sophie’s, Abdoulaye’s and Thierno’s individual journeys will lead them to choose freedom.
Dyana Gaye was born in Paris in 1975. She majored in Cinema Studies at Paris 8-St Denis University. In 1999 she won the Louis Lumière-Villa Médicis scholarship for her script Une femme pour Souleymane (A wife for Souleymane), which she directed the following year. In 2004, she directed J’ai deux amours (Remembering Paris), for the group project, Paris, La Metisse. In 2006, her film Deweneti (Ousmane) received much acclaim, enjoying a wide national and international theatrical release. In 2007, it won the Jury Prize at the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, and was one of five films nominated for the 2008 César for Best Short Film. In 2009, she directed the musical Saint-Louis Blues, which had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival and was selected for Sundance and Toronto among several other festivals. In 2011, the film received a second César nomination in the Best Short Film category. In 2013, she received the Katrin Cartlidge Foundation Award at the Sarajevo Film Festival.