Award-winning Ghanaian international filmmaker, Leila Djansi has advised Cary Fukunaga, director for Abraham Attah’s breakthrough movie, "Beasts Of No Nation" to relocate the young actor to America because his career cannot be sustained in Ghana.
In Leila’s Facebook post titled “LOOKING FORWARD TO GHANA AT THE OSCARS … ONE DAY.”, she also cried for the boy who won Best actor award last Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards.
She continued to list factors she thinks Ghanaian movie-makers should follow in order to also get to the Oscars. Below is an unedited post Leila Djansi posted on Facebook.
"LOOKING FORWARD TO GHANA AT THE OSCARS … ONE DAY.
Here I go again. Anyone ready to make any videos? 3-2-1…
I am so happy for Abraham Attah. I am also sad for him at the same time. Because, unfortunately, unless Cary and co make that smart decision to relocate Abraham Attah to the US, his career cannot be sustained in Ghana. It’s Monday y’all. Award season is OVER. DONE. Roles for him are few and far between in Hollywood if he is not visible. It’s hard for child stars.
It’s exciting to see Ghanaians all excited and staying up to watch the Oscars and its kinda sad to see them make these sacrifices knowing the people they’re watching have never seen nor heard of them.
Instead of standing in the bleachers and screaming fan based shoutouts, ask for a place at the table.
Yep, Leila is too known. Someone has to put her in her place. Leila has to conform to Ghana standards, where is Stella Den-something when you need her; blah blah blah.
But when you stand outside the crowd and you see the HUGE opportunity to advance that they’re missing, you weep. I would LOVE to be in Ghana and make movies from there and be close to my family instead of here in America where you don’t know when some trigger happy cop is going to off you cos you’re black. But the way some of us make films, Ghana cannot sustain us. I cannot hire a crew of 50 people, a cast of 100+ and not be able to make any money back or have them good/skilled enough for a smooth flow production.
You want to see Ghana films travel? how about telling ourselves the truth and stop throwing tantrums when someone does?
1. Lets make better movies. Enough of the vanity, love and fashion movies. We have so many stories to tell. Azumah Nelson, Yaa Asantewa, Kwame Nkrumah, Rawlings, Nana Konadu… It should not take 3 white kids to come to Ghana and make “Nakom” before a film shot in Ghana will make it to a major festival.
Let us be honest. We make terrible films. (I do too). Let us learn how to tell stories and tell them well. Let us tell honest stories. Not forced ones, but stories that hit close to home. Look at films from Francophone Africa. Honest stories have legs.
2. UNITY. Can we hold hands and sing Peace like a river please? The industry is too individualized. Everyone is serving their own self. Opera Square got it right when they created a foundation to sustain the kind of movies they make. But, there are different people in the mix. Since a group of people stopped the film bill from traveling any further and the industry is stuck under opera square, so be it. But it’s kinda like having a phone that is not Facebook capable when you need one that is Facebook capable. Opera square is great for a certain style of filmmaking. It cannot accommodate the new ways so it has to evolve to sustain everyone. If someone makes a movie on 50,000 dollars why should he sell it for 5ghc? But if another makes a movie 0n 5000 dollars and sells it for 5ghc, he can break even. Let’s create an industry that supports everyone, or set up tiers.
3. EDUCATION and TRAINING. I will never stop saying this because I have never seen anything like it… When an AD asks permission to go take a nap whiles we’re shooting, or when an AD spends all his time taking pictures even when talent is on set…you know something is wrong. We need well trained crew. Crew who understand the ETHICS of their departments. Not the glory of posing beside the camera, but the getting the work done and done right type of crew.
4. This is what I said and the calvary got galvanized. Globalization has taken over African filming. It’s no longer relegated to Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya or SA. We are making movies that cross borders. How about we create a faction? Because you cannot carry everyone along. Not everyone wants to change. Like minded people could form a coalition, brand that coalition. advertise it, start with the festivals, send the coalition to panels, create strategies to sell our films far and wide. Make it visible. Show the world Africa is more than war and HIV… Give the power to the producer, not the distributor who holds your film for 5 years and pays you peanuts. The coalition has rules, you want a members’ film, these are our rules…
The Academy is changing it’s rules and going for diversity and inclusion. Africa deserves a place at the table. Not at the fashion and party table with the kids, but at the grown up table. But… we are going to have to put in the work.
The Oscars are closer than you think. Ask Abraham and Lupita."
Gospel musician Sonnie Badu also shared a similar view Leila Djansi. The Gospel musician in an Instagram post early Tuesday morning, March 1, said he supports the movie-maker for his comments on Facebook on Monday which suggested that Cary Fukunaga should relocate the Dansoman boy to America.
Sonnie Badu in his post said the pull him down syndrome in the country will hinder the progress of the actor should he stay in Ghana.
"I agree with this lady .. #RelocateAbrahamAttah otherwise they will ……………. With their PHD pull him down.. Now how can you sit on radio and say he has done nothing and that he can’t speak good English ? Well let me tell you , one of the major reasons why they picked him was because of that very accent , the day he looses that , he will be out of job.. My to my fellow Ghanaians let’s learn to celebrate our heroes , I will tell oh this for free Nigerians will never sit on the radio and condemn someone who has made it to the oscars and as such brought honor to the country they will actually award him .. God has blessed Ghana so much but hmmmm our people will celebrate others and leave their own .. but don’t worry we are the change !!"