Screening, discussion with Ghanaian film producer is Nov. 5
Socrate Safo, one of the pioneers of the Ghanaian popular video-film industry, will screen his movie, "Mogya Bi Ye Dom," and talk about his work from 3 to 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 5, in Room 401, John R. Roach Center for the Liberal Arts.
"Mogya Bi Ye Dom," set in a small Ghanaian village, tells the story of a young girl's search for her father and the truth of her past. It chronicles the dangers and seductions of life in Accra, the capital city of Ghana.
Without any formal training in film or video production, Safo learned the art of making video movies on his own with the help of borrowed books and through trial and error. Family and friends made up his first crew and cast, and his first production was shot with a JVC M9 VHS home video camera.
To date, Safo has produced and directed more than 50 video features in English and Twi. His titles include "Ghost Tears," "Lovers' Blues," " Akwaaba," "Amsterdam Diary," " Sika Nti," and " Dufie." In Ghana, his films have appeared on TV, been released in theaters and are distributed widely in the local market for home viewing. Safo has presented his work at festivals in Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Togo, West Africa; Italy; and Holland and last year was a visiting artist at the Recup Art Program in Bayreuth, Germany.
In line with UST's commitment to diversity, Safo's visit provides an opportunity to expose students to a transnational and grass-roots African cinema that is not distributed widely in the United States, but that is having a powerful impact on filmmaking in Africa and elsewhere. Safo's work represents a vibrant, entertaining and popular African cultural product created by Africans for Africans outside the framework of governmental and European assistance and the international film festivals that have structured much of African cinema.
Safo's visit gives the UST community exposure to a side of Africa that is bursting with energy, creativity, ingenuity and humor – different from the stereotypical negative view of Africa that often is portrayed in U.S. media.
This event is supported by a grant from the Faculty Development Center and contributions from the English Department, the Geography Department, and American Culture and Difference.