Oscar award-winning actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, has added his voice to calls for the protection of the Atewa Forest as Ghana prepares to commence the first phase of the Sinohydro deal.
The deal will see Ghana’s bauxite reserves in the Atewa Forest mined and traded in a ‘barter’ deal for $2 billion from China, meant to be invested in various developmental projects across the country, particularly roads.
DiCaprio, who is a staunch environmentalist believes that mining in the Forest would put the millions of people and hundreds of “wildlife species” who depend on it “at risk of extinction”
“Ghana’s #Atewa Forest Reserve provides drinking water to 5 million+ people & harbors 100+ wildlife species at risk of extinction. We must prioritize the protection of these irreplaceable places for a healthy planet,” he said in a tweet on Tuesday.
Having founded an environmental organization – Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation – which has been in existence since 1998, it is not surprising that the multiple award-winning actor would take a keen interest in the developments with the Atewa Forest, which has been a raging issue since the deal with China was first announced.
This week, Ghana received the first instalment of the $2 billion deal, initially agreed in 2018 for the country’s bauxite deposits to be leveraged in exchange for the funds.
With the commercial mining of the bauxite set to commence next year, there has been rising agitation from within the country and externally as well, especially from environmental and wildlife conservation groups over the fate of the Atewa Forest, where about 165 million tonnes of bauxite is located.
Back in June, a group of mainly environmental activists marched through the streets of the Ghanaian capital, Accra, eventually presenting a petition to Parliament asking that the deal to mine in the forest be called off.
While the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources at the time, Kweku Asomah Cheremeh promised to “look at the issues they have raised in their petition”, the government still made moves towards implementing the deal as a private firm had been contracted to undertake the confirmatory drilling in the forest.
Several other bodies including A ROCHA Ghana, who have been fierce critics of the Sinohydro deal, the Christian Council of Ghana and the US Forest Service who provided some technical advice have urged the government to consider the potential ramifications of mining in the forest, one of most detrimental being the destruction of the sources of water for about five million people.
The US report stated that: “given the scale, duration, and potential significant and permanent impact of Ghana’s Integrated Bauxite Plan on the Atewa Forest Reserve and water supply of over 5 million people, it is critical to evaluate a range of development and management options (including … alternatives to mining) to protect drinking water and other ecosystem services.”
A group, the Concerned Citizens of Atewa Landscape, has also threatened to take the matter up to The Hague, adding that turning the location into an “ecotourism attraction” could earn the country much more than the 2 billion being provided by China.
TATU ON NETFLIX: Nollywood’s Precursor To Black Panther
Tatu, a 2017 Nollywood film starring Desmond Elliot, Rahama Sadau, Sambisa Nzeribe, Toyin Abraham, Segun Arinze, Gabriel Afolayan, Saka, Kunle Idowu aka Frank Donga and Funlola Aofiyebi-Alimi, has so much in common with the blockbuster Hollywood film, Black Panther. You would be forgiven for thinking the producers saw Tatu in 2017 and quickly rushed to the studio to produce Black Panther in 2018. Both films are based on storylines that combine fantasy (juju in the case of Tatu and science fiction in the case of Black Panther), and constant switching between contemporary real worlds (schools, dating, shopping malls etc.) and a hidden world (Wakanda, a technologically-advanced African country) and current and past events in a village still tightly bound in century old tradition and religion (Tatu).
Black Panther is, of course, the far more popular film, grossing $1.347 billion in the cinema and winning 89 awards. Tatu is not even so popular in Nigeria despite its critical acclaim – it won in four categories: Best Soundtrack in a Movie, Best Makeup Artiste, Best Lighting Designer and Best Sound Editing at the 2018 AMVCA. Its real achievement is not its moderate commercial success, but its solid storyline, well-crafted plotting and high production value, qualities for which it won four AMVCA awards and for which the Producer, Don Omope, can credibly claim to be the inspiration behind the Black Panther. Indeed, Tatu, now on Netflix, is Black Panther without the production and marketing budget of Wall Street.
The first scene shows a young boy running in a forest while his name is being called by someone unseen. The boy grows up to become Kamani, who is destined to protect another “special” girl, Tatuma. Tatuma’s mother being in the know of their fate (both have to die on Tatuma’s 21st birthday to prevent the land from falling into chaos). So, the mother, with the help of a priest, spirited the girl to a convent in the city where she grows up away from Kamani, her spirit child twin and unaware of her fate to die in a sacrifice on her 21st birthday so as to save the village. This is the plot by which the movie runs.
As their 21st birthday approached, the chief priest sent Kamani, who has retained the supernatural powers of a spirit child, to bring Tatuma back to the village. There are detours and complications. Tatuma is protected from Kamani’s powers in the convent where she lived. But Tatuma is also a wayward trainee nun, prone to escape to night clubs and enjoy liaisons with her music producer boyfriend, Gabriel Afolayan. So, Kamani whose mission is to take her from the city to her death in the village, had to save her from being gangraped.
While most parts in the film are very well played, the tendency for histrionics, particularly on the part of Kamani and the village priest, Narimana (Segun Arinze), is a bit much. It is sometimes overblown and off-putting; picture the early scenes when Larayi is supposedly giving birth, and the whole things just seems overdrawn.
Another flaw of Tatu is the plot itself, which seemed to be finding its feet in the movie. Things just seem to take too long to get going, and it’s quite easy to lose interest in the proceedings. The desperation for comic relief as well – particularly the scene involving Saka and Kunle Idowu AKA Frank Donga – makes scenes look out of place, and perhaps that should have just been left to Gabriel Afolayan’s character – Wally – who does a good job in that scene.
Tatu is well-produced and quite well-directed. The use of sounds is great – you could easily tell or even viscerally feel when danger is imminent, that something is lurking and waiting to happen. Social themes are also adroitly embedded. The scene in which three thugs tried to seize the food which is being served to homeless children really denotes the dystopian society we live in. Also, Mother Supreme (Funlola Aofiyebi-Alimi) mirrors the streak of authoritarianism and dogma in Nigeria’s religious figures.
Yet, you could tell something is always missing; whether in terms of the scenes, plots, or characters. Every part and element of the film, if looked at individually, seems like at least a seven out of ten, but put them together and is that really good enough? In a purely Nigerian sense, perhaps; but with the movie on Netflix, it’s on a world scale, and is likely to get comparison along all other kinds of films. In that sense, it doesn’t seem quite good enough. To sum Tatu up; it is not bad, but it is memorable. So is the Black Panther.
Culled from arbiterz.com
POTATO POTAHTO: Shirley Frimpong Manso’s Film To Stream On Netflix.
GREATER ACCRA, GHANA (www.georgebritton.com) - Ghanaian film director, writer, & producer, Shirley Frimpong Manso has secured a streaming deal for her film productions, Sparrow Pictures as she's signed a pact with global movie streaming site, Netflix, to show herself produced romantic comedy film, "Potato Potahto" this December.
The movie which premiered at the Silverbird Cinema on 30th November 2017 garnered patrons to a successful premiere at Durban International Film Festival and the British Urban Film Festival; Cannes Film Festival will start streaming on the 15th December, 2019. It was also part of the official selection for the Film Africa Festival which ran from October 27 to November 5.
The Ghanaian Nigerian romantic comedy film tells a story of divorce in West African society and how tricky it is, in perspective, the movie is about a divorced couple (played by O.C Ukeje and Joselyn Dumas) who decide to still share equal space in their home after their split. They cannot agree on divorce terms and settle for co-ownership of their matrimonial home and other property
Alongside Ukeje and Dumas, the movie's all-star cast is rounded up by the impressive Joke Silva, Blossom Chuckwujekwu, Chris Attoh, Nikki Samonas, Adjetey Annang, Lala Akindoju and Victoria Michaels.
See official trailer below;
The film is a co-production by Nigerian companies Ascend Studios, 19 April Entertainment Virgo Sun Ltd and Lufodo Productions and was directed by Ghanaian film maker, Shirley Frimpong-Manso. It chronicles the chaotic events which take place when a divorced couple stay on together in the matrimonial home, each taking on young attractive help of the opposite sex.
However, taken this success to her social media platform, the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sparrow Productions, a film, television and advertising production company, expressed her excitement, stating that, the movie has been approved to stream on Netflix, urging her fans and movie lovers to set their reminder for the premiere on the streaming site.
Shirley Frimpong-Manso (born 16 March 1977) won the Best Director at the 6th Africa Movie Academy Awards. Frimpong-Manso is also a principal of Sparrow Station, a video streaming service for African entertainment from Sparrow and other African film producers. In 2013, she was ranked the 48th most influential person in Ghana according to E.tv Ghana.
Frimpong-Manso is described as one who "seeks to raise the standard of film production in Ghana and Africa by telling progressive African stories as seen through the eyes of Africans." Changing the way Ghana was portrayed also motivated her career choice. Her films are also known for their "fierce female leads," as they portray African women with agency who can be breadwinners and lead complex lives.
MTN Ghana Customers To Enjoy Exclusive Pre-Screening Of ‘Jumanji – The Next Level’.
GREATER ACCRA, GHANA (www.georgebritton.com)This festive season promises to be exciting as the biggest telecommunication network, MTN Ghana will be giving customers a unique opportunity to watch the premier of ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’.
The prescreening of the movie will take place at the Silver bird cinema at the Accra Mall on Thursday December 12, 2019. This is the 5th time in the year MTN has given its loyal customers the opportunity to watch the premier of a highly sought after movie.
The Senior Manager for Consumer Marketing at MTN, Nana Asantewaa Amegashie, said, “Delivering a distinct customer experience is our hallmark and MTN Ghana is focused on brightening lives of our customers at various touch points”. “This movie is one of the much anticipated movies of our time and we want our cherished customers to enjoy it at no cost and on the same day that it is premiered in the US and Canada”.
MTN Movie Mania, which is making the pre-screening possible for customers, is an initiative of MTN Ghana in partnership with the Silverbird Cinemas for the business to engage its customers in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.
Customers at the event will be treated to a red carpet session after which there will be a networking experience. The pre-screening of Jumanji: The next level by MTN follows the prescreening of block buster movies like: ‘‘Spiderman Homecoming’; ‘Black Panther’; ‘Avengers Infinity’ and Avengers Endgame etc.
Jumanji: The next level happens when Spencer goes back into the fantastical world of Jumanji. Pals Martha, Fridge and Bethany re-enter the game to bring him home. But everything about Jumanji is about to change, as they soon discover more obstacles and more danger to overcome.
Cynthia Erivo Earns Golden Globe Nomination for ‘Harriet’
Award-winning actress, Cynthia Erivo has earned a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of abolitionist leader Harriet Tubman in Harriet. She's earned a nomination for Best Original Song for 'Stand Up."
She's nominated in the "Best Performance by an Actress In a Motion Picture—Drama" alongside Charlize Theron, Scarlett Johansson, Renée Zellwegger and Saoirse Ronan.
Harriet has been a commercial success, but Erivo's casting initially drew criticism as some felt the Nigerian-Brit shouldn't have been cast in the role African-American hero. The film's writer and director, Kasi Lemmons, recently addressed the backlash, in a roundtable interview with The Hollywood Reporter. ""I felt that we were bearing the culture of the Harriet Tubman story beautifully," she said. "About Cynthia, you just don't get any better," she continued. "She was prepared in every way you could possibly be prepared to play this role. She was prepared physically, emotionally, spiritually to play Harriet Tubman. And she was wonderful."
Erivo was also recently nominated for a Critics Choice Award for her performance.
As for the other categories, it seems despite strong contenders from the continent including Blitz the Ambassador's The Burial of Kojo, no African films were nominated in the Best Foreign Feature category. Lupita Nyong'o who has garnered immense awards buzz for her performance in Us—even winning Best Lead Actress at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards—is another notable exclusion.
If you're interested, check out the full list of 2020 Golden Globe nominations below.
BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
- The Irishman
- Marriage Story
- The Two Popes
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
- Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
- Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
- Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
- Charlize Theron, Bombshell
- Renee Zellweger, Judy
BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA
- Christian Bale, Ford v. Ferrari
- Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
- Adam Driver, Marriage Story
- Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
- Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes
BEST MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- Dolemite Is My Name
- Jojo Rabbit
- Knives Out
- Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- Ana de Armas, Knives Out
- Awkwafina, The Farewell
- Cate Blanchett, Where'd You Go Bernadette
- Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
- Emma Thompson, Late Night
BEST ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE, COMEDY OR MUSICAL
- Daniel Craig, Knives Out
- Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
- Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
- Taron Egerton, Rocketman
- Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE
- Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
- Annette Bening, The Report
- Laura Dern, Marriage Story
- Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
- Margot Robbie, Bombshell
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE
- Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood
- Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
- Al Pacino, The Irishman
- Joe Pesci, The Irishman
- Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
- Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite
- Sam Mendes, 1917
- Todd Phillips, Joker
- Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
- Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
- Beautiful Ghost, Cats
- I'm Gonna Love Me Again, Rocketman
- Into the Unknown, Frozen 2
- Spirit, The Lion King
- Stand Up, Harriet
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
- Little Women
- Marriage Story
- Motherless Brooklyn
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
- The Farewell
- Les Miserables
- Pain and Glory
- Portrait of a Lady on Fire
- Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
- Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite
- Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
- Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
- Steve Zaillian, The Irishman
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
- Frozen 2
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- The Lion King
- Missing Link
- Toy Story 4
BEST TV SERIES, DRAMA
- Big Little Lies
- The Crown
- Killing Eve
- The Morning Show
BEST ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES, DRAMA
- Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
- Olivia Colman, The Crown
- Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
- Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
- Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show
BEST ACTOR IN A TV SERIES, DRAMA
- Brian Cox, Succession
- Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
- Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
- Tobias Menzies, The Crown
- Billy Porter, Pose
BEST TV SERIES, COMEDY
- The Kominsky Method
- The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- The Politician
BEST ACTRESS IN A TV SERIES, COMEDY
- Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
- Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
- Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
- Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag
BEST ACTOR IN A TV SERIES, COMEDY
- Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
- Bill Hader, Barry
- Ben Platt, The Politician
- Paul Rudd, Living with Yourself
- Ramy Youssef, Ramy
BEST TV MINISERIES OR MOVIE
- The Loudest Voice
BEST ACTRESS IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
- Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
- Joey King, The Act
- Helen Miren, Catherine
- Merrit Wever, Unbelievable
- Michelle Wiliams, Fosse/Verdon
BEST ACTOR IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
- Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
- Sacha Baron Cohen, The Spy
- Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
- Jared Harris, Chernobyl
- Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verson
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
- Patricia Arquette, The Act
- Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
- Toni Collette, Unbelievable
- Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
- Emily Watson, Chernobyl
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A SERIES, MINISERIES OR TV MOVIE
- Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
- Keiran Culkin, Succession
- Andrew Scott, Fleabag
- Stellan Skarsgard, Chernobyl
- Henry Winkler, Barry