Ife International Film Festival

Films for Exhibition 2009


The Amazing Grace (2006) – Nigeria

Writer/Director: Jeta Amata

John Newton is captain of a slave ship moored off the coast of Nigeria. He stands at a crossroads in his life, his morality and religion at odds with the brutality of his chosen profession. Stepping ashore, he starts on a journey of redemption that will end in tragedy but prove the catalyst for greater achievements. A local anthem sung in adversity by the slaves he captures punctuates the film. It will be the inspiration for John Newton's redemption, and, years later, for his writing of the world's most enduring hymn, Amazing Grace.

Heritage . . . Africa (1989) 110 minutes, Ghana

Writer/Director: Kwaw P. Ansah

Genre: Feature

Synopsis: A successful black civil servant's quest for increased power and status precipitates an identity crisis.


Love Brewed in the African Pot (1981) 125 minutes, Ghana

Writer/Director: Kwaw P. Ansah

Genre: Feature

Love collides with social class and colonialism when Aba Appiah, born to privilege, falls in love with Joe Quansah, son of a fisherman. Her father, retired civil servant Kofi Appiah, has other plans for her, and seeks to block their marriage. The resulting conflict has complex and unexpected consequences.


Run Baby Run (2006) 128- minutes – Ghana

Director Emmanuel Apea

Genre: Feature

Synopsis: Run Baby Run is the story of Enoch Sarpong Jr., a London-based Ghanaian schoolboy who upon realizing his visiting little sister picked the wrong case at the airport which contains a hoard of cocaine, devices a plan to off-load the merchandise, instead of returning it to its owners. The result is a roller coaster dash after his own shadow, from the dealers in far away Liverpool, Manchester and London in the UK, and from the gang of the Kingpin, Topp Dogg back home in Ghana.



The Boy Kumasenu (1952) 86 minutes – Ghana

Director: Sean Graham.

Genre: Feature

Synopsis: It is the first full-length feature film produced in Ghana by the Gold Coast Film Unit. It represents the colonial period. Filmed and financed in the African Gold Coast, The Boy Kumasenu features Nortey Engmann in the title role. Accused of "bewitching" the local fishing sites and rendering them useless, Kumasenu is driven out of his tribal village. Deciding to try his luck in town, the boy is maltreated and exploited by his elders. Eventually, a few kindly adults intervene, and Kumasenu's faith in humanity is restored.

Genesis Chapter X (1978) 80 minutes - Ghana

Director: Thomas Ribeiro

Genre: Feature

Synopsis: A Ghanaian surgeon in London returns to his homeland to seek out his mother. She is living with another man after the death of her husband. She does not realize that it is her son who has come to their shack seeking shelter for the night and the elderly couple plan to murder him, taking him for a wealthy young man. She receives a shock when the young man reveals that he knows about the circumstances leading to his father's death - murder by his mother's lover.

A Call at Midnight (2001) - Ghana

Director: Veronica Quarshie

Genre: Feature

Synopsis: It was a good time for Kwamena Simon and his accomplices in the company who were involved in shady financial deals that brings in huge amount of money, until one fine day, Sama, the beautiful daughter of the boss walks into the office and Titus Banson, one of the accomplices falls in love with her ... the great controversy that ensues brings their world crashing down.


A Reasonable Man (1999), 103 min, South Africa

Writer/Director: Gavin Hood

Genre: Crime Drama

Synopsis: A moving story about a young herd boy who for the love of his sister defends her regardless of his own innate fear of the unknown. An incredibly unique film that explores the depth of evil possession across two cultures.  On the one hand a white lawyer is prepared to go to extremes to defend what he perceives to be the actions of “a reasonable man”; on the other hand the herd boy refuses to believe he killed anything other than the “tokoloshe”.  Set in KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa, with excellent trial scenes played by Nigel Hawthorne as the judge, it is based on a true event in 1933, but probably shows greater relevance for the South Africa of today.


Zulu (1964), 138 min – UK/South Africa

Director: Cy Endfield

Genre: Action | Adventure | Drama | History | War

Synopsis:  A grand epic and historical portrayal of outnumbered British soldiers doing battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift.  Sterling performances by all the actors renders this anti-war movie not only a very credible depiction of this historical battle, but certainly underlines this as one of the better movies depicting the colonial heritage of South Africa.  Although there are some historical inaccuracies, these are relatively unimportant, and one can agree that the sense of battle exaltation and simultaneous shame that a soldier feels after surviving his first battle has never been more accurately portrayed.   This film is a good pointer towards the quality of films about and shot in South Africa, albeit with foreign funding, but emphasizes equally well the colonial era that is part and parcel of South African film history.


Everyday Use (2003) 26 minutes – USA

Director: Bruce Schwartz

Writers: Bruce Schwartz (writer), Alice Walker (short story)

Genre: Drama

Maggie sees the old family quilt-an heirloom already promised to her-as something with practical utility as well as tradition. Her educated, social activist sister wants to hang it on the wall as folk art. With whom will their mother side? A study in class differences and the reclamation of Black history, Alice Walker's short story "Everyday Use" is beautifully realized in this dramatization.









In their Own Voices, Volume 1 (2008) 44 minutes – Uganda

Director: Dominica Dipio

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: This documentary focuses on the Madi of Uganda, talking of a wide range of cultural issues and their concerns in contemporary context.

In their Own Voices, Volume 2 (2008) 40 minutes – Uganda

Director: Dominica Dipio

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: Focuses specifically on four Madi dances and their social significance. In both documentaries, the plea of the elders is “not to uproot the pumpkin” in the interest of change and modernity

End of an Empire, (1969) - Kenya

Synopsis: The British Colony of Kenya becomes the independent Republic of Kenya. Using archive footage, photos and interviews with both whites and Kenyan Africans, we are taken through the brutal colonial stance and the hardships of the struggle for independence.

America Beyond the Color Line (Los Angeles: Black Hollywood) (2003) … minutes – USA

Directors: Mary Crisp, Daniel Percival

Writer: Henry Louis Gates

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: Hosted by acclaimed Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr., who examines the past, present, and future of black/white race relations in the USA. He interviews a wide spectrum of African-Americans (including celebrities Maya Angelou, Colin Powell, and Samuel L. Jackson). In the process, he presents a portrait of black America that is challenging, thoughtful, and comprehensive. Gates travels from The South to The North then to Hollywood California where he finds out how racist the movie industry is. Does the unprecedented success of African-American actors at the last Oscars signal a genuine shift in the way race operates in the movie business? Gates asks whether Hollywood is institutionally racist or whether it is becoming increasingly color-blind in pursuit of the box office dollar.


Scottsboro: An American Tragedy (2000) … minutes – USA

Directors: Daniel Anker, Barak Goodman

Writers: Barak Goodman (writer), Kay Boyle (opening poem)

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: In 1931, two white women stepped from a box car in Paint Rock, Alabama to make a shocking accusation: they had been raped by nine black teenagers on the train. So began one of the most significant legal fights of the twentieth century. The trial of the nine falsely accused teens would draw North and South into their sharpest conflict since the Civil War, yield two momentous Supreme Court decisions and give birth to the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to its historical significance, the Scottsboro story is a riveting drama about the struggles of nine innocent young men for their lives and a cautionary tale about using human beings as fodder for political causes.


Dundun - Talking Drum (2007) 83minutes - Nigeria

Director: Ibisankale Kayode

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: In Nigeria, Drums have been used as a means of communication and entertainment from time immemorial. This film is the story of the Dundun - Talking Drum.


Alive and Well with HIV – Positive Living (2007) 25 minutes - Nigeria

Director: Babajide Moronfolu

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: In Nigeria, some of the problems faced by people living with HIV/AIDS include stigmatization, desertion, loss of job, lack of treatment, lack of knowledge, etc. This documentary encourages Nigerians living with HIV/AIDS that they can live a positive and normal life.


Tapologo (2008) 88 minutes - South Africa/Spain

Director: Gabriela & Sally Gutierrez

Genre: Documentary

Synopsis: In Freedom Park, a squatter settlement in South Africa, a group of HIV-infected former sex-workers, created a network called Tapologo. They learn to be Home Based Carers for their community, transforming degradation into solidarity and squalor into hope. Catholic bishop Kevin Dowling participates in Tapologo, and raises doubts on the official doctrine of the Catholic Church regarding AIDS and sexuality in the African context.

Slum Sweeper, 1965 to 1971, 20 minutes

 Producer: Olu Holloway

 Synopsis:  The film details the construction of Eko Bridge in Lagos. The resettlement of the displaced residents of the Olowogbowo area in Isale Eko, where the bridge lands on the Island, and how Surulere was started.


The Eyo Festival, 2000, 27 minutes

 Producer/Director: Busola Holloway

Synopsis: A detailed, insider look at the famous Adamu Orisha festival, popularly called Eyo. This film shows the origins of the Eyo Masquerade, the traditions of the people of Lagos, and the significance of the festival to the people.


Evangetainment, 2008, 120mins

Producer /Director:  Olaitan Faranpojo

Evangetainment is a documentary on the Christian side of Nollywood.



Asa ati Ise ni Ile Yoruba (2008) 8 minutes- Nigeria

Director: Bukola Eluyera

Genre: Animation/Drama

Synopsis: This is a short animation on Yoruba Culture. It deals with proverbs, adages and short stories and folktales as illustration.


Animation made in Ghana (2008) 45 minutes - Ghana

The films in this series are contributions made by animators and projects from workshops organized by animation Africa. The films represent a compilation of animation films made in Ghana by Ghanaians. They include:

  • Kerekete    Dir: Emmanuel Mensah          

     a story about why the hawk catches the chicken

  • Safoa Dir: Samuel Quartey & Frank Tetteh

     A young girl changes the fortune of her family.

  • Gagged   Dir: Edward Tenkorang KB’s trickery fails as an attempt to steal land him in jail.

  • Bibio Dir: Emmanuel Mensah          

     A community is attacked by fish as they fight water pollution.

  • Ananse in the Web Dir: Frank Tetteh          

Ananse the spider tries to outwit his son to assess a food warehouse. He fails and    is embarrassed

  • The African Way   Dir: Edward Tenkorang

    A series of bitter experiences forces KB to learn to share

  • Dream Trip   Dir: Samuel Quartey

     A little boy dreams about a trip through the city of London        

·         Malaria Dir: Toonskol Project. Using mosquito net to prevent malaria

·         Hamper Dir: Toonskol Project. Infomercial on HIV

·         Download Dir: Toonskol Project. Infomercial on HIV

·         Phone Hospital Dir: Toonskol Project. A sick phone undergoes surgery

  • Phone Technician Dir: Toonskol Project. An angry man makes a futile attempt   to repair his phone

·         Mob Shop Dir: Toonskol Project. A mobile phone fights a client

·         Shoe Life Dir: Toonskol Project. A cyclist is distracted and runs into a ditch


Mariam Ndagire, Down this road I walk (2007, 120 mins)

This is a story of a young girl forced by parents to marry an older but rich man. They see this as their only way out of poverty. But will their daughter comply with their wishes?


Ashiraf Simwogerere, Murder in the City (2006, 145 mins)

A murder has been committed in the city: each of the four people suspected could have been the murderer. Who has done it?


The Honourable (2008, 120 mins) Ashiraf Simwogerere

A mature, respectable MP poaches on vulnerable young women until he gets involved in a crime he cannot extricate himself from.

Battle of the Souls (2007, 105) Matt Bish

It is the battle between individuals and a mysterious underworld that dominates the film.  Who wins at the end?  The film is made in Hollywoodian style, with heightened use of special effects.

Fate (2006, 117 mins) Cindy Magara’s

Is it by choice or by fate that Kate, in her 30s, chances on a HIV positive young man who quickly becomes her husband? The film focuses on the challenges of HIV?AIDS at the workplace.

After the Silence (2007, 33 mins) Irene Kulabako

It focuses on politics of domestic violence on women.

 All our Children (2008, 41 mins) Irene Kulabako

It focuses on violence on children in the domestic sphere

Students Films

Experience, 2008 (35 mins)

Director: Seun Adesina

Synopsis: Two people go into business together. One is dishonest and deadly. This leads to dire consequences.

Twisted Nature, 2008 (69mins.) 

Director: Chiemela Ogbonna

Synopsis: Chidi a fraudster who escaped from the hands of the law in Lagos is blackmailed by a faceless voice over the phone, (who appears to know everything he has done and is doing), into setting up a kidnapping syndicate for the man. The kidnapping rampage is rather fun for Chidi until the man kills one of the kidnapped children whose parents refuse to pay. Chidi draws the line and runs to the police. He gets the shock of his life when police investigation reveals that Jane his girlfriend and love of his life is the man’s agent. But who is this man? 

Food Abuse, 2008 (30mins)

Director: Seun Adesina

Synopsis: A comic treatment of the abuse of food. A man cannot discipline himself and eats irresponsibly. This does not pay him on the long run.

Shadows, 2008, (55mins)

Directors: Michael Akande & Babasinmisola Fadirepo

Synopsis: This film deals with infidelity between lovers and between parents and children.




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