Ife International Film Festival

Manthia Diawara is a professor of comparative literature at New York University as well as the director of the university's Institute of Afro-American Affairs and its Africana Studies Program. Diawara was born in Mali and received his early education in France. He later received a Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1985. Prior to teaching at NYU, Diawara taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and the University of Pennsylvania.

Much of his research has been in the field of black cultural studies, though his work has differed from the traditional approach to such study formulated in Britain in the early 1980s by figures such as Stuart Hall and Paul Gilroy, in line more with the field of American studies. Along with other notable recent scholars, Diawara has sought to complicate the British approach by incorporating consideration of the material conditions of African-Americans to provide a broader context for the study of African diasporic culture. An aspect of this formulation has been the privileging of "Blackness" in all its possible forms rather than as relevant to a single, perhaps monolithic definition of black culture.

Diawara has also engaged black film and contributed significantly to its study. In 1992, Indiana University Press published his African Cinema: Politics & Culture and in 1993, Routledge published a volume he edited titled Black-American Cinema. A filmmaker himself, Diawara has written and directed a number of films.
Diawara is the editor-in-chief of Black Renaissance Noire, a journal of arts, culture, and politics dedicated to work that engages contemporary Black concerns. He is also on the editorial collective of Public Culture.

Kwaw Ansah was born in 1941 at in Ghana. He started his artistic career as a textile designer with United Africa Company. He later moved to London to study Theatre Design at the London Polytechnic where his real interest in film began. Upon his return to Ghana in 1967, he worked with Ghana film Industry Corporation as set designer and production assistant and helped set up the TV commercials Department of the Corporation. In 1977, he founded Film Africa Limited  and produced “Love Brewed In The African Pot' (1980) the first in the private sector. It was an immediate popular and commercial success throughout English speaking Africa, handily beating all previous attendance record for a film by an African Director, while at the same time earning critical acclaim and respect. 'Love Brewed In The African Pot' is on record being the African film to have beaten James Bond's For Your Eyes Only' at the 20th century Fox Theatre in Nairobi, Kenya in 1981 (Three months continuous running).

The film earned awards world-wide , including the prestigious Oumarou Ganda Prize, for 'most remarkable direction and production in line with African realities' at the Seventh Pan-African Film Festival (FESPACO0. The first to be awarded to a film from Anglophone country; The UNESCO Film Award in France, and the Silver Peacock award, 'For Genuine and Talented Attempt to find National and Cultural Identity', at the 8th International Film Festival on India (1981). His next major film project was 'Heritage Africa' (1988). 'Heritage Africa' won the prestigious grand prix 'YENNEGA' at FESPACO, (The first from English speaking Africa to have won the grand prix) in 1989. The organization of African Unity's best film award, The Institute of 'Black Peoples 'best film award, 'The Outstanding Film Award at the 1989 London Film Festival. Since Heritage, Ansah has made a historical prize winning documentary 'Cross Roads of People Cross Roads of Trade' commissioned and funded by the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, (1994) and 'The Golden Stool…. The Soul of the Asantes' (2001), a historical documentary film that looks at the Asante State. Kwaw Ansah was elected to chair the 1995 congress of the Federation of Pan African Film Makers (FEPACI) in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Among some of the National and International Honours are the highest Ecrag (Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana) Arts award, 'The Flag Star'1990), and Ecrag's Living Legend' Award (1980) for his contribution to the Arts of Ghana and Africa. He was decorated with the National Order of Burkina Faso in 1995, for his immense contribution and projection of African cinema. He was the first representative of the Private Broadcasters Association and served two terms on the National Media Commission and currently a member of the National Commission on culture. He founded the television station, TV Africa in 1995 which was officially commissioned in May 2003.

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