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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Preserving Ghana’s Cultural Heritage One Theatre At A Time

((  Written By:  Mia Leheluka  ))  A brilliant award-winning Ghanaian filmmaker with a small cult following, Akosua Adoma Owusu has made the world her stage with films like me broni ba and Kwaku Ananse.  But taking on the role of reviving Accra, Ghana’s dilapidated REX Cinema, may be her greatest accomplishment to date as it symbolizes her indelible mark in the resurgence of Ghana’s creative community.  The REX Cinema was built by Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, who had a vision of creating a Ghanaian cinema industry that could be shared with the world.  With time, however, the theatre—like many others in Accra—stopped being used as a theater in part due to increasing (bootleg) DVD sales that decreased the cost of movie watching and brought movies to the comfort of the home.

Notwithstanding these obstacles, Akosua, saw a place for the REX Cinema in Accra; her vision was to transform the theatre into a creative space where young Ghanaians could receive both encouragement and training for their own creative pursuits and “the next generation of Ghanaian filmmakers and artists can showcase their work.”  To that end, she launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, aptly called “Damn the Man, and Save the REX!” through which she raised over $9,000.  After much campaigning and collaborating (including with Alliance Francaise, Institut Francais, Republic Bar & Grill, and Accra [dot] Alt), Akosua celebrated the re-opening of the REX Cinema in December of last year.

With the successful revitalization of the REX Cinema, Akoua is now focused on developing her feature debut, Black Sunshine.  This is only the beginning of her story.

((  Photo Credits:  Provided Courtesy Of RED Media ))