A film that made its world premiere at the Berlinale (the Berlin International Film Festival) a year ago – a historic debut because it was the first film from Ghana to ever screen at the Berlinale, and the first feature film made in the Kusaal language, spoken primarily in northern Ghana by around 400,000 people – has been picked up by Corinth Films for a USA release, starting on March 3 in New York City.
Nominated for the John Cassavetes Film Independent Spirit Award for the best new film made for under $500,000 (the awards show will be televised live on the IFC Channel on Saturday, February 25th), “Nakom” is a drama that follows Iddrisu, a talented medical student, who returns to Nakom, his home village in northern Ghana, to repay a debt that threatens to destroy his family, after his father’s sudden death. Over the course of a growing season, Iddrisu confronts both the tragedy and beauty of village life, and must finally choose between two very different futures – one for himself in the city, or one for his family and entire village.
Co-directed by Kelly Daniela Norris and TW (Trav) Pittman (who also co-wrote the script with Isaac Adakudugu, who is from Nakom), the film is described as an intimate yet universal story, full of remarkable characters, centered on one man’s search for independence while feeling the pull of responsibility for his family. It’s about the contrasts and ironies of contemporary life versus traditional village ways. For example, while the actual village of Nakom does not have electricity or running water, Facebook is accessible on mobile phones.
The film stars Jacob Ayanaba leading a cast of talented non-actors, nearly all from Nakom, including Grace Ayariga, Abdul Aziz, Justina Kulidu, James Azudago and Felicia Atampuri.
“Nakom” was filmed on location, by the way.
A Ghanaian-American co-production, the film certainly reads and looks (based on the below trailer) like a noteworthy achievement, and we’re looking forward to checking it out when it opens in the USA on Marc 3. A win at the Film Independent Spirit Awards ceremony this Saturday will certainly give it an awareness boost leading into its theatrical premiere a week later.