Akosua Adoma Owusu
04/06 - 27/07/2018
Akosua Adoma Owusu (born January 1, 1984) is a Ghanaian-American filmmaker, producer and cinematographer whose films address the collision of identities, where the African immigrant located in the United States has a "triple consciousness.” Owusu interprets Du Bois’ notion of double consciousness and creates a third cinematic space or consciousness, representing diverse identities including feminism, queerness and African immigrants interacting in African, white American, and black American culture.
Her films have screened internationally including Rotterdam, Viennale, Rencontres Internationales, Paris/Berlin, Toronto, New Directors/New Films, BFI London Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival and San Francisco International Film Festival. She was a participant of the 5th Oberhausen Seminar and a featured artist at the 56th Robert Flaherty Seminar programmed by renowned film critic Dennis Lim. In 2015, she was named by Indiewire as one of 6 preeminent Avant-Garde Female Filmmakers Who Redefined Cinema. She often combines personal ethnography and cultural representations of beauty through experimental forms while preserving historical traditions. Recent projects include reviving Ghana’s historic Rex Cinema as a creative space for art, music, and film.
Her latest work, On Monday of Last Week (2018) is a film adaptation of a short story in renowned author Chimamanda Adichie’s collection, "The Thing Around Your Neck." It received a nomination at the 2017 African Movie Academy Awards and premiered at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival, before screening at the Fowler Museum, Seattle International Film Festival, and the 25th New York African Film Festival co-presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center.
Owusu's film, Kwaku Ananse (2013) received a Golden Bear nomination at the 2013 Berlinale and won the 2013 African Movie Academy Award for Best Short Film. Kwaku Ananse was also included in the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma’s Golden Nights Panorama program of Best Short Films of the year in France. The film had its television broadcast on Arte ZDF and TV5Monde Afrique, and was later acquired and distributed by Africalia and Grasshopper Film.
She has received numerous grants including the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts (2015), Art Matters Foundation (2012) and the Africa First award (2012) sponsored by Focus Features. She has also held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Camargo Foundation and most recently at the Goethe-Institut Vila Sul in Salvador-Bahia.
Her forthcoming feature debut “Black Sunshine” is supported by the Produire au Sud (2010), Creative Capital Foundation (2012), Durban FilmMart’s ARTE France International Prize (2013), Berlinale World Cinema Fund (2014), IFP’s No-Borders Co-Production Market (2014) and the Tribeca Film Institute (2015).
Her solo presentations include the Nickelodeon Theatre (2018), Cobo Center Marquee (2018), Centre Pompidou (2017), Afrikana Independent Film Festival (2017); The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (2016), Museum of Modern Art (2015), LA FilmForum (2015), African Studies Association Conference (2015), Anthology Film Archives (2014), CinemAfrica at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2013), and UnionDocs (2012).
Owusu’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, Centre Pompidou, Fowler Museum, Yale University Film Study Center, and Indiana University Bloomington, home of the Black Film Center/Archive.
She holds MFA degrees in Film & Video and Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts and received her BA in Media Studies and Studio Art with distinction from the University of Virginia. Currently, she divides her time between Ghana and New York, where she works as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Her films are produced under her production company Obibini Pictures LLC.