The controversies and rants between Leila Djansi, the director of the movie “I Sing of a Well” and the lead actress Akorfa Edjeani Asiedu got many of us thinking as to the future of such an exceptional movie. Word fights and insults could not halt the success of this movie as it is currently holding 11 nominations at the African Movie Academy Awards.(AMAA).
The director was not at the nominations and has not said a word since the nominations came out. GhanaCelebrities.Com has been chasing Leila Djansi around to ascertain how she feels about the nominations among other things. Below is our chit chat with Leila Djansi
GhanaCelebrities.Com: Did you hear about the AMAA nominations for “I Sing Of A Well” and are you excited considering all that happened?
Yes I did hear about the nominations thanks to facebook. I don’t know whether I am excited or not. I had no idea it was even entered although what was entered was my private cut. It’s a complicated situation. I have respect for AMAA, it’s a splendid initiative. I am grateful they recognize the effort and the work. No matter what.
GhanaCelebrities.Com: What do you think of Akorfa’s nomination in the category “BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE” courtesy of “I Sing Of A Well” ?
Akorfa is a great actress. I have never disputed that. She stared in the movie and did many daring things. I am not surprised at her nomination. People think I should be ashamed at her nomination and I think that’s ignorant. Being a good actress and being miscast are two different things. The type of sympathy you’d feel for a girl of 18 thrown to marry a 40 yr old man is very different from the type of sympathy you’d feel for a woman of 40 thrown to marry a 40 yr old man. Being a bankable element is also in the mix. That has been my point.
GhanaCelebrities.Com: Do you regret what you once said about Akorfa?
No. And I will never regret it.
GhanaCelebrities.Com: Why did you say all that, you never really explain what transpired.
I think I’ll use to opportunity to clear the air. I wrote I sing of a Well, invested 70% of its budget, I directed it and, I produced it. I do not know of any red blooded human being who, having done all that, will take kindly to being told “buy me out at $150,000 and take the movie”.
Regardless of all my warnings that if things are not done right we’d lose our investment, Akorfa goes ahead to do what she wants by doubling as producer and as the lead character, plus, handling the publicity her own way. My predictions come through and she asks me for that kind of money. Won’t you flip?
Thus, I get stuck with an unsellable movie and she walks away rich and famous? Oh, come on. How can I buy my own work? No one likes to be used. The day Akorfa said that to me, I cried like a little baby and that was the day I went off and lashed out at her, the only time I ever made any public statement regardless of all the things she let me take the fall for whiles I was in Ghana. She became the angel, I was the devil. It chills me when I think of the façade she is putting up.
That money I invested in the movie is what I had set aside to rebury my father as he was not given the type of burial I wanted for him. Money I have lost, totally. Hence my anger, hence my bitterness. I do not regret it one bit. Trust me; you do not want to know the sordid details of this film. Those who want a staged performance from a pro are getting it. To an extent, the AMAA nominations are like a calming wind. I am very happy for all the people who put their lives on hold to make it happen.
GhanaCelebrities.Com: Have you given out the movie fully?
I have given up my financial ownership rights, yes, because I do not have 150,000 dollars to buy her out, even if I had, I will never do a thing so ridiculous. What I have not given up is my creative ownership rights because “I sing of a Well” is part of a franchise I own called Legion of Slaves. She did not pay me or buy the intellectual property.
It’s complicated and I do not want to go into all that. Right now, I just want to go back to my silence. I have said enough. My mum always says that when a man is drowning, leave him to drown, because when you try to rescue him and he yet drowns, you’ll be accused of sinking him. It is well.
GhanaCelebrities.Com: Do you hope to win if not all the nominated categories, most of them?
It does not matter. I think there are better movies in there like the Figurine. If it wins, hey, it’s for Ghana. I am ambivalent. Honestly, deep in my heart, I do wish to redo I sing of a Well the exact way I had envisioned it. With all the proper elements in place. But, I guess if it wins, I will be elated, maybe. I don’t know.
GhanaCelebrities.Com: Any new project/movie we should be expecting from you?
hahahaha. Keep your fingers crossed. Gods grace is abundant. we’ll see where it takes us. sooner than you think.
By: Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri/GhanaCelebrities.Com/United Kingdom