Leila Djansi Receives British Academy Of Film And Television Arts Los Angeles –2011 Pan African Festival Choice Prize For “I Sing Of A Well”

Leila Djansi Wins BAFTA
Leila Djansi Wins BAFTA

Director Leila Djansi was presented the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Los Angeles (BAFTA, Los Angeles) 2011 Pan African Festival Choice Prize for “I Sing of A Well” at the 19th Annual Pan African Film Festival (PAFF) held in Los Angeles.

“I am so very honoured to receive this prize, which I accept not only for me, but for producer Akofa Ejeani Asiedu, cast, and crew,” said a gracious Leila. “Making this film was a team effort, as it always is, and I am so glad I worked with a team that helped me turn my words on paper into an enjoyable film. I am so appreciative to BAFTA Los Angeles and PAFF.”

The prize, which is 100 DVD’s of the film was, was presented to Leila by BAFTA Los Angeles board members Katy Haber and David L. Simon.

Katy said, “Having had the pleasure of seeing “I Sing of A Well” at the Pan African Festival, I was delighted to learn that Ayoko Babu had chosen it as the 2011 Festival Choice Award for the British Academy Los Angeles.  Not only is “I Sing of A Well” a wonderful cultural, educational film about the history of Ghana, and Leila Djansi exemplifies the art of auteur film making, by writing, directing, producing and co-financing her film.”

With an academic background in Film & Television (graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design) and more recently Cultural Anthropology, Leila is a filmmaker who has chosen to tell stories about life, survival, and the delicate intricacies of culture. Her strong passion for issues based filmmaking is what led her to establish the Turning Point Film Fund, a Ghanaian program set-up to fund productions primarily about women, children, and issues affecting African society as a whole.

Her directorial credit includes Chandler Hospital’s documentary, “Heath Matters,” the Goodness and Mercy Foundation’s “Hands Across Africa,” Sci-Fi Channel’s “Most Haunted Places on Earth,” Armstrong University’s “Study Abroad” and “Twigcarver,” dance drama “Moja!,” and the World Fest platinum award-winning film “Grass Between My Lips (2008),” and Africa Movie Academy Awards nominated “I Sing of A Well (2009).”  “I Sing of A Well” received 11 Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) nominations to include Best Picture and Best Director, to lead with the most nods.

“I Sing of a Well” is a wonderful piece of cinema,” said Ayuko Babu, founder and executive director of PAFF. “As a people, it represents who we are; where we have been; and where we are going. The film enriches our soul, stimulates our senses, and entertains our audiences with a compelling storyline.”

Making its North American premiere at the Pan African Film Festival, “I Sing of A Well” is the first installation of the slave trade trilogy, “Legions of Slaves.” Set in the ancient Ghana Empire, in the time of the Mali kingdom under King Mansa Musa’s rule.  Prince Wenambe (John Osei Tutu Agyeman) wins the throne from his father when he hands over the kingdom to Mansa Musa for protection from slave raiders.

Basking in his glory as King, he seeks tirelessly after the beautiful Soraya (Akofa E Asiedu) who is betrothed to another, Dume (Godwin Kotey), but his glory is short lived as Mansa Musa himself becomes a slave raider.

Leila said, “Because this was a way for me to tell the history of Ghana through art, I feel it is only fitting for me to donate some of the prize DVDs to schools and universities libraries.  Hopefully, it will be used to educate students about our history as told by a Ghanaian.”

Echoing Leila’s sentiment Katy said, “The British Academy Los Angeles is also delighted to learn that she will be distributing some of the DVD’s to schools, universities and libraries in Ghana as a means of sharing Ghana’s history with the younger generation of her country.”

BAFTA/LA is the only Anglo-American professional organization founded to promote and advance original work in film, television and interactive media, while serving as the bridge between the Hollywood and British production and entertainment business communities.

The Pan African Film and Arts Festival (PAFF) was founded in 1992 as a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of ethnic and racial respect and tolerance through the exhibit of films, art and creative expression.

The goal of PAFF is to present and showcase the broad spectrum of Black creative works, particularly those that reinforce positive images, help to destroy negative stereotypes and depict an expanded vision of the Black experience.

Known for showcasing new films first, past PAFF features have included box office and award-winning hits: Ray, Lackawanna Blues, Redemption, Love and Basketball, Crazy As Hell, Kingdom Come, The Brothers, Love Jones, Ghost Dog, and Academy Award® winner for Best Foreign Film, Tsotsi.

Leila Djansi Wins BAFTA
Leila Djansi Wins BAFTA

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19 thoughts on “Leila Djansi Receives British Academy Of Film And Television Arts Los Angeles –2011 Pan African Festival Choice Prize For “I Sing Of A Well””

  1. Congratulations Leila! you deserve it.

    And you sounded gracious all around. (That is the Leila we love, not the other one).

    May there be bigger and better awards in your future!!

      • I dont get her. I mean, is she not the same lady who some few weeks ago wrote some blah, blah, blah on facebook? That made me believe that Akorfa wasn’t the producer of the ” I Sing of a Well” but now guess who she’s calling as the producer of that same movie.

  2. My dear nanayaa, I shock for am sef o. leila has never said Akofa is not producer. it is Akofa who has always said she is the sole producer and executive producer. leila maintained, even on her hitz fm interview that she and akofa both produced and financed the film. But akofa wants everyone to think she did it alone. well God is no joker.

    BTW. i saw her leila, at the Accra mall today in some sexy short dress with her PA and some white woman. she looked so good. every inch like a celebrity. I was too shy to go talk to her. 
    congrats gal. u deserve it.


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