Portfolio > Short Films

Reluctantly Queer
Reluctantly Queer
Super 8 transfer to video
8 mins
2016

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SYNOPSIS

This epistolary short film invites us into the unsettling life of a young Ghanaian man struggling to reconcile his love for his mother with his love for same-sex desire amid the increased tensions incited by same-sex politics in Ghana. Focused on a letter that is ultimately filled with hesitation and uncertainty, Reluctantly Queer both disrobes and questions what it means to be queer for this man in this time and space.

PRODUCER'S STATEMENT

Thematically, my films have been explorations in telling and retelling stories. Many of my films have been inspired by, personal stories or my own experiences related to my struggles with identity. Though my works have been personal to me, I think part of their appeal is that they are extremely relateable. With 'Reluctantly Queer' I am again retelling a story rooted in struggles with identity, though in this film I found inspiration in a story not my own but in one parallel to mine in many ways. 'Reluctantly Queer' is my collaboration with Kwame Edwin Otu based on his dissertation at the Carter G. Woodson Institute. The film chronicles his struggles with his identity as a queer Ghanaian man and the tensions that it brings with his mother.

His conflicts with identity were internal while mine were external; so our narratives parallel. I am also interested in taking advantage of the cultural privilege I have of communicating, on a public platform, issues that are considered taboo in many parts of the world. It's the privilege of telling these stories as an American and a Ghanaian; a privilege my Ghanaian parents gave me by immigrating to this country. I use my voice or my art to convey stories about the human experience and commonalities within our differences. - Akosua Adoma Owusu


CAST & CREW

Produced by Obibini Pictures, LLC
Directed & Produced by: Akosua Adoma Owusu
Written and Performed by Kwame Edwin Otu
Cinematography by Akosua Adoma Owusu
Edited by Aaron Alexis Biscombe & Akosua Adoma Owusu
Sound Design & Mix by Kari Rae Seekins
Music by Falcone

GRANTS & SUPPORT

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation

AWARDS & NOMINATIONS

Winner - Best International Short, Baltimore International Black Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - Golden Bear, Berlinale Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - Teddy Bear Award, Berlinale Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - Out Night Films competition, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - Pink Apple Award, Pink Apple Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - Los Angeles Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - Palm Springs International ShortsFest, 2016
Nominated - Guanajuato International Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - BlackStar Film Festival, 2016
Nominated - New Orleans Film Festival, 2016

OFFICIAL SELECTION

Berlinale Film Festival, 2016
CinemAfrica Film Festival, 2016
Brisbane Queer Film Festival, 2016
Outfest Fusion LGBT People of Color Film Festival, 2016
Onion City Experimental Film Festival, 2016
Ann Arbor Film Festival, 2016
New Directors/New Films, 2016
Boston LGBT Film Festival, 2016
Athens International Film + Video Festival, 2016
International Female Film Festival Malmö, 2016
Yale University, 2016
Pink Apple Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 2016
New York African Film Festival, 2016
Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival, 2016
Los Angeles Film Festival, 2016
Palm Springs International ShortsFest, 2016
Guanajuato International Film Festival, 2016
BlackStar Film Festival, 2016
Rich Mix for Duckie Family, 2016
Afrika Film Festival Köln, 2016
Cinema Queer Festivalen 2016
Syracuse University Human Rights Film Festival, 2016
BFI London Film Festival, 2016
3rd Annual Baltimore International Black Film Festival, 2016
New Orleans Film Festival, 2016
Lesbisch Schwule Filmtage Hamburg, 2016
Morelia International Film Festival, 2016
NewFest, 2016
Africa in Motion Film Festival, 2016
Film Africa 2016
AfriKamera, 2016
Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival, 2016
Houston Cinema Arts Festival, 2016
Hanoi International Film Festival, 2016
Queer Kampala International Film Festival, 2016
International Film Festival Rotterdam, 2017
Mardi Gras Film Festival, 2017
BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival, 2017
BAM/Pacific Film Archive African Film Festival 2017