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Kwaku Ananse
25 mins


Kwaku Ananse is a traditional West African fable of a creature, part man, part spider, who spends years collecting all wisdom of the world in a wooden pot. As he tries to hide the pot in a tree he can’t find a way to place it high up in its branches. When his little son, Ntikuma shows him the way, Kwaku Ananse becomes so angry that he throws the pot down onto the ground. It bursts and the wisdom seeps away. Everyone rushes over, hoping to salvage what they can. Nyan Koronhwea returns to her father Kwaku Ananse's native Ghana for his funeral. They had long lost contact with each other. She has mixed feelings about her father’s double life with one family in Ghana and another in the United States. Overwhelmed by the funeral, she retreats to the spirit world in search for Kwaku Ananse. She carries her ambivalence with her into the forest, where she learns the ultimate truth about all human relationships.


Kwaku Ananse is an intensely personal project which draws upon the rich mythology of Ghana. The short film combines semi-autobiographical elements with the tale of Kwaku Ananse, a trickster in West African stories who appears as both spider and man. Ananse teaches us that there are two sides to everything and everyone. The fable of Kwaku Ananse is combined with the story of a young outsider named Nyan Koronhwea attending her estranged father's funeral. At the funeral, she retreats to the woods in search for her father. Kwaku Ananse is an effort to preserve a fable my father passed on to me, and in turn to preserve a dying yet immensely rich culture.

Available for Institutional Purchase or Sale at Grasshopper Film


Produced by: Obibini Pictures, Julio Chavezmontes & Lisa Cortes
Written & Directed by: Akosua Adoma Owusu
Screenplay by: Akosua Adoma Owusu & Iram Parveen Bilal
Cast: Jojo Abot, Koo Nimo, and Grace Omaboe
Cinematography by: Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio
Africa First Program Director: Kisha Cameron-Dingle
Music by: Koo Nimo, Ebo Taylor, Hector Ruiz


Berlinale Talent Campus
Focus Features Africa First
Art Matters
Sarah Jacobson Film Grant


Winner - 2013 African Movie Academy Award, Best Short Film
Winner - 2013 Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma - César, Best Short Film of the Year
Nominated - 2013 Golden Bear for Best Short Film, Berlinale
Special Mention - 2015 Cinemas D'Afrique Angers