HOMETOWN: Alexandria, Virginia
ETHNICITY: Ghanaian American
EDUCATION: BA in Media Studies and Fine Art at Universisity of Virginia and Masters in Film/ Video and Art at California Institute of the Arts
WORK: Filmmaker and Fine Artist
Akosua Adoma Owusu is an award-winning Ghanaian filmmaker and artist. She received her MFA in film, media and art at CalArts and Bachelors at the University of Virginia. Despite being 29, Owusu is regarded as one of the rising stars in the entertainment industry. A protégé of filmmaker, Kevin Jerome Everson, her films combine West African daily life with American pop culture as she is informed by personal ethnography and cultural representation.
Featured as one of ArtForum’s Top Ten Artists, Akosua has received the Most Promising Filmmaker prize at Ann Arbor Film Festival, and was also named by the Huffington Post as one of the “Top 30 Black Contemporary Artists Under 40” in 2013. Owusu’s work has exhibited worldwide from The Studio Museum in Harlem to the Berlinale Film Festival in Germany. Her film, Kwaku Ananse recently received the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Short Film. It was the first ever Ghana-Mexico-US co-production supported by Focus Features Africa First, Art Matters and the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant.
In 2009, Owusu’s Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) garnered critical acclaim at over 80 international film festivals; picking up a distribution deal from The Cinema Guild. Released in 2010, her short film, “Drexciya” was highly commended for its ‘radical nature’ at the Tarifa Africa Film Festival, securing her the Best Experimental Film Award at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in Mexico.
Akosua Adoma Owusu has also been a part of many powerful initiatives that are creating space for young up-and-coming filmmakers. She participated in the Robert Flaherty Seminar, Berlinale Talent Campus, Durban Talent Campus, and the Produire au Sud Workshop, which focuses on cinema from Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Her first feature in development, ‘Black Sunshine’ was also a nominee for the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival Heineken Affinity Award. The film was supported by the Creative Capital Foundation in 2012 and participated in Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors that same year.