It features Kimberly Elise, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Ama K. Abrebrese, and John Dumelo
What do you do after you release a commercially successful award-winning movie? For Ghanaian filmmaker Leila Djansi, the answer to that question is simple – start working on your next project.
A few weeks ago at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, her movie, “I Sing of A Well” won the – British Academy of Film and Television Arts/LA (BAFTA/LA) Festival Choice Award. Her movie “Sinking Sands” received nine nominations for the 2011 African Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).
Now new details are emerging about her current film project, “Ties that Bind” which features “Diary of a Mad Black woman” star, Kimberly Elise, Nigeria’s darling Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, earthy and sexy John Dumelo and many others.
Still on the path of empowering women with her films, this time Leila packs a potent trio of top female actors from Hollywood, Ghana and Nollywood to drive home an equally potent message of giving a voice to women in whatever situations they may find themselves.
Adobea (Omotola Jalade Ekeinde), Buki (Ama K Abebrese) and Theresa (Kimberly Elise) are three women from different walks of life bound together by a similar pain; the loss of a child. In a destined meeting in a small village in Kroboland, the women journey together to redemption, love, life and forgiveness as they renovate a dilapidated clinic for the villagers.
All three actresses have expressed their enthusiasm about the production, more particularly with the strong and touching human stories in the movie. They described the stories of the individual characters they play as real life stories and challenges faced by women of different academic, social and professional backgrounds.
At a press conference recently held in Ho, Volta Region, Nollywood star actress, Omotola said that being her first time shooting in Ghana, “Ties That Bind” offered the right story she was looking for, and that Leila’s works in the past spoke volumes to her. She added that African cinema needs more themed movies. She also remarked that after over a decade of acting in Nigeria, and starring in several home videos, time had come for her to do more challenging films and that is what she would be focusing more on in the future.
The 2011 African Movie Academy Awards Best Actress, Ama K Abebrese was excited to work with Leila again, just a few months after working together on the award winning psycho-drama, “Sinking Sands”.
Ama said that she loves Leila’s writing and is getting used to her way of working. She added that the two of them now know each other very well and work well together. Ama said she believed that the issues addressed in the movie would touch the female audience and ask questions that need answers within the society.
Hollywood actress and four-time NAACP Image Award winner, Kimberly Elise said she was excited to be working in Ghana, a different environment from what she was used to. She said that she was excited about the production, adding that in the true spirit of independent film production, the crew for “Ties That Bind” had worked with togetherness and she was looking forward to seeing the final outcome.
Kimberly believes her character in the movie can help many women find their voice in whatever situations they find themselves and help take them on a road to self discovery and empowerment. Comparing her character in “Ties That Bind” to her acclaimed role in the “Diary of a Mad Black Women”, she commented that both women are very different although both give a voice to women.
In “Diary of a Mad Black Women”, Kimberly was a woman struggling to break free but in the “Ties That Bind”, she is a woman that encourages other women to find themselves and break free.
Joining the three lead actresses is Nigerian-American actress, Ebbe Bassey who plays the role of Maa Dede, an overbearing mother-in-law. No woman would see that movie and not be inspired by it in one way or the other, said the vivacious actress.
She said that after reading previous scripts from Leila, she fell in love with her passion to use her works to uplift women issues.
Leila who is not only the director but also the writer and producer of the movie, is equally excited about working with her stellar cast. She said that she was looking for a cast that would carry the artistic integrity of her work in terms of their performances as well as bankable actors that would make the movie marketable to audiences across the globe.
She believes that she has struck gold with Omotola, Ama, Kimberly and Ebbe as well as the other cast members. “Ties That Bind” also features John Dumelo, David Dontoh, Prince David Osei and others.
Well, for all you Leila fans out there, keep your ears to the ground, “Ties that bind” is set for its world premiere soon.
By Edna Lola Owusu-Ansah