The value of uniqueness and authenticity in film

Bringing the beloved arcs of romantic comedies into the 21st century by weaving in the new, positive, emerging African narrative.

Featuring the global emergence of modern African music and its integration into contemporary pop culture.

Driven by Afrobeats, Hip Life and High Life … in the genres of Pop, Hip Hop, R&B, Dance, Afro-Reggae, Afro-Jazz, Gospel … offering a global voice and exposure to long overlooked West African creative talent.

Gwen, a young native New Yorker brings the audience to Ghana, engaging in experiences she never expected.

A love letter to Africa: without violence, disease, corruption or elephants.

Africa possesses enormous diversity and cultural richness that is rarely depicted by the media.

In the tradition of “The Harder They Come”, “Saturday Night Fever” and “Once”, Akwaaba (“Welcome”) is a vehicle for African music, with the ability to reach beyond a genre to attract global audiences representing a crosssection of traditional demographics. Similar to “Black Panther” and “Black is King”, the success of Akwaaba will be bolstered by a hit soundtrack highlighting global creators and adding to the continuing evolution of African music.

Working closely with West African artists and curated by music industry veterans, the soundtrack will be the ultimate introduction to both the film, and a culture that is becoming increasingly relevant in today’s landscape. The concept of Akwaaba has never been more timely, as demonstrated by a confluence of activities in Ghana, in Africa and in the music and film industries.

A modern romantic comedy based on a true story, Akwaaba follows Gwen, who after being fired from her job in a record company travels to Ghana because Ghanaian music touched her heart when she was young.

GWEN

Akwaaba chronicles Gwen’s travel to present day Ghana, chasing the High Life music that inspired her. Going through the usual ups and downs of a romantic comedy, with the added dynamic of Gwen being in very different cultural surroundings, Gwen finds inspiration in a vibrant cultural experience.

AFUA

The owner of the Sky View Hotel, a small bed and breakfast in the center of Osu, a neighborhood in central Accra, known for its busy commercial, restaurant and nightlife, locally known as the “West End” of Accra. Afua and her other guests give Gwen a first-hand history of Ghana.

KWAME

Gwen’s first taxi driver Kwame believes she is a producer from New York City who can help his cousin, the manager of the “hottest” artist in Ghana. She is not a producer, but her explanations fall on deaf ears as the band needs help with their present record company and very much is wanting to embark on a world tour.

LAWRENCIA

Afua’s 13 year old daughter befriends her new American sister and they explore Accra together.

KOFI

The manager of the hottest artist in Ghana. Kofi’s father, now retired to his village as the Senior Chief, was in the music business in Ghana at the same time that Gwen’s father was in Ghana.

Markets

The proven, ready markets for Akwaaba comprise a cross-section of traditional demographics: from Zillennials to Baby Boomers; Nollywood (Nigeria’s $350 million film industry) with its expanding and diversified audiences in Africa and in North America, the UK, and Europe; audiences interested in inventive films featuring pop music and exploring different cultures; and the continuing commercial popularity of romantic comedies.

David Denby in The New Yorker highlights that the international market for movies

” … is far more lucrative now …”, with audiences in places like “Sao Paulo, Lagos and Jakarta.” With a contemporary story and rich African music, Akwaaba will reach audiences around the world in major markets such as those listed by Denby, and beyond.

For Netflix …

“instead of trying to sell American ideas to a foreign audience, it’s aiming to sell international ideas to a global audience”. The New York Times, February 22, 2019.

For Amazon Studios …

“international productions are such an important part of its business”, and its “strategy is to diversify storytelling and reach a more international community. Variety, February 13, 2019.

Production Companies

Rhythms of the Globe mirrors the new-found accessibility of creative talent around the world and emerging global audiences that extend beyond geographical boundaries and cultural identities. Rhythms of the Globe alters our current understanding of a global economy and the content creation process as a global entertainment company modeled to thrive in the 21st century: agile, flexible, innovative and organically created as a lifestyle brand. A versatile, global brand, with distinctive characteristics and styles complimenting and supporting all of its activities, Rhythms of the Globe will lead and reflect cultural trends of the 21st century. In an ever-changing industry, only one thing is certain: The intrinsic value of name brand intellectual property. 

Founded by King Ampaw, Afro-Movies is the production company behind all of King’s Ghanaian films. King is not only a wonderful artist who knows and feels the real energy of Ghanaian life, he knows how to beautifully craft and execute movies in Ghana. “No Time To Die”, for example, is a two-hour full length feature film portraying love and comedy. King explains this film was meant to break the jinx of the trend of other African movies. “Most of the African movies we see are either on poverty or HIV/AIDS and so forth.” African film makers also make people laugh, he said. “Whether in poverty or sickness, people must also have time to relax and enjoy themselves.” Afro-Movies works closely with Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute and has access to the best professionals in Ghana.

New distribution platforms allow access to expanding audiences. Now, “… five smart guys can do a movie for a massive [global] audience without a huge distribution network … there’s a great opportunity for someone there.”


Carl Icahn, Time Magazine

Director

King Ampaw

Studying filmmaking in Ghana and Germany, King has achieved international recognition as a producer, director, screenwriter and actor. Among other studies in Germany, King attended the Academy of Television and Film in Munich from 1967 to 1972 where he studied with Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. He has directed and co-produced seven feature films in Ghana, recently receiving the Lifetime Achievers prize for his contribution to the development of film in Africa and was the first filmmaker to be given an Honorary Award at the African Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria.

King served as a senior director at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, was Chairperson of the First Annual Accra Film Festival and is a founding member of the African Filmmakers’ Union, the Ghana Film and TV Academy and the Directors’ Guild of Ghana. In 2018 King’s film “They Call It Love” was part of the German Historical Film Festival, which included films by Alfred Hitchcock, Frank Capra and John Huston.

Producer - Co-Music Supervisor and Story Development

Laurence Singer

In part telling his own story of his Ghanaian experiences, Akwaaba is produced by Laurence Singer. As an entrepreneur, the range of Laurence’s experience extends from the packaging of entertainment projects, to establishing the global operations for a NYC-based record company, to producing music videos, concerts with internationally known artists at venues including the United Nations General Assembly Hall and the New Jersey Convention Center, and fashion shows in Accra. Laurence also is an experienced entertainment and intellectual property lawyer.

Coming to Ghana in 1980 for the first time, Laurence returned to Accra in 1981 to begin working with legendary High Life producer Faisal Helwani. Since then Laurence has continued his involvement with Ghana’s creative community.

Co-Producer

Korkor Amarteifio

Korkor is a cultural activist and producer, starting her career in Montreal where she created a platform for artists from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America and served as a member of the Canadian Arts Council. In Ghana, Korkor was the Director of Programmes & Operations for the National Theater of Ghana and founded the Institute for Music and Development. Korkor is engaged in the creative sector across Africa, working with a network of artists and musicians to recognize the public value of the creative industries for social cohesion in Africa.

Co-Music Supervisor and Line Producer

Panji Anoff

Panji has been involved in music and film production for over 30 years in Accra and Miami. He has worked with the leading musical artists throughout West Africa, co-produced the first documentary on Hip Life, produced and directed the world’s first Pidgen musical feature film, produced music videos and corporate marketing programs, developed Programmes for the African Underground & LUU Vision, and produced documentaries for the Arts Council of Great Britain.

Screenwriter

Yaw Berko Nuako

Yaw was a Senior Lecturer in scriptwriting and directing at Ghana’s National Film and Television Institute. With a master’s degree in scriptwriting and film production from the University of Westminster in the U.K., Yaw participated in professional courses and workshops in France, Germany, and Italy. He also has written and directed documentaries, short features, and children’s stories for television.

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