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Helping to make visual the stories that are under-represented, unseen or untold

Benpaali + Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival
10 February 2024 @ The University of Alabama

Featuring the top film from the

2023 Benpaali Film Festival


Kpeshie Egbo (Dead Lagoon)

Written, directed +produced by:

David Asare Masterwille,

Eunice Obeng-Agyei

Caroline Nelson Taylor

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© 2021 by FireBeads Media - All rights reserved.

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Firebeads Media was launched in 2015 as a multimedia production and consulting company, following the successful production of Bɛnpaali Young Filmmakers Festival. It began as a collaboration of Rebecca Oheneasah and Susan Wilcox who share an interest in supporting young artists, creating art, heritage, and storytelling. The focus of FireBeads ranges from documenting the history of Ghana's film industry post-independence, to documenting the heritage of Africa and the African Diapsora, to providing a platform for upcoming artists working in film, television, theatre and social media. We partner with a team of young people -- artists, ethnographers and cultural activists -- along with filmmakers and heritage scholars across the continent and Diaspora in three main areas:

  • Bɛnpaali  -- an annual film festival for artists ages 15-30 years old

  • Akutso Sane -- a community-based initiative

  • Film Production -- a production house for original and for-hire content -hire

Why heritage & the arts?

In Africa young people dominate in number, but their knowledge, ideas and leadership are generally not sought or integrated into public dialogue, even about issues affecting them. For example, Ghana comprises over 60 ethnic groups, each with its own language, religion and culture, yet a few languages dominate public discussion. Youth artists are aware of these contradicting realities and are using film and other media to not just entertain, but to awaken our minds and hearts. Bɛnpaali is a forum where heritage and art intersect with young people's imagination, curiosity and meaning making. By creating #storiesthatmatter, they explore who they are and where they come from in order to bear witness to issues important to them and their communities. And because how we live today becomes our legacy, they are also considering which aspects of their heritage they want to harness for the future.

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