Entertainment of Mon, 19 Jun 20172
Amma Asante honoured by Queen of England
Ghanaian-British Filmmaker Amma Asante has been honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Asante was awarded for her services to the film industry.
An MBE is Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and is an award given by the Queen to an individual for outstanding service to the community or local ‘hands on’ service.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Emeli Sande, Sir Paul McCartney, Sade, David Walliams and Ed Sheeran were also honoured during the event.
Amma Asante was born in London to Ghanaian parents.
She owns Tantrum Films, and was head writer for BBC2 series Brothers & Sisters.
She speaks fondly of her relationship with her dad, who died during the filming of Belle. In an interview with The Guardian, she said her dad was loving but strict. A saying by her dad “What is right can never be impossible” was included in the above-named film.
What matters to Asante is “passion for the project and a vision. As a director, you are the only person carrying the bigger picture and every tiny detail. It is about keeping a cohesive, creative, motivated vibe going.” she told The Guardian in a 2014 interview.
She was invited by the prestigious Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to join its class of 2016 in its push for diversity at the Oscars after severe backlash in previous years.
The movie is based on the true story of Botswana’s first president, Seretse Khama (played by David Oyelowo), who fell in love with a London office worker, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike), who became the First Lady of Botswana.
News organizations including BBC, The HollyWood Reporter and The Guardian gave the movie a rating of at least 4 star. The Daily Mail called the film “unmissable…one of the best films of the Year.”
It was Asante’s third feature film in about twelve years.
‘A Way of Life’ (2004) which was about a group of white teenagers who persecute and eventually murder their Turkish Muslim neighbour and the critically acclaimed ‘Belle’ (2014), a movie about the illegitimate, mixed-race daughter (played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw) of a British admiral who played an important role in the campaign to abolish slavery in England are the other ones.
In between ‘A Way of Life’ and ‘Belle’, Asante worked on a number of projects including researching Europol to create an Uber policeman character on a studio project.
She is married to the male Europol agent she met whilst working on the research.
“I was researching Europol agents because I was trying to create an uber policewoman. Europol is the FBI of Europe or so I am told – and the man I was sent to meet was Soren Pedersen, spokesman for European police in The Hague,” she told The Guardian in 2014.
“Soren and I had one date and decided to move in and get married. I know! I’m a crazy woman. But I looked at him and thought: ‘he is going to be my husband. And I didn’t want to waste time because I was 37 and didn’t have time to waste.”
Amma Asante’s brilliance and film making talent has certainly placed Ghana on the World map in more than one way.