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Kwaw Ansah

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Kwaw Ansah2209.jpeg
Date of Birth:
1941-00-00
Place of Birth:
Agona Swedru, Ghana

Kwaw Paintsil is a Ghanaian filmmaker, writer, director, and producer. He produced movies including Love Brewed in the African Pot in 1980 and Heritage Africa in 1989.

He was born in 1941 to a trader(mother) and a father who was a photographer, painter, musician, and dramatist. He obtained an O Level certificate and worked as a textile designer at the United Africa Company.

He obtained a diploma in theater design from the Regent Street Polytechnic in London from 1961 to 1963, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the American Music and Drama Academy from 1963 to 1965.

Love Brewed in the African Pot earned him exposure throughout Anglophone Africa. The movie won so many awards although it took about 10 years to produce his next movie, Heritage Africa in 1989. He also produced the Soul of the Asantes (2000), Crossroads of People, Harvest at 17 (1994), and The Golden Stool.

He was a crusader for African filmmaking and dramatic art and the chairman of FEPACI as well as a leader of the direction of FESPACO.

Kwaw Ansah was awarded the Acrag Prize, the Living Legend Award for Contribution to the Arts of Ghana in 1998.

At the Ghana Film Industry Corporation, he worked for two years as a Production Assistant and Set Designer and also made commercials for Lintas Advertising Agency in Accra. In 1970, he was also the set designer for Egbert Adjesu's film I Told You So.

Ansah went on to found his own advertising firm, Target Advertising Services, in 1973. He continues to do commercial advertising work (his company is now called Target Saatchi & Saatchi Ltd), which, he says, "Pays The Bills". One of his television commercials won him a New York-based CLIO Award in 1989.

Along with his commercial work, Ansah continued his engagement with the world of theater and the arts. Soon after his return to Ghana, he became an executive member of the Ghana Drama Association and the Ghana Association of Writers, and an officer of the Film Guild of Ghana.

His play Mother's Tears, was performed at the Drama Studio in Accra in 1967 and was instantly successful. It would later be reprised at the Accra Arts Centre in 1973, 1991 and at the National Theatre in 1995.

In 1977, he founded his own film production company, Film Africa Limited where he worked and produced Love Brewed in an African Pot in 1980.

The film won several awards including the prestigious Omarou Ganda Prize, for "most remarkable direction and production in line with African realities" at the seventh Pan-African Film Festival (FESPACO), the first to be awarded a film from an Anglophone country; the UNESCO Film Award in France, and the Jury's Special Silver Peacock Award, "For a Genuine and Talented Attempt to Find a National and Cultural Identity" at the 8th International Film Festival of India.

Crossroads of Trade, Crossroads of People, a documentary by Kwaw Ansah, was sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution was made for the Ghana Museum and Monuments Board. It now runs in the Cape Coast Castle, as part of a rather controversial effort to rehabilitate/renovate the slave forts and castles.

Some awards he won include; Best Documentary and TV Production Award for Crossroads of People, The Order of the Nation of Burkina Faso (March 1995) for Arts & Culture, The Grand Prix Award for Heritage Africa at FESPACO, Ouagadougou, 1989 and Crossroads of Trade (FESPACO-1995).

He made a comeback in 2010 releasing Good Old Days: The Love of AA (2010) followed by The Good Old Days: Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle (2011), The Good Old Days: Suffering to Lose (2012), and Praising The Lord Plus One (2013).

He was honored for his contribution to cinema at the first NAFTI Film Lectures in 2011 as well as given the Osagyefo Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts (GAFTA).

Kwaw Ansah launched a comic book on the movie, Brewed in the African Pot, which subsequently became the first film to be adapted into a comic book in Ghana.

Filmography

Love Brewed in the African Pot (1980)

Heritage Africa (1989)

Harvest at 17(1994)

Crossroads of People, Crossroads of Trade (1994)

The Golden Stool, The Soul of the Asantes (2000)

The Good Old Days: The Love of AA(2010)

The Good Old Days: Papa Lasisi Good Bicycle (2011)

The Good Old Days: Suffering to Lose (2012)

Praising The Lord Plus One (2013)

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