Few days back, Ghana woke up to a good news – thus, A 14-member Committee has been formed to oversee the submission and selection of a Ghanaian film for the Oscars – spearheaded by Ghanaian filmmaker of international repute, Leila Djansi.
Per the report that came in, the basic qualification for the foreign language Oscar category film is that, the film must be in a Ghanaian language and capture the true essence of Ghana as well as meet world filmmaking standards.
The category definition for the Best Foreign Language film Award for the Oscars is;
“A feature-length motion picture (defined for over 40 minutes) produced outside the United States of America with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. Animated and documentary feature films are permitted.”
With the above basic criterion, some industry players have been pointing fingers at Kumawood or Kumasi movies – since they are largely shot in a local (Twi) language. However, this writer happens to have watched a Dagbani movie titled ‘Pieli’ shot in Tamale (Northern region), and as a Screenwriter and Movie Reviewer, strongly think the 14-member committee may consider this movie for the Oscars.
‘Pieli’ – Storyline
‘Pieli’ – the rise of Montana’ is an adventure movie set in the early 1900s about a young man who realizes the sad reality that not only is he not of the family he has known throughout his existence and has grown to love so much.
But also, he is the only surviving child of a powerful clan (Chinto Clan) that perished in the hands of an immortalized warrior (Montana) who long pledged to annihilate the entire clan. With the resurrection of this ancient warrior, this young man must find a way to not only save his self and the rest of his clan but he must also find out the real reason for this enmity.
Aside the intriguing storyline, is the spellbinding plot of the movie. Acting was top-drawer! The camera works/shots were done with the precision of an engineer and the depth of a sage. Pictures are amazing, and sound is just excellent.
The stunts are great, Visual and special effects are too believable; complemented by the right setting and costume. The sub-title is simply appreciable! Watch a trailer of ‘Pieli’ below (the making of the movie is also on YouTube):
From my research, ‘Pieli’ had the highest nomination in Ghana Movie Awards 2016 – grabbing 5 nominations. Namely:
Visual Effects (Pieli) – Obi Studios, Discovery Adam-Abdul Hanan – Pieli, Best Picture (Pieli) – Leonard Kubaloe, Costume And Wardrobe (Pieli) – Yahaya Latifa, Make-Up And Hairstyling (Pieli) – Alhassan Ibrahim. It won Costume and Wardrobe – Pieli – Yahaya Latifa.
Meet The Director
The story of how the director of the movie, Leonard A. Kubaloe, also the boss of OBL Studios, is in itself an inspiration many will appreciate – he is a self-trained or self-taught filmmaker. In other words, he has never attended any film school or holds any certificate in filmmaking from any film school. Yet, his directorial skills and eyes, are par excellence!