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Movies of Monday, 4 April 2011

Source: ameyaw debrah/

Omotola, Ama K and Kimberly Elise bring Girl Power to Leila Djansi’s new film, ‘Ties That Bind’

After shaking up the African movie industry back to back with her award winning movies ‘I Sing of a Well’ and ‘ Sinking Sands’, Ghanaian film maker Leila Djansi is back to the camera, lights and action with a new production titled ‘Ties That Bind’. Still on the path of empowering women with her films, this time she packs a powerful trio of top female actors from Hollywood, Ghana and Nollywood to drive home an equally powerful message of giving a voice to women in whatever situations they may find themselves.

Adobea (Omotola Jolade Ekeinde), Buki (Ama K Abebrese) and Theresa (Kimberly Elise) are three women from different walks of life bound together by a similar pain; the loss of a child. In a destined meeting in a small village in Kroboland, the women journey together to redemption, love, life and forgiveness as they renovate a dilapidated clinic for the villagers.

All three actresses have expressed their enthusiasm about the production, more particularly with the strong and touching human stories in the movie. They described the stories of the individual characters they play as real life stories and challenges faced by women of different academic, social and professional backgrounds.

At a press conference held in Ho, Volta Region, Nollywood star actress, Omotola commented that being her first time shooting in Ghana, ‘Ties That Bind’ presented the right story she was looking for, and that Leila Djansi’s works in the past spoke volumes to her. She added that African cinema needs more themed movies. She also remarked that after over a decade of acting in Nigeria, and starring in tonnes of home videos, it’s time for her to do more challenging films and that is what she would be focusing more on in the future.

2011 African Movie Academy Awards Best Actress, Ama K Abebrese is excited to work with Leila Djansi again, just a few months after working together on the award winning psycho-drama, ‘Sinking Sands’. Ama commented that she loves Leila’s writing and she is getting used to her way of working. She added that the two of them now know each other very well and work well together. She believes that the issues addressed in the movie would touch the female audience and ask questions that need answers within the society.

Hollywood actress and four-time NAACP Image Award winner, Kimberly Elise says she is excited to be working in Ghana, which is a different environment from what she is used to. She commented that she is excited about the production so far, adding that in the true spirit of independent film production, the crew for ‘Ties That Bind’ have worked with togetherness so far and she can’t wait to see the final outcome. Kimberly believes her character in the movie can help many women to find their voice in whatever situations they find themselves and help take them on a road to self discovery and empowerment. Comparing her character in ‘Ties That Bind’ to her acclaimed role in ‘Diary of a Mad Black Women’, she commented that both women are very different although both give a voice to women. In the latter, she was a woman struggling to break free but in the former she is a woman that encourages other women to find themselves and break free.

Joining the three lead actresses is Nigerian-American actress, Ebbe Bassey who plays the role of Maa Dede, an overbearing mother-in-law. The bubbly actress commented that she doubts any woman would see that movie and not be inspired by it in one way or the other. She said after reading previous scripts from Leila Djansi, she fell in love with Leila’s passion to use her works to uplift women issues and that not working on ‘Ties That Bind’ was simply not an option.

Writer, director and producer of the movie, Leila Djansi is also excited about working with her stellar cast. According to her, she was looking for a cast that would carry the artistic integrity of her work in terms of their performances as well as bankable actors that would make the movie marketable to audiences across the globe. She believes that she has struck gold with Omotola, Ama, Kimberly and Ebbe as well as the other cast members. ‘Ties That Bind’ also features John Dumelo, David Dontoh, Prince David and others.

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