US-based Ghanaian filmmaker, Kobina de Graft-Johnson continues to blaze the trail for Ghanaian filmmakers, as he has been selected for a prestigious grant at the Black Web Fest in New York, for his outstanding work as an indie filmmaker.
His short film, ‘Barely Made,’ was chosen from a pool of talented applicants and will be screened at the film festival on the 29th of April 2023, to celebrate the work of Black filmmakers in the diaspora.
Kobina de Graft-Johnson is a rising star in the independent film community both in New York and Ghana, and his work has been praised for its unique perspective and powerful storytelling. The selection of his film for this grant is a testament to his talent and dedication to the craft of filmmaking, after taking the bold step to ditch his accounting career.
‘Barely Made’ explores themes of identity and womanhood, and tells the story of how a young Ghanaian-American woman called Adwoa navigates the murky waters of corporate work-life, romantic relationships, and her social life. The role was brought to life by critically acclaimed actress and singer-songwriter Abena who has starred in several Comedy Central and Netflix movies. The film has already garnered critical acclaim and has been praised for its bold and thought-provoking message.
The Black Web Fest is an organization created to increase diversity in media and entertainment and help Black creators build sustainable careers. By selecting Kobina’s work, they have created an accessible programme and services where they will leverage technology to better serve the community.
Sharing his excitement to be part of this year’s festival, Kobina says, “It’s really a great feeling to have hard work recognized. I am super excited to share this pilot with the world now. As an indie filmmaker there are daily challenges of trying to put a vision on screen, but with God, hard work, a great team, and vision, we were able to complete it.”
For more information on Kobina de Graft-Johnson and ‘Barely Made’, please visit @anibokstudios across all social media platforms.
About Kobina de Graft-Johnson:
Born and raised in Tema, Ghana, Kobina de Graft-Johnson is a visionary leader with an unwavering passion for creating a catalogue of 100 films that shape the narrative of Ghanaian culture. As the Founder, CEO, and Director of Photography at Anibok Studios, Kobina is leading the way in innovative ways of filming and collaboration. His entrepreneurial approach to creativity involves not only creating content but also understanding the business of art to create a sustainable venture while creating opportunities for other creatives. Kobina’s body of work extends from Ghana to New York, where his short films showcase African culture through a contemporary lens. As a supporter of women’s empowerment and the deaf and blind community, Kobina’s work has clients including Vogue Espana, Brussels Airlines, Centric TV, Bronx Net Television, and many more. With a favourite memory of filming backstage at the 2016 BET Awards, Kobina continues to turn his dreams into films.