The festival's films are selected to stimulate the audience to consider how social and physical environments have changed over the past years both in Ghana and around the globe. This unique festival was founded to raise awareness of environmental issues through film. The festival aims both to entertain and to educate, targeting both the general public and school children. The festival also hopes to encourage young filmmakers to produce high quality films with a social message while also encouraging the audience to consider the issues that touch them.
The Environmental Film Festival of Accra (EFFA) is a registered non-profit organization in Ghana that was founded to raise awareness of environmental issues through film. Thanks to the partnership with Creative Storm, a leading Ghanaian digital production house and marketing firm, the festival has grown from a small event for film enthusiasts into Accra's environmental educational event of the year. The main goal of the festival is to challenge and broaden the audience's perception and understanding of the social and environmental problems faced in Ghana and abroad. But it is also about promoting the power of film to simultaneously transfer important ideas and entertain. For the past four years, EFFA has screened carefully selected international award-winning films that have the power to change the way we think about our environment. We plan to screen approximately 25 international films that highlight social and environmental issues. The 2009 festival will also call for submission of films that can meet our criteria.
This film festival is unique. It is the first of its kind in Africa. While there are other wonderful film festivals on the continent, none have dedicated their efforts to bringing attention to important social and environmental issues touching the lives of people around the world, not least in Africa itself. International press coverage of EFFA generously rewarded our efforts to spotlight this unique festival in Accra by featuring the festival in TIME Europe in March 2006. The film festival has elicited excitement from filmmakers as well as potential donors because it offers such a positive way to strengthen an understanding of environmental issues while enriching the cultural scene. EFFA has been made possible through the active collaboration of Accra's cultural venues including: The Goethe-Institut, the British Council, Alliance Francaise, and Busy Internet, as well as the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI). These institutes have supported the festival in lending screening facilities and technical support as well as promoting the importance of the festival.
"In addition to providing the high quality films with a social message to audiences in Accra's popular cultural venues, one of EFFA's goals is to reach out to those who would not otherwise have an opportunity to learn about the environment. We feel film is an excellent medium for communicating how environmental issues affect our daily lives." Claudia D'Andrea, Festival Director
The broad mission of EFFA is to bring films to Ghana that raise awareness about environmental problems both locally and around the world while also pointing the way to a new paradigm for healthy and sustainable development for all. We have selected films about the environmental issues in developed and developing countries, globalization and social justice issues. Styles range from animation to drama and from personal essay to investigative documentary. There are programs suitable for all ages from age kindergarten through to adult. Many of the films we hope to screen follow vivid stories through the eyes of young people in a variety of surroundings
CLAUDEA D'ANDREA, Ph.D. (FESTIVAL FOUNDER & CO-DIRECTOR)
Claudea D'Andrea is an environmentalist. She completed her Ph.D in 2003 at the University of California, Berkley, at the College of Natural Resources, and specialises in Land Administration and Natural Resource Policy. She received her M.A. in 1994 from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Studies (SAIS) in International Relations and International Economics. Most recently, she has worked in East Timor for Oxfam GB and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ). She is the co-autor of Tropical Forests and the Human Spirit (UC Press, 2002) and founder of the Festival.
KWESI OWUSU, Ph.D. (FESTIVAL CO-DIRECTOR)
Kwesi Owusu is one of Ghana's leading film makers and communications specialists. His film credits include AMA (35mm, Channel 4 Television, 1991), and Water is Life, (Creative Storm/Oxfam, 2004). He was festival director for the major African Film Festival at the Edinburgh Film House in 1995. Kwesi was educated at Adisadel College, Ghana, and the London School of Economics. He the author of four books on Culture, published by Routledge, London, and currently heads Creative Storm. He was nominated Personality of the Century by the Millennium Excellence Awards in 2007 and won the Arts Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana's award for Cultural Ambassador 2008.
MILDRED SAMUEL (FESTIVAL COORDINATOR)
Mildred Samuel is a UK qualified Chartered Accountant with extensive experience in Finance and Auditing with PriceWaterhouse Coopers. She studied at the University of Durham, UK, where she was awarded an MBA with distinction 2000. She worked in London with Citigroup Corporate and Investment Bank in the Asset Finance and Structured Trade Finance Groups. She is currently Finance Director of Creative Storm.
Creative Storm is an integrated digital production house and media communications company. Over the last few years, it has established itself as a leading producer of high quality cultural products and events in Ghana.