An African Election

  • An African Election
© Urban Republic, 2010
Genre : Political
Type : Documentary
Original title :
Principal country concerned : Column : Cinema/tv
Year of production : 2010
Format : Feature
Running time : 89 (in minutes)

The 2008 presidential elections in Ghana, West Africa, serve as a backdrop for this feature documentary that looks behind-the-scenes at the complex, political machinery of a third world democracy struggling to legitimize itself to its first world contemporaries. At stake in this race are the fates of two political parties that will do almost anything to win.

Director Jarreth Merz follows the key players for almost three months to provide an unprecedented insider's view of the political, economic and social forces at work in Ghana. He builds suspense by taking the viewer down the back roads of the nation to capture each unexpected twist and turn in a contest that is always exciting and never predictable. Throughout the film, Merz depicts the pride and humanity of the larger-than-life politicians, party operatives and citizens who battle for the soul of their country.

Elections in Africa are subject to fraud and violence.
A democratic culture can only prevail in a stable political environment, yet the effects of poverty and social injustice remain a major threat to the stability of Africa's democracies. The desperation and hopelessness felt by the people are systematically exploited by the regional political machinery and by foreign economic interests. Can Ghanaians reverse this trend or will elections in Africa remain a sad cliché?

Switzerland, U.S.A.

Produced and directed by
Jarreth Merz

Co-directed by
Kevin Merz

Executive Producers
Franco & Brigitte Agustoni

Luisella Realini
Silvana Bezzolla Rigolini
Tiziana Soudani

Director of Photography
Topher Osborn

Edited by
Samir Samperisi

Music Producer and Composer
Patrick Kirst

Featuring Music by
Ghanaba (Guy Warren)

Special Advisor
Arnold Merz

Topher Osborn
Kevin Merz

Production Sound Mixer
Quirin Sieber

Sound Editor and Mixer
Riccardo Studer

Additional Editing
Volker Schaner

Erika Tasini
Shari Yantra Marcacci

Graphics & Visual Effects: Mikrofilme

Print and Media: Lambert und Lambert - Düsseldorf

Original title: An African Election

World Premiere: October 2010

Original Version: English (english subtitles), colour, Digital Beta, 89 min.

Format: Digital HDV

Screen ratio: 16:9

Sound: Dolby SR

Language spoken: English, Twi and other local languages

Filming locations: Ghana, Africa

Subtitles: English

Year of production: 2010

Genre: Documentary

World Rights: Urban Republic


Wir schreiben das Jahr 2008. Die ganze Welt blickt auf die Präsidentschaftswahlen in den USA. Ein historischer Moment: Ein Schwarzer kandidiert für das höchste Amt. 9000 Meilen davon entfernt bereitet sich in Afrika ein kleines Land namens Ghana ebenfalls auf Wahlen vor. Nach 28 Jahren kehrt der in der Schweiz geborene Regisseur nach Accra zurück, in die Hauptstadt Ghanas, wo er aufgewachsen ist. Erinnerungen kommen auf, doch vor allem möchte er vor Ort sehen, wie sich das einst hoffnungsvolle Drittweltland entwickelt hat.

by Jarreth Merz
October 2010


  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

With the support of