The glittering World Premiere of the African-Caribbean film Joseph occurred in Accra, Ghana, on Saturday, 7th December. This is the first time a major film of Caribbean origin, featuring Caribbean and African actors and production crew, has premiered in Africa. The premiere was staged in collaboration with the Ghana ‘Year of Return’, at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, and sponsored by the Ghana Ministry of Tourism.
Dignitaries attending included Nana Bediatuo Asante, Secretary to the President of Ghana; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, CEO Ghana Tourism Authority; and Akwasi Agyeman Akwasi Ababio, Director of Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President. Many of the film’s stars turned out, including Kevoy Burton from Jamaica, Mawuli Gavor, Sika Osei and Miriam Owusu-Poku, along with director/producer Marcia Weekes and Dave Weekes, who both flew in from Barbados, and other cast and crew.
Joseph tells the dramatic story of a successful, young doctor in Jamaica, haunted by childhood memories of his beloved grandfather in Accompong, the Maroon village founded by runaway slaves. Despite the family conflict caused by Joseph’s curiosity about his Africa origins and the death of his close friend from Ghana, Joseph is determined to travel to Africa and discover his true identity.
The well-attended event attracted several people of Caribbean origin, now living in Ghana, as well as many Ghanaians curious to learn more about Africans in the diaspora. During the Q&A segment following the screening, several remarks were made about the similarities in culture and lifestyle between Jamaica, Barbados and Ghana, where the movie was filmed. Viewers were particularly pleased about the positive portrayals of life in the Caribbean and Africa and the role the film could play in combatting the negative images of Africa in Western media.
For the producers Dave and Marcia Weekes, they hope that this highly entertaining film is the beginning of a cultural bridge between the Caribbean and Africa that would help to deepen the connections between Africans globally and encourage more travel between countries in both regions.
Joseph will premiere in Nigeria on 19 January 2020 and will be released in cinemas across west Africa on 24 January 2020. Joseph is the opening film at the Barbados Independent Film Festival (BIFF) on 14 January, and cinema release on January 15th. Premieres are also expected for Jamaica, New York, London and Toronto in early 2020, in a bid to satisfy demand from African and Caribbean diaspora audiences.
Joseph is supported by the Barbados Ministry of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports; the Barbados Sports and Arts Fund; BIDC; Jamaica Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport; and the Ghana Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.