Ghanaian Filmmaker Wins Prestigious Catholic Entity’s Contest for Storytellers

David Boanuh, a Ghanaian filmmaker, winner of the 9th edition of the prestigious International Award, “Communicating Africa” contest, that Harambee Africa International (HAI), a Rome-based development agency launched. Credit: Courtesy Photo

David Boanuh, a Ghanaian filmmaker is the winner of the 9th edition of the prestigious International Award, “Communicating Africa” contest, that Harambee Africa International (HAI), a Rome-based development agency, had launched.

Opened for entries in October last year, the contest was an invitation for young storytellers to tell stories of Africa, and to promote awareness of “a continent that is a treasure for the whole world”.

HAI Communications officer, Rossella Miranda, reiterated on Monday, September 26 that the objective of the Award has been “to highlight the construction of a more realistic narrative about the continent, through documentaries and video clips by young people under 25 years of age.”

“For the first time, the victory for both categories is awarded to a single director, the young Ghanaian David Boanuh,” Ms. Miranda said in a note that was shared with ACI Africa.

The award ceremony is set to take place in Rome, during the Symposium on “Youth and Social Innovation for a World in Crisis” to be held on September 28-30, on the occasion of the Association’s 20th anniversary


Mr. Boanuh is a renowned figure in the film industry and his projects include Beyoncé’s award winning ‘Black is King’ where he served as the Director of Photography for scenes that were shot in his native country, Ghana. 

The founder of “Beautiful Stories” emerged the winner in all categories of HAI’s contest. The two categories in the competition were video documentaries and video clips.

A total of 841 applications were received from filmmakers, production companies and non-profit organizations from different countries in Africa, Europe, and the United States.

Ms. Miranda told ACI Africa that at 75 percent, a majority of submissions in the contest were from African countries.

The entries were selected by a jury composed of authoritative international figures from the communications sector, HAI said.  

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The Award, which is held every two years, aims to highlight the commitment, through video works, to the construction of a more realistic account of Africa that takes into account the countless challenges but also the progress, potential and richness of African realities, Ms. Miranda said, adding, “In this sense, the award-winning videos are emblematic of an important change of perspective.”

The jury declared “Reframed” the winner of the video clip section and “The Golden Seeds” took first place in the documentary video category. 

For “Reframed”, the jury acclaimed a “very aesthetically pleasing” video clip, which they said “effectively builds the image of the Continent by restoring its complexity, variety, dynamism, enthusiasm, joy.”

“The jury wished to reward the commitment and the ability of the authors to contribute to an image of Africa different from the most frequent representations,” Miranda noted.

About “The Golden Seeds,” the HAI Communications officer said, “In exploring a specific and complex problem – the cocoa industry – the documentary projects us into a world – African – with an African perspective, showing the difficulties of people with a realistic and respectful gaze that avoids commiseration.”


“A portrait of determination, commitment, strength and hope emerges,” Ms. Miranda said of the documentary by the Ghanaian filmmaker, and added, “The jury particularly appreciated that, through the testimonies collected, the desire for family, education, deep ties with the community and proactive engagement in one's daily life was highlighted.”

The jury also deemed the video documentary, “Kandia” by Jean Hamado Tiemtoré, deserving of a special mention.

Ms. Miranda said that Mr. Hamado, a young artistic director, born in Burkina Faso and living in Lecce in Southern Italy, expressed a desire to show a different kind of relationship between migrants and natives in the documentary.

“The jury appreciated the hopeful look at local society, through the narration of a concrete and original experience of coexistence and integration. The author’s desire to show a different kind of relationship between 'migrants' and 'natives' than the one proposed by the media is effectively and poetically portrayed,” she said.

The HAI official said that with the “Communicating Africa” award, the Catholic entity wishes to offer opportunities for dialogue and greater knowledge of the realities of “Africa as a Continent of bursting vitality and a place of a thousand nuances, but unfortunately images of war, poverty and backwardness still prevail.”

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The award ceremony of the competition will take place in Rome, on Friday, September 30, at 4 p.m., at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross (PUSC).

The event, which is supported by REDANI, Signis Services Rome, Further Africa and Vado in Africa, is part of a three-day Symposium to mark HAI’s 20th anniversary. Others on the program are Banca Popolare di Sondrio, On The Road TV, and HappyChild.

HAI, a project created on the occasion of the canonization of founder of Opus Dei, St. Josemaría Escrivá, is celebrating 20 years of “commitment to international solidarity” and “the start of concrete initiatives that will take place over the coming years,” the foundation shared with ACI Africa.

The Symposium will see authoritative personalities involved in various development projects from around the world identify innovative and common responses to the most current challenges.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.