The Award Winning Ghanaian debut short film from Writer/Director Amartei Armar
The Award Winning Ghanaian debut short film from Writer/Director Amartei Armar
Winner - Film As A National Tool For Development Award | Black Star International Film Festival (Ghana)
Winner - 1st Prize World Competition Short Film | Montreal World Film Festival (Canada)
Winner - Best Humanitarian Short Film Award | Life After Oil Film Festival - Sardegna
Winner - Special Mention Jury Award | Associazione Meet Film Festival
Efere Ozako Award for Best Short Film Nominee | Africa Movie Academy Award 2019
Black Star International Film Festival 2018 (Ghana)
Montreal World Film Festival 2018 (Canada)
Montreal International Black Film Festival 2018 (Canada)
Film Africa London 2018 (England)
Africa International Film Festival 2018 (Nigeria)
Toronto Black Film Festival 2019 (Canada)
Chennai International Film Festival 2019 (India)
Real Time International Film Festival 2019 (Nigeria)
6° LIFE AFTER OIL International Film Festival 2019 (Italy)
Emirates In Flight Entertainment 2019 (Airlines)
Associazione Meet Film Festival 2019 (Italy)
Best of International Short Film Festival 2019 (France)
Vagabonds is the story of two orphaned brothers, Owusu (10) and Gyasi (5) who feel trapped in their orphanage, but find comfort in their bond. Their lives are turned upside down when Owusu finds out his younger brother, Gyasi, has been selected for adoption by an American family.
Owusu feels it his duty to protect his brother at all costs and must find a way for them to always be together...
Ghana is a country that culturally places the notion of family and heritage as one of its highest values in society. The family a person is born to and the name that comes with it, is at the core of his or her identity. It represents who to be loyal to, who and what a person is responsible for, the honour that must be upheld while conducting affairs, any financial and familial obligations and so much more.
The Akan’s have a proverb that serves as an illustration of the West African mindset on family mentality, “Agya bi wu a, agya bi te ase,” (When one father dies, another father lives). This is to imply that ideally there cannot be any true concept of an “orphan” in Ghanaian society since how Ghanaians define what constitutes the “nuclear family” extends well beyond siblings and parents.
However, the recent increase of urbanisation has put tremendous financial strains on families living in urban areas, rendering them unable to care for the children left behind by another family member. This has left many orphans to either fend for themselves or be swept up in institutions that culturally reflect a Westernised view of what an orphanage is.
To be an orphan in a culture that puts so much emphasis on family heritage is to have a whole other dynamic on identity and the feeling of self worth opened up. Who are you if you are not your family? Who do you belong to and who belongs to you? What can you say is yours?
Where is home?
These questions became the foundation of what created the short film “Vagabonds.”
Most of our cast are first time actors getting their debut in "Vagabonds".
Iddrisu Duuli Tontie is the second child of five and he's just 11 years old. An avid reader and lover of football, he attends SAP’s school with his older sister and two younger brothers. He makes his first acting appearance in Vagabonds
Asher Fiifi Essilfie has been involved in the creative arts since the age of 2. At just seven years old, he has already featured in stage plays, landed TV commercial gigs, and did background work in popular Ghanaian TV series such as "YOLO" and DSTV’s "House of God". Along with a passion for acting, Asher models on the runway for several child's wear fashion boutiques and plays the piano.
Nelly Bilson is a bright young girl very dedicated to her studies. She has been promoted twice in academia and is set to complete high school by 16. With a favored interest in pursuing Science, Nelly spends her free time writing song lyrics and singing. She makes her first acting appearance in VAGABONDS.
Nana Ama McBrown is an actress and a song writer. In 2001, she made her first movie “That Day” which thrust her into the limelight. Today she has starred and been involved in countless movies in the Ghanaian Film Industry, cementing herself as one of Ghana's most illustrious celebrities. She’s currently the most sought after Brand Influencer in Ghana.
Kofi Christian Dorve is a registered taxi driver in the Accra metropolitan area. Originally from the Volta Region, Kofi has always admired acting and the creative arts. He makes his first acting appearance in Vagabonds.
The Children of the New Life Foundation, established by the Chief Nii of Teshie-Nungua, all make their first acting appearances in Vagabonds.
We are proud to say that all of the creative brainpower behind the film is 100% #MadeinGhana
The product of a Ghanaian father and an American mother, Amartei Koblah Armar found topics surrounding identity, immigration, and the human need to feel a sense of belonging both utterly fascinating and conflicting having spent most of his life moving back and forth between the two countries.
Upon completing his BFA in Film Production at the University of British Columbia, he completed his first film “Arc” which went on to screen successfully at many international festivals. VAGABONDS, is his first film shot in his “fatherland” Ghana.
Yemoh Ike is a Ghanaian film producer and CEO of Next Media Concept, a brand agency that scouts and manages talent. He started as a publicist and premiere developer for notable movies like: ‘Why Marry?’ a two cast movie distributed/produced by Double Dee Production; Yvonne Nelson’s “Single and Married”; Jewelz’s (Juliet Ibrahim’s Film outfit) “Number One Fan” and “Shattered Romance” as well as oversaw Ghana’s PR for the box office movie ’30 days in Atlanta’ produced by Ayo Makun.
Yemoh landed his first casting job for actor Eddie Watson’s award winning documentary on EBOLA, and co-produced for the very first time on ‘She Prayed’ in 2014.
Director of Photography
Idowu Okeniyi is a Nigerian-Ghanaian Film Director, Director of Photography and Producer. He completed his education at Central University College as an Architect before training as a film director in 2013, although he began his career in filmmaking earlier in 1999 as an actor in a Nigerian television series and in 2008 as a director when he shot and directed his first short film with a camera phone and his college roommates as actors.
He is the co-founder of Studio Reel Films; With countless short films under his belt, he is currently finishing up his first feature film, "The Bridge and The Gaps," now in post-production.
Andrèw Alain Bourréau, is a multi- talented Artist and currently the youngest Arts Director born in Ghana.
He studied fine Arts at Ghanatta College of Art and Design and later went to Ghallywood Film School to broaden his creative skills in film making as an Art Director. Due to his proficiency in painting and carpentry, he earned the opportunity to enhance his career at the Hillwood Studios further honing his skills in scenic design, props design, makeup effects, set design and construction etc.
Andrew has exhibited his talents in both local and international productions such as "Ghana meets Naija" and "Guinness Big Eruption" to name a few. Outside freelance work, he continues to apply his skills on countless short and feature length films.
Elfreda Merley Maamah is a fashion designer and a costumier designer. Born in the late 80's in Ghana,
she is a product of Joyce Ababio school of fashion and design. Due to her fashion ability, she had the opportunity to enhance her carrier with Riclils Entertainment & Kobby Reynolds model management, in the area of costumier and a fashion designer.
Elfreda has exhibited her talents on both on the runway and in the movie industry.
1st Assistant Director
Elorm Adjaho is a Ghanaian screenwriter/aspiring director who began his trade in the arts through theatre and stage plays. It did not take long for the film bug to bite, before he started writing for the screen.
Proficient in several of Ghana's national languages, Elorm spends his time gathering stories from the nation's diverse groups to transform into films.
Phoebe Clarissa is a young entrepreneur with expertise in brand strategy and publicity. As the managing director of Savilon Ghana, a boutique branding agency in Accra, she offers tailored services to individuals, companies and other agencies in the industry.
Her skillset includes campaign design, writing, project management and PR. Her passion is to work with young African entrepreneurs who are driven by creative visions that will make an impact in the lives of many.
‘Vagabonds’, a Ghanaian short film by Amartei Armar, is raising the bar on world film platforms for becoming the first African film to win an award at the 2018 Montreal World Film Festival (MWFF) in 42 years.
The film has brought honour to Ghana’s film industry, being the only film representing the African continent while competing in the world competitive category.
The 2018 MWFF was held in Canada from August 23 to September 3, 2018.
by Emefa Tsikata, Citi NewsRoom
Vagabonds will be the longest short film you ever watch – in the best way!
Written and directed by Amartei Armar, the story follows two orphaned brothers Owusu (Idrissu Tontie Jnr) and Gyasi (Asher Fiifi), who live in an orphanage under the guardianship of Madam Gifty (Nana Ama McBrown).
The brothers live a humble life but share a strong bond, the opening scene solidifies this when we see Owusu taking care of Gyasi in the midst of a crisis. Their world is turned upside down when Gyasi is selected for adoption by an American family.
‘Vagabonds’, a Ghanaian short film directed by Amartei Armar, has been selected among world films to be screened at the 42nd edition of the Montreal World Film Festival in Canada (MWFF).
MWFF is an international film festival organised to encourage cultural diversity and understanding between nations. It embraces film productions worldwide and encourages upcoming filmmakers to showcase their work in order to stimulate the development of quality cinematography around the world.
It also aims to discover new talent and promote meetings between cinema professionals from around the world.
by Tony Asankomah, GHMovieFreak
We spent our Saturday evening in the company of amazing film aficionados to have exclusive viewing of VAGABONDS, a short film directed by Amartei Armar.
For us at GhMoviefreak.com our night was made. Nothing compares to the feeling of seeing a good film made right here in Ghana that not only delivers a strong endearing message but also delivers on being an artistic and emotionally driven piece. After all, art is supposed to invoke emotion and if it’s able to do that on several levels, the better.
Writer, Director, Editor - Amartei Armar
Producer - Yemoh Ike
D.O.P. - Idowu Okeniyi
Production Designer - Andre Bourreau
Composer - Edwvn
Costume Designer - Elfreda Maamah
Publicist - Phoebe Clarissa
1st AD - Elorm Adjaho
Script Supervisor - Derrick Allotey
Camera Operator - Apagnawen Annankra
1st A.C. - Azumi Habib
Gaffer - Ruddy Amanor
Best Boy - Sherrif Rabriew
Key Grip - Daniel Attoh
Key Grip - Kay Boadi
Grip - Enoch Nosh
Grip - Desmond Ayamgha
Art Director - Musash “Malique” Awudu
Carpenter - Nii Kwartei
Make Up Artist - Mavis Jephesson
Make Up Artist- Florence N. K. Owoo
Loc. Sound - Samuel Edem Wunu
Loc. Sound - Emmanuel Mingle
Boom Operator - Prince
PA - Akwaku Joseph Oman, Benedict Derban
BTS Photography - Nana Yaw
Catering - Helen Djhalin
Sound Designer - Amartei Armar
Colorist - Fifi Asiamah Kusi
Sound Supervisor - Ded Buddy
ADR Recordist - Ricky
Sound Mix - Solomon Akan
Owusu - Idrissu Tontie Jr.
Gyasi - Asher Fiifi
Maame - Nelly Bilson
Madame Gifty - Nana Ama McBrown
Kofi - Kofi Dorve
House of Salvation Children
Cephas Afotey Okoe
Emmanuel Kojo Mensah
George Kwesi Mensah
Banabas Paa Kwesi Mensah
Juanita Afoley Okoe
Christian Afoley Otoo
Teye Narhko Lydia
Gladys Afoley Odai
Teshie-Nungua, West Legon, Greater Accra Region
Red Epic, Sony A7s II