70 Directors for Venice 70
An artist, writer and filmmaker born in Accra (Ghana) in 1957, John Akomfrah was a leading figure in Black British cinema in the 80's. A former musician and photographer, then a director of Super8 films and the founder of several art-house cinemas in London, Akomfrah can boast an ample production of feature films, videoslides, cinematographic installations for museums, experimental films and creative documentaries. A follower of the “Do It Yourself” punk ethics, he realized projects laying between essay and poetry, exploring the worlds of both fiction and non-fiction, and between cinema and art galleries. He made his debut in film directing in 1986 with the controversial documentary Handsworth Songs, on the contemporary experience of black population in Britain. The following Testament (1988) is the portrait of an African politician forced to exile after a coup, whereas Who Needs a Heart? (1991) and Seven Songs for Malcolm X (1993) are inspired by the growing Black Power movement in Britain. He participated in the Venice Film Festival three times: in 1988 with Speak Like a Child, in 2001 with Digitopia, a film on existential drifts caused by the rise of the digital age, and in 2010 with The Nine Muses about the history of immigration in Britain after World War II, filtered through Homer’s Odyssey.
1998 – Speak Like a Child (videoclip) – Prospettive (director)
2001 – Digitopia – Nuovi territori (screenplay, director)
2010 – The Nine Muses – Orizzonti (director, actor)