The Director’s Eye: the winning project developments

Hawa Essuman, 2013. Photo by Matilde Castagna

Hawa Essuman is the young director who won the director’s eye prize in October 2012, an award created by lettera27 to support African cinema. During the FCAT’s Africa Produce forum a jury comprised of a Nigerian director Newton I. Aduaka and a South African producer Steven Markovitz has selected Hawa for her Djin, a project of a film that still had to be written and that lettera27 has supported in its pre-production phase. The story is inspired by an imaginary wind that blows through the village and the lives of the protagonists, transforming them and forcing them to ask questions about the things that really matter, bringing the change.

During the entire 2013 we have accompanied the artist in the process of the screenplay writing, one of the most delicate phases of the film production, a “grey zone” rarely sustained by other funds and almost always forgotten when the project is finished.

In collaboration with Hawa, we have decided to tell the behind the scenes of the Djin’s writing process through a series of videos produced by the filmmakers duo Istituto Micropunta, with the interviews by Vanessa Lanari and Claudia D’Alonzo. Each video allows us to enter into the creative writing process, an indispensible part of any film, imagining Djin through Hawa’s words before it even takes shape.

The entire series is now available on YouTube, while Shadow and Act, a famous US platform of the African diaspora cinema, has dedicated an article to the videos: the project’s results documentation and the sharing of knowledge on cinema in general, thanks to a “subjective camera” look at the director’s work.