In West Africa, gold fueled the economic power of the Ashanti Empire, and gold is an emblem of status and royalty within Ghanaian society. Ghanaian tribal chiefs and others of high rank adorn themselves in layers of gold jewelry, carry gold walking sticks, and sometimes even...Read More
Over the past decade, the price of gold has soared by 500%, causing a rush of new mining operations in the developing world. In Ghana, Africa's second largest gold producer, local communities and large mining companies have found themselves at odds as they try to get their share of the pie. This is the story of three men caught up in a dangerous modern gold rush. Coming 2013.
New teaser trailer is ready! Just a taste of what’s to come. Hope you like it!
Ready to launch our new site! Let us know what you think.
Stuart and Sowjayna continue to edit while Paula works on the site – independent filmmaking means always learning and wearing many hats!
Stuart is putting some scenes together with the help of our editor Sowjayna, while we also exchange ideas for our updated website. It’s time for a fresh look!
Translations are done! Victoria and Joseph did a great job, and told us that they found the work rewarding – they learned a few new things about galamsey mining and the challenges that some of their fellow Ghanaians are facing. Victoria was very inspired by the work that AfriKids is doing in her home region!
While we wait for our translations, we are both reviewing our new footage and transcribing the portions that are in English, so that we can select the interview segments and scenes that will make it into the final edit. It’s a lot of tedious work, but we are saving our budget, so we’re doing it all ourselves.
After a long search, we’ve found a Fra Fra translator in New York and a Fante translator near Los Angeles. It wasn’t easy – though there are many Ghanaians living in the U.S., few Fra Fra speakers from the north of the country have emigrated. Victoria and Joseph will spend the next several weeks watching our video and typing out a translation marked by time code.
Stuart’s working to organize our hours of new footage and identify all the sections that need to be translated. Fra Fra is the language of the northern part of Ghana, and Fante is Justice’s native language. There are more than 70 languages spoken in Ghana! English is the official language of the government, but many people are not fluent, particularly if they have not had much education.
We’re back from our final shoot in Ghana! We spent two hot and dusty weeks in the Upper East region with James Bingo, our caseworker from AfriKids as he worked with his beneficiary Maxwell to help this family keep their eldest son in school and away from mining work. They were very gracious to welcome us into their home, and it was a privilege to spend time with all of them as they are striving toward a better future despite many hardships. After Paula got on the tro-tro to head for Accra and then home, Stuart went on to Prestea to check in with our galamsey miner Justice, who continues to work as an illegal miner and is adjusting to the new challenges of adulthood.
Getting ready to head back to Ghana for a few more weeks of shooting! Making arrangements to meet our subjects, working out our travel budget (tight – maximizing those frequent flier miles), requesting travel visas—lots of details to work out.
Another January, another ITVS grant application. We’ve made it to the final phase of consideration several times, which is a great accomplishment, but they only fund a few projects a year – maybe this is our year!