“Like Cotton Twines” follows Micah (Jay Ellis), an American volunteer who teaches in a Ghanaian village and harbors high expectations for his mother’s homeland. He’s eager to help his students reach their full potential, especially the bright 13-year-old Tuigi (Ophelia Klenam Dzidzornu). But when Tuigi’s family must pay for an accident caused by her father, Tuigi must abandon her education and offer herself as a sex slave. Outraged and upset, Micah battles the tribal culture, religious customs, and the state itself in order to save this girl from a cruel fate in this haunting feature film from Leila Djansi. Watch an exclusive clip from the film above featuring Micah confronting his own African heritage with a visit to the slave dungeons.
Djansi has this to say about “Like Cotton Twines: “Being a filmmaker gives me that great opportunity to expose the many injustices of this world, most of which are directed at women. My previous films have all sought to be that voice for many women not only in Africa, but even in developed countries. There are thousands of girls currently enslaved in Ghana, Togo and Benin under the Trokosi system (slave to the gods). It is my hope that a visual and dramatic representation of what these women go through will awaken the conscience of those with the legislative mandate to make change. Those thousands are hoping for freedom, and we are the keepers of our freedom. It starts with one voice; one act.”
Leila Djansi’s career started in Ghanian film industry before transitioning to the United States. She established independent film company Turning Point Pictures whose mission is to make “films about significant social issues affecting people globally, using the medium to educate audiences and raise awareness about these pertinent issues, with the belief that these films can act as a catalyst for change.” Her previous films include “I Sing of a Well,” “Sinking Sands,” both of which received 10 African Movie Academy Award nominations respectively, “Ties That Bind,” and most recently “Where Children Play.”
“Like Cotton Twines” will premiere at the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 2nd at 6pm at the ArcLight Culver City 8.