Mini-INPUT Ghana ’23 At AUCC Unveils Riveting Tales of Migration, Struggle, and Unity

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By Vanessa Vanderpuye

In a captivating showcase of globally acclaimed TV productions, Mini-INPUT Ghana 2023, a collaborative effort by African University College of Communications (AUCC), the Goethe-Institut, GAFTA, GTV, and UniMAC-NAFTI, unfolded its second day at the AUCC Forecourt in Adabraka, Accra.

On the cool evening of Thursday November 16, 2023, students immersed themselves in a thought-provoking exploration of the rigors of migration through three compelling films, sparking profound discussions and reflections.

The event started with the screening of the three short films: ‘Essentials’, a Canadian documentary; ‘Katanga Nation’, a poignant Ethiopian piece; and ‘The Symphony of the Weird Bugs’, a captivating Colombian movie.

Katanga Nation’: A Glimpse into the Struggles of Urban Migration

‘Katanga Nation’ painted a poignant picture of urban migration’s challenges. Set against the backdrop of Addis Ababa, the film followed the journey of a young man from Gondar seeking a better life in the bustling city. The narrative unfolded with raw, unfiltered scenes of daily life in the slums, where the protagonist, faced with adversity, turned to street vending for survival. The film delved into the harsh realities of displacement, exposing the audience to the resilience and struggles of those seeking a brighter future in the urban landscape.

‘Essentials’: Unmasking the Struggles of Temporary Immigrants in Quebec

The second film, ‘Essentials’, took the audience on a gripping journey into the lives of temporary immigrants in Quebec, Canada. The documentary shed light on the harsh conditions faced by these individuals who form the backbone of the labor force in Quebec. The film illustrated the challenges of integration, language barriers, and the struggle for residency faced by these temporary immigrants, despite their significant contributions to the economy.

‘The Symphony of the Weird Bugs’: A Colombian Tale of Unity

The final film, ‘The Symphony of the Weird Bugs’, transported viewers to the vibrant streets of Colombia, exploring the theme of unity through the lens of a peculiar talent show. The film portrayed a half-human, half-animal ensemble striving for success, ultimately conveying a powerful message of strength in unity.

After the screenings, a discussion led by Dr. Kwame Anoff-Ntow explored the film’s themes.

Students passionately dissected the movie’s portrayal of migration and drew parallels to their own experiences. The simplicity of the film’s storytelling, conveyed through visuals, sounds, and day-to-day conversations, resonated with the audience. The discussion touched upon the displacement not only geographically but also within their own country, emphasizing the relevance of the films’ theme to the local context.

Students drew comparisons between ‘Essentials’ and ‘Katanga Nation’, highlighting the power of narrative voice in the former. The film resonated deeply with the audience, emphasizing the need for policymakers to address the living conditions and opportunities available to temporary immigrants, challenging stereotypes surrounding their contributions.

Students lauded the visual storytelling and recognized the films’ message that together, individuals are stronger. The storylines resonated with the audience, prompting reflections on the importance of solidarity in the face of challenges.

Mini-INPUT Ghana 2023

Mini-INPUT Ghana, organized by renowned documentary film maker and scholar Dr. Jim Fara Awindor, is an annual three-day conference held in three venues. This year, it opened at Goethe-Institut Wednesday November 15 with three shorts on the theme “Institutional Violence, Sexual and Psychological Abuse”. The second day at AUCC provided a platform for insightful discussions, where students engaged deeply with the diverse narratives presented on migration, labor, and unity. The films not only entertained but left an indelible mark on the audience, encouraging them to contemplate the complex realities faced by individuals in their quest for a better life. The third and final day will be at NAFTI (UniMAC) on the theme “Disasters and What We Make of Them”. As the event continues, it promises to be a beacon for meaningful dialogue on global issues through the lens of exceptional storytelling.

In recognition that a great many working TV professionals cannot make it to the main INPUT Conference each year, Mini-INPUT and Best of INPUT events, are held in more than 30 countries to allow greater access for all each year.

Mini-INPUT events focus on the edition in the same year, and take place after the INPUT Conference which is held each year in May. Best of INPUT events in contrast may focus on the previous three years of INPUT pre-ceding the event. These events are usually organized by the National Coordinators, the Goethe Institut and/or other partners of INPUT including AUCC – depending on where the Mini-INPUT of Best of INPUT will take place.

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