Bleeding Sunshine: A Hollywood Thriller on Human Trafficking
Female film makers from Africa have taken the continent’s movie industry a step further in recent times. Female directors, Chineze Anyaene in Nollywoods most successful film ,Ije and Leila Djansi’s-Sinking Sands from Ghana are few classic examples. We about to witness another landmark achievementes an US-based Ghanaian filmmaker, Yaa Boaa Aning, parts the curtains for Bleeding Sunshine; an international feature film on human trafficking.Yaa has just wrapped up the Ghana shoot of the feature but would take shots from some other significant locations in Egypt, Dubai and Israel. Bleeding Sunshine sheds light on the intricacies of human trafficking with emphasis on African teenagers trafficked to other parts of the world especially to Europe for commercial sexual exploitation.It tackles some of the modus operandi of traffickers while sharing information on victim’s ordeal.
This brings to bare the nightmares of a young Ghanaian girl played by Suzzy Norbile who was adopted from her humble fishing village and thrust into the gritty world of international human trafficking.
Yaa Boaa Aning wrote the film’s script five years ago when she was doing a research on Interpol. Through the research, she came across an article, which inspired her to further investigate human trafficking cases.
Yaa Boaa, a University of North Carolina Alumni, has worked in Hollywood for the last decade, is fascinated by the beautiful locations in Ghana and said it was one of the factors that inspired the feature.
“I mean it is so beautiful out here. Part of the reasons to shoot was to show Ghana in a way, it has never been shown before to the world before. There is going to be photo-tourism. Everywhere we turned our camera there is richness of culture and we want people in abroad to see and remind people that leave here how special this place is and also inspire them to look after it,” she told Daily Guide.
“There were certainly some challenges. But the benefit is just how great the locations are here. We shot in Prampram in an abandoned Polo Club with the view of ocean & horses running in the background. We also did a number of sunrise shots with fishermen pushing their boats out into the ocean and the sun coming up behind them. There are incredible scenes out there that I don’t get to see in Hollywood. You know it is something so different. It is really great. The pictures have never been done before,” added Chase Bowman, Director of photography (DOP) of Bleeding Sunshine.
Chase is a top Hollywood DOP with feature film credits like the Warner Bros. release “Listen To Your Heart” featuring Cybil Shepherd; “In a Pickle” starring Jackie Mason, and “Cost of a Soul”, which was theatrically released nationwide at 50 AMC theaters in April 2011.
He started shooting professionally at the age of fourteen, refined his skills by studying art and photography in Rome, and ran his own production company for ten years.His involvement in Bleeding Sunshine is his first experience working in Ghana and second in Africa (Kenya was his first).
With heart-throbbing scenes, the story Bleeding Sunshine is told with a great cast from around world; one reason the movie is expected sells internationally aside its theme.
Although, Hollywood cast are to be made public, the film’s African cast will include Hotel Rwanda star Hakeem Kae-Kazim, “2011(AMAA) Best Actress - Ama K.”2011 Pan African best Actor- Chris Attoh, 2010 (AMAA) Best Actor–Adjetey Anang (Pusher), 1996 Oakland Black Film Achievement Winner - Amonobea Dodoo, 2011 Tanzania”s Best Actor -Steven Kanumba, 1998 USIS Award Winner-Omar Sheriff Captan, Amonobea Dodoo–1996 OakLand Black Film Achievement Winner with new-comer Suzzy Norbile, , Jasmine Baroudi, Lady Arafua, Afro-Soul sensation Katou whose single” Happy Endings” just set the R&B charts on fire & Lucy Kwao with other African casts.“I played the character of Captain Addo, a fisherman, the father of Suzzy, the girl who was trafficked overseas.It is great production and very professional. I was always on my toes because I knew that I have to raise my level. It wasn’t a layback experience or like what we have back home. The director and crew were down to earth,” Adjetey Anang said about his role in the project.
Yaa Boaa began her career in advertising in NY. But boredom with the lack of creative expression, she decided to try her hand at fashion show production with some of the most famous houses in the world–Giorgio Armani, BCBG and Betsey Johnson etc.
Fashion Styling production lead her to film costuming, which ultimately exposed her to film making, working with such acclaimed directors as Michael Mann, Bill Condon and John Singleton. Never letting go of her passion for writing, between 2007 & 2010, Yaa Boaa completed her first 5 film scripts.
In 2009 she wrote and directed award winning short, The Prince of Venice. Other projects include Felix Triangle for President, which is currently in pre-production and Zahara in post-production.Yaa is known for production roles in Hollywood movies and television series such asFast & Furious, ‘The Goods Live Hard, Sell Hard’, ‘xXx: State of the Union’, ‘Just Legal’, ‘Flight of the Phoenix’, ‘Out of Time’ and Private Practice.She costumed Jamie Foxx and Usher in ‘The Kingdom’, ‘Dream Girls’& ‘Miami Vice’’.
Richard Nwaobi-E project manager for the film says, “it’s been great working with such a talented and diverse African cast and crew on this film”. He assembled the great cast as the film producer, along with Dave Boapomg theproduction manager, Corey Geigner - Assistant Cameraman with Brian Angels.