King Ampaw: legendary producer to be celebrated

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One of Ghana’s famed and internationally celebrated movie producers and director King Ampaw will be honoured by the Ghana Club this week. Ghana Club seeks to celebrate the legendary Ghanaian one of his compatriots, Kwaw Ansah for their roles in the industry. Under a programme called “Film Pioneers Achievement Gala”, King Ampaw’s 2006 film “No Time To Die” will be screened on Tuesday, September 19, 2023.

Who is King Ampaw?

Born in 1940 in Kukurantumi in the Eastern Region, King Ampaw is a celebrated film director and producer whose work travelled beyond the borders of Ghana. He attended the Academy of Film in Potsdam, Germany in 1965. King Ampaw then proceeded to the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Austria in 1966. Again, he enrolled at the Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film München, Germany (University of Television and Film, HFF Munich) from 1967 to 1972. He was a classmate of German film director and playwright, Werner Herzog as well as Oscar-nominated German filmmaker Wim Wenders.

King Ampaw worked briefly as a senior director with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, GBC, between 1979 and 1982 when he returned from Germany. He resigned to work at his own film production company Afro Movies Ltd. He produced Kukurantumi, Road to Accra (1983), Juju (1985) and No Time to Die (2006) which all earned critical acclaim and won awards.

Awards and honours

Having produced films of international acclaim, King Ampaw received several awards for his efforts. He was given an honorary award at the Africa Movie Academy Awards in Nigeria, the first filmmaker to receive the award. He also was honoured at the 2012 NAFTI Lecture for his timeless contribution to the film industry and cross-cultural collaborations between Ghana and Germany.

King Ampaw won the Best Actor award at the 4th African Film Festival of Tarifa in Spain in 2007 as well as The Film Critics Award for Kukurantumi at FESPACO in Ouagadougou and Input Film Award for Nana Akoto in Czechoslovakia

Additionally, King Ampaw received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Accra International Film Festival. He is a founding member of various local and international industry associations including the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers (FEPACI), Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO), the Ghana Academy of Film and Television Arts (GAFTA) and the Directors’ Guild of Ghana (DGG).

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