SF State Film Abina and the Important Men' Hits SF Black Film Fest

Monday, June 12, 2017
SF BAY VIEW -- Filmmaker Soumyaa Behrens tells the newly discovered story of Abina Mansah, who in 1874 brought a case of illegal enslavement against her African slave master before the British courts in the Gold Coast, in what is now Ghana. “Abina and the Important Men” is an animated graphic depiction of what happened in this historic case. “[Professor] Trevor [Getz] approached us about making the book into short films for an educational app to be used in history classes. As we pursued the project, the film just came to life," Behrens says. “I committed myself to casting and working with SFSU community members so that the film would have a decidedly urban and American feel. “This choice also opened up avenues for discussion on the issues presented as well as gave a chance for people to relive, re-experience and try to walk in the shoes of the people who are represented in the story. This also gave another chance for critique of the story in the discussions that were involved in putting the characters together with the actors, who were all members of the community first and actors second.”