Hawa Essuman (2012)
Hawa Essuman (born 1980) is a Kenyan actress and film director whose first feature film, Soul Boy (2010), received a series of awards.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, on 23 January 1980, she is the daughter of Ghanaian parents who brought her up in Nairobi, Kenya. After several appearances in the theatre, she moved into production work, first on television commercials and documentaries, then on a local drama series, Makutano Junction. She created and directed Selfish? in 2008, followed by three short films in 2008, The Lift, Cold War and Coming Out.
With the encouragement and assistance of Tom Tykwer, she directed Soul Boy (2010). Based on a story by Billy Kahora, it originated at a workshop organized by the German association One Fine Day. Presented at over 40 film festivals around the world, it won a number of awards.
Essuman's Soul Boy has won the following awards:
- Dioraphte Audience Award, International Film Festival Rotterdam
- Veto Award, Afrika-Filmfestival, Leuven, Belgium
- Signis Award, Zanzibar International Film Festival, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Polish Filmmakers Association Award, Ale Kino!, Poznań, Poland
- Best Short Film, Kalasha Awards, Nairobi, Kenya
- Best Lead Actor: Samson Odhiambo, Kalasha Awards, Nairobi, Kenya
- Best Scriptwriter: Billy Kahora, Kalasha Awards, Nairobi, Kenya
- Best Actor: Samson Odhiambo, Kenya International Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya
- Best East African Film, Kenya International Film Festival, Nairobi, Kenya
- Special Mention "Passeurs d’images" prize, FESTIVAL CINÉ JUNIOR (International Film Festival for Young people), Paris, France
- The Young Jury Prize, FESTIVAL CINÉ JUNIOR (International Film Festival for Young people), Paris, France
- Spiritual Film Festival Award, Paris
- Best Children's Film Award at the Film Festival Recklinghausen (Germany) 2011
- Best Editor: Ephantus Ng'ethe Gitungo, African Movie Academy Awards