Cary Fukunaga pulls Beasts of No Nation out of African awards, threatens to sue
Award-winning film maker, Cary Joji Fukunaga has issued a statement requesting for his critically acclaimed war drama, ‘Beasts Of No Nation’ to be removed from the 2015 Ghana Movie Awards nominations announced on Friday afternoon in Accra, Ghana.
Beasts Of No Nation, starring Idris Elba received a total of 15 Ghana Movie Awards nominations including Best Picture, Best Editing , Music -Original Score, Best Directing , Best Visual Effects, Best Cinematography, Actor and Best Screenplay.
According to Fukunaga, his film is not a Ghanaian movie and he did not submit it to the Ghana Movie Awards jury; neither does he know how the jury got to see the movie. Parts of the statement reads:
“While I am honoured my the numerous nominations from the Ghana Movie Awards jury, I must say ‘Beasts of No Nation’ is not for what the awards are intended for. It is was merely a movie is shot in Ghana with supporting cast and crew in Ghana for an international audience.”
“Tony Tagoe and Danny Damah are not the producers of Beasts Of No Nation. Daniel Damah was our line producer for Ghana, and Tony Tagoe as co-producer. I am sure the honourable jury know the definition for these roles adequately. ”
“Neither me or any of our producers submitted our film to the Ghana Movie Awards. In fact we don’t know how they even got to watch and review the movie. I didn’t know Netflix worked in Ghana. We only recently screened Beasts Of No Nation in Ghana at the Silverbird Cinemas, and we are absolutely perplexed to be included in an award that closed nominations on November 20 according to reports on the internet. ”
“On behalf of the other producers of Beasts Of No Nation’, I request for the annulment of all nominations in the 2015 Ghana Movie Awards or we shall take legal action against the jury and producers of the awards.”
‘Beasts of No Nation’ was screened in the main competition section of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival, where it won the Marcello Mastroianni Award. The film was shown in the Special Presentations section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, and released on Netflix globally and in a limited release by Bleecker Street on October 16, 2015.