The beauty of collaboration, two films from emerging directors, Kemi and Safeen

Kemi Anna and Safeen James met in 2021 while working as Content Producers at a social media agency ‘OK COOL’ and after finding common ground in their love for their Nigerian heritage and filmmaking, they became friends which later developed into creative partners. Since then they’ve both become freelancers and have supported each other on […]
by ELSIE CULLEN Nov 21, 2022

Kemi Anna and Safeen James met in 2021 while working as Content Producers at a social media agency ‘OK COOL’ and after finding common ground in their love for their Nigerian heritage and filmmaking, they became friends which later developed into creative partners. Since then they’ve both become freelancers and have supported each other on exciting projects such as ‘Crep Rep’ a sneaker platform founded by Safeen and ‘Stuck’ a short film written by Kemi Anna as part of Converse ‘Create Next’ Film project with John Boyega. 

After continuous collaboration it became clear there was an opportunity for a long term creative partnership which birthed the duo’s joint title ‘A Shot of Kafeen’. Their creative process often looks like sharing each of their treatments and then brainstorming together how to execute the vision. Each of them has significant input in the others films which is the beauty of collaborating with friends. The future is promising with plans to collaborate on more narrative ideas as well as commercial films.

‘As Above’ directed by Kemi Anna, is a love letter to Blackness, celebrating Black love, Black beauty and Black glory. The concept for the film came from the realisation that black people are often captured from high angles or behind white protagonists. We’re often viewed as inferior or as villains. However, ‘As Above’ dispels that myth and shows us for who we are. The film captures authentic relationships between families, friends and couples in a way that is reflective of real life. Both the film and photo series use low angles to view blackness ‘As Above’ rather than below. It’s a beautiful exploration of wholesome intimacy and a tribute to community and culture.

Away from the Fields is a short film and photo series, embracing the gift of dual identity that has been given to children of the Black diaspora. It portrays the satisfaction of being young and Black and the comfort we find in each other whenever we feel too far from home.

The film is inspired by a Yoruba proverb; “Ile l’abo simi oko, which translates to ‘Home is the place of rest, away from the fields’. The proverb connotes that no matter how far from home you find yourself, you can still find your way home.

For those of us belonging to the diaspora, it can feel difficult to connect with our cultures and traditions in an environment that isn’t always welcoming of them.  At times we may feel we are too different to belong here but know too little to belong at home. By staying connected with each other we’ll feel closer to home and by staying proud of our roots we drift further “away from the fields”.

As Above

Crew

Director: Kemi Anna Adeeko (@kemianna_)

DOP: Paul Ifeneziuche (@paulyywaulyy)

Art Director / Photographer: Safeen James (@jehosafeen / @safeenjames)

Assistant Art Director: Afra Bailey (@baileyafracreative)

Producer: Delenn Vaughan (@dd.vaughan)

Producer: Savannah Kityo (@savannahkityo)

Photographer: Amaani Oluwa (@maanipe)

Colourist: Nigel Tadyanehondo (@_ntcolour)

Composer: Lola Adeeko (@lolachrstine)

Casting Co – Ordinator: Maisie Angela (@maisie.angela)

Writer/VoiceOver: Adefela Olowoselu (@adefelurr)

Writer: Isaac Izekor (isaac.izekor)

Sound Engineer: Manni Koya

Graphics: Lisa Hooper (lisahpr_)

Production Co: Nuff Said LDN (@nuffsaid_ldn)

Cast

Lisa Hooper (@lisapatz_)

Ulric George (unc1e_sam)

Alexis Adjei (@alexis_adjei)

David Adjei 

Esther Oyesanya

Segun Oyesanya

Johnny Montero (@thesunskater)

Kareemah Muhammad (@kareemah_aarifah)

Christabelle Aliker (@christabelle._)

Amelia Dixon

Jerusha Frimpong

Jayden Frimpong

Oluwatobi Oyedeji

Oluwatosin Oyedeji

Latoya Fits (@___fits___)

Daniel Ikpehai (@ikpehai.daniel)

Jag Wattley (@JaguarWattley)

Roman-Li Wattley 

Vanessa Hooper (@nessamh98)

Leo Hooper (@leo.mjb)

Safeen James (@jehosafeen)

Remi Williams (@remi_williams_)

Afra Bailey (@baileyafracreative)

Away from the Fields

Directed by Safeen James @safeenjames / @jehosafeen

Producer: Kemi Anna Adeeko @kemianna_

DoP: Paul Ifeneziuche @paulyywaulyy

1AD: Afra Bailey @baileyafracreative

Photographer: Amaani Oluwa @maanipe

Production Assistant: Grace Edu @officialgraceedu

Composer: Lola Adeeko @lolachrstine

Sound Engineer: Manni Koya 

Writer/Voice Artist: Chosen James @_chosenj1

Colourist: Thomas Kumeling @thomaskumeling

Production: Respect the Craft LTD 

Cast:

Ade Femzo @adefemzo

Akin Akintoye @akiniam

SoloHunna @___1solo

Mayowa Kuti

Olusegun Oyesanya

Pedro Edu @pedrinedu

David Adesanya @iamdavidadesanya

Seneve Belanga Shemisi @seneve.shemisi

Razaq Ademosu @razd7a

Timmy Ajayi @timmyajayi_

Shomari J. Brown @mrbrown3000

Ashley Leacock @a.scoper

Aji Aboyade @longliveaji

Kadeem Azu @mrunsung

Shacquan Palmer @shacksnwb

Marcolino Aniel @marcoaniel_

Thierry Vieira Tomas @officialtvt

Travis Thomas @trage02

Temitayo Fatusin @tfatusin