14 Year Old Ghanaian Street Vendor Wins Big At The Venice Film Festival

The world chooses its stars, and has chosen young Ghanaian, Abraham Attah, as the next rising star in the movie industry. The 14-year-old experienced his own version of Cinderella story while working as a vendor on the streets of Accra. He was randomly selected to take part in casting workshops for Netflix’s first original feature movie Beasts of No Nation. The movie is Abraham’s first ever movie role and also features half Ghanaian, half Sierra Leonean Hollywood actor, Idris Elba. The teenager’s raw talent was singled out during the auditions and he won the Marcello Mastroianni’s Best Young Actor Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival. Abraham’s story is incredible. The movie director, Cary Fukunaga, reported that the boy, who used to work as a street vendor, was playing hooky from school that day when they found him.

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According to what Abraham Attah told a press conference in Venice. He said he was playing football with his friends on their school field when a white man came and said, ‘We need some boys for a movie, we went to a TV station in Ghana for an audition’ and that was how he was cast for the role.

The movie is based on a 2005 novel by Nigerian author Uzodinma Iweala. The story follows a brutal civil war plaguing an unnamed West African country. In the intense film, Abraham plays the part of Agu, a boy who is orphaned and then recruited as a child soldier in the civil war. Golden Globe-winning actor Idris Elba plays a savage warlord who takes the young boy under his wing and trains him into a killer. The movie portrays how an innocent soul crosses over to darkness and how such violence is justified to these brainwashed young children.

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The film’s Emmy award-winning director Cary Fukunaga said that Abraham has “zero film experience, little education… but he became a somewhat professional actor, which was astounding to watch.” The judges of the Venice film festival clearly agreed; many stated it was as if he had been performing all his life. One review states that Abrahamplays Agu with a grave, soulful reserve that belies the fact that this is his first-ever screen performance. The actor has haunting scenes…”  There is already an Oscar buzz surrounding the movie. Idris on the other hand has received several acclamation for his outstanding role in the movie which was described by many as “cool”. He was made to speak in the African accent and he pulled that off effortlessly.


Just a week ago, Netflix released the official trailer for the movie Beasts of No Nation. The film which also stars Ghanaian actress Ama K. Abebrese alongside Grace Nortey, David Dontoh and Opeyemi Fagbohungbe will be officially aired in movie theaters on October 16 2015.

Watch The Official Trailer Of The Movie Beasts of No Nation as directed by Cary Fukunaga

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