81 MINUTES | 2018 | BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS | ENGLISH, AKAN, EWE | PARTIAL SUBTITLES | CANADIAN PREMIERE
SAKAWA is an intimate portrait of underemployed youth in Ghana who are struggling to make a living by scamming Westerners through the internet. They're not looking for full Nigerian prince style bank account access, but rather to extract small amounts from their marks, starting at around $50. Utilizing photos and videos harvested from discarded computers, the scammers enter into romantic online relationships with lonely men around the world, pretending to be sexy single women, sending frequent online messages, and engaging in the occasional phone sex session (often with not terribly convincing female voices) in order to keep them on the hook.
While many have lofty dreams of becoming rich from the scams, even those with modest goals can't seem to pull themselves out of poverty. One young man is saving up to move to Italy and start a new life, but finds himself being told about new fees and deposits he must pay to receive his travel documents every time he thinks that he's made his last payment. Another needs emergency funds for his sick daughter. A female scammer dreams of opening her own hair salon. There are so many people in Ghana surviving off of online scams that there's even a shaman who specializes in blessing hard drives.
In his feature debut, Ben Asamoah has made an unforgettable look at a world you've never seen that will change the way you think about the internet forever.
Content Warning: cybercrime/cyber bullying, classism, substance use, smoking, ableism and graphic descriptions of sex.
"Sakawa never tells the viewer how to think or feel. It's a morally complex and deeply human film that peels back layers of reality that most people don't even know exists." - ScreenAnarchy.com
7 MINUTES | 2018 | USA | ENGLISH | CANADIAN PREMIERE
Dir. Michael Gil
Told entirely through archival footage, this film examines the media that formed the stranger danger movement and how it has impacted society for better or worse.
Content Warning: kidnapping and abduction, blood, implied violence against children, death, seizure warning (flashing lights).