A community group withstands a joint force of government and international investors in a quest to prevent them from reducing a reserved forest range and its water bodies in their homeland to a bauxite mine. "ATEWA", a fight against time and all odds for the livelihood of millions of people.

  • Daniel Richardson
  • Daniel Richardson
  • Edem Srem
  • Edem Srem
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 4, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    3,500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, 35mm, 5D Mark III
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Daniel Richardson

I was born and raised in Ghana. Since childhood, I've been deeply fascinated by African stories and narratives that have the potential to positively impact humanity. This interest has become an integral part of who I am. My passion for filmmaking was nurtured by my father, who graciously allowed me to be around his work space; He was a filmmaker himself. He emphasised to me the importance of telling our own stories as a people. In this frame he never forgot to highlight the transformative power of human-centred narratives that can shape communities and future generations. This guiding principle has influenced my career as a Video Editor and, more recently, as a Director.

Daniel holds a BFA in Film and Television Production from the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), Ghana and an MA in Media Management from the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).

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Director Statement

My journey has led me to the awe-inspiring Atewa Forest Range Reserve, a natural marvel that has captivated my senses. Nestled within the picturesque Western Region of Ghana, my birthplace, Tarkwa, and other mining communities in the region, stand as stark testaments to the dual nature of mining's impact. Amidst breathtaking landscapes, the harsh reality emerges – instead of the promised economic growth, these communities have borne the burden of environmental degradation and socio-economic challenges. One such community, Awaso, known for its bauxite mining, exemplifies the toll exacted by this industry. Once lush forests now give way to desolate expanses and tranquil waters are tainted by extraction byproducts. The toll extends beyond the land, deeply affecting the health and well-being of the people. Witnessing the heavy price paid by the residents of Awaso, I am urged to help stakeholders reevaluate their commitment to sustainable practices and safeguarding the cherished homes that fringe the Atewa Forest Range Reserve. Only through such a shift can we hope to protect the heart and soul of these communities for generations to come.

Discussing this pressing issue with Edem Srem, a like-minded colleague only reinforces our shared belief that such an enchanting monument of nature should never be allowed to be destroyed. Our mutual understanding of its significance strengthens our resolve to advocate for its preservation. What deeply motivates me as the director, is witnessing the unwavering determination of the community to protect their home from the imminent threat of destruction through bauxite mining. The significance of the Atewa Forest Range extends far beyond its immediate boundaries, as its watershed serves as a vital water source for over 10 million people, catering to domestic and industrial needs. In an era of escalating climate challenges and a decline in global freshwater resources, preserving the rainforest of Atewa becomes an absolute necessity. Rainforests are pivotal in combating the effects of climate change, and in Ghana, the Atewa Range Forest is fulfilling this vital role.

A triumph for the small communities and settlements surrounding the Atewa Forest Range would signify a victory for the entire world. We cannot turn a blind eye and let fate decide their future. Posterity will judge us if we fail to act in the face of this pressing environmental challenge.