Experiencing Interruptions?

Sankofa: Part I

A woman has bleached her skin. After encountering one of her African ancestors and listening to her advise, she rinses her skin and her mind to become a proud woman African descent.

  • Mariona Lloreta
  • Mariona Lloreta
  • Mariona Lloreta
  • Krystle Kontoh
    Key Cast
  • Simone Manigo
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 58 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 9, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    500 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mariona Lloreta

Mariona Lloreta is a self-taught film director and visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY and Barcelona, Spain.

The Arts have taken center stage in Mariona’s life from a very young age: growing up in Barcelona to very artistically-gifted parents, art was a 360-degree experience and boundaries between disciplines were always fluid. The way art is felt and understood in Barcelona also played an integral role in shaping her: Gaudí’s whimsical architecture is all over the city, music and dance are second-nature to people, and there is a millennial cultural and literary heritage. This context has influenced how Mariona perceives art and creativity: as something that is closely tied to being human.

Mariona received a Bachelor Degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a degree in Photography at University of Barcelona, as well as a Master in Business Administration at National University in Los Angeles (Honors).

In 2013, Mariona was commissioned to spend several months directing film work in Lagos, Nigeria and became enamored with the local culture and vibrant arts community. One of the music videos resulting from this experience was selected in the first ballot for Best Music Video at the 2014 Grammy Awards. During the following months, Mariona became immersed in the life, culture and heartbeat of Lagos. She sampled Nigerian cuisine, traveled the streets, absorbed the spirit of its people and the music of Nigeria’s vibrant languages. She was captivated.

In light of this experience and as the mainstream media continues to perpetuate one narrative about Africa, which reduces the Continent to poverty, war, and disease, Mariona has committed to actively contributing to a more realistic image of the Continent and the Diaspora.

Through visual art, Mariona explores ways to deconstruct a person or idea and put them back together as close to essence as possible through bold visual metaphors. Her artwork demands a conversation between itself and the viewer concerning identity, community, love, self-empowerment, sexuality and freedom. With her work, Mariona seeks to go past the differences and celebrate the things that bring us together. She aims to find a common ground across cultures, races, sex to capture experiences that we all relate to.

In 2015, Mariona was invited by New York University to direct a documentary film in Florence, Italy about the blackamoors. She also participated in the Afro-Latino Festival in New York City with her mixed media series "Naija Nights," as well as her film work.

Mariona's mission is to serve not just as an artist, but as a leader in the quest to enact positive change through the arts.

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Director Statement

Sankofa is an expression in Twi (Akan language of Ghana), which means “to go back and fetch what you forgot”. This film explores the complexities of identity, race and the social repercussions of colonization through a woman who bleaches her skin to be more accepted by society. This ideology is such a pervasive issue in so many societies in the world today, whether it is in the Continent or the Diaspora.

With this film we aim to raise awareness on the need to reflect on the past to build a successful future. What would our ancestors think if they saw that we try to change the way we present ourselves to the world? How can we heal the sequels of colonization and slavery and erase their social and psychological repercussions?

This film is not solely about blackness. Wherever we come from in the world, we are constantly bombarded with images of what “beautiful”, “successful” or “good” look like. We all have our insecurities, fears and scars. With this film I aim to encourage others to recognize that we all have a long lineage of beautiful and strong men and women who came before us and who stood tall in who they were. We should acknowledge and honor them and hold on to what belongs to us: our story, our pride, our skin.