Private Project

The Storyteller

A loving but unpredictable London taxi driver is desperate to win back his children. He is determined to educate and inspire them with traditional folklore from his native Ghana but soon the boundaries between reality and fantasy begin to break down.

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM - INTERNATIONAL BLACK FILM FESTIVAL

OFFICIAL SELECTION - ENCOUNTERS SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, AFRICA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL, SOUTH AFRICA INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (RAPID LION), KERRY FILM FESTIVAL, TWIN CITIES BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, CINE POBRE FILM FESTIVAL, DENTON BLACK FILM FESTIVAL, BILL JOHNSON BLACK FILM FESTIVAL

  • Alex Emanuel
    Director
  • Alex Emanuel
    Writer
  • Lewis Rose
    Producer
  • Leanne Dimant
    Producer
  • Okezie Morro
    Key Cast
  • Manie Malone
    Key Cast
  • Nyah Felix
    Key Cast
  • Rio Chambers
    Key Cast
  • Film Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Magical Realism, Drama
  • Runtime:
    18 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    June 9, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:3:5
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • International Black Film Festival
    Nashville, Tennessee
    United States
    October 8, 2016
    North America Premiere
    Best International Film
  • Encounters Short Film Festival
    Bristol
    United Kingdom
    September 21, 2016
    World Premiere
  • Twin Cities Black Film Festival
    Minnesota
    United States
    October 9, 2016
  • Kerry Film Festival
    Killarney
    Ireland
    October 19, 2016
  • Africa International Film Festival
    Lagos
    Nigeria
    November 15, 2016
    African Premiere
  • London Short Film Festival
    London
    United Kingdom
    January 9, 2017
  • Cine Pobre Film Festival
    Baja
    Mexico
    October 18, 2016
  • Denton Black Film Festival
    Denton, Texas
    United States
    January 29, 2017
  • Bill Johnson Black Film Festival
    Gary, Indiana
    United States
    February 17, 2017
  • South Africa International Film Festival (Rapid Lion)
    Johannesburg
    South Africa
    March 5, 2017
Director Biography

Alex Emanuel is a London based filmmaker who works across both narrative and documentary projects. He has produced and directed output for television broadcasters throughout the world, including most recently, two projects that became the centre of BBC One’s mental health season. He has also been a producer on a number of short films that have had successful festival runs, including most recently Lewis Rose's comedy 'The Chop' which has won awards at Palm Springs, Krakow, Cleveland and Rhode Island. Alex comes from an African heritage, which has led to a fascination with traditional storytelling and music from the continent. He is currently developing a narrative feature film about London based West African musicians, as well as several high profile documentary projects about mental illness.

Add Director’s Biography
Director Statement

With The Storyteller, I have attempted to get to the heart of what it means to lose the thing most precious to a parent, the right to rear their children. The increase in global migration had led to families being formed from increasingly diverse backgrounds and parental child abduction cases have more than doubled in the last decade. Rather than sensationalise this alarming statistic, I wanted to explore the complex inner struggles of a father who feels that his parental rights have been impinged upon. The protagonist, Terrick, also feels as if he is fighting for the chance to give his children a different kind of education than that they will receive in school. Coming from African parents myself, I understand the importance that traditional storytelling and music plays in teaching children about the world through parable, fable and metaphor, in order for them to appreciate the roots and culture of their past.
I therefore wanted to explore the conflicts of the pressures of modernity versus the pulls of tradition, the role of the dreamer in pragmatic society and the subjective nature of right and wrong. On a personal level, I feel I am externalising my fears surrounding starting a family and the huge pressure of parenthood.
The work is an important chance to showcase my ability to direct psychologically powerful drama with both emotional authenticity and an engaging cinematic style. My hope is that through the duality of fantasy and reality in the film, I have been able to successfully tell a sensitive story full of tension, love, loss and redemption, whilst also incorporating striking visual metaphors that draw on my own African and European heritage.