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Ghanaian Video Tales

Ghanaian Video Tales

 „Ghanaian Video Tales“ introduces the exiting and unique genre of African horror film - and the filmmakers behind it. As Socrate Safo, one of them, puts it: „Video is a blessing for Africa.“. Since the 1990’s, video technology has deeply changed the African media-world. Easy handling and affordable costs of video enabled African filmmakers to create a highly syncretistic and fantastic visual world of myths.

Ghanaian directors produce about 50 videos every year, in Nigeria the figure is even higher. With sometimes 300.000 copies or more, theses films are watched by millions of people. About a third of all videoproductions are horror films. The protagonists of the evil can be witches, transforming into animals; restless zombies who leave their graves at night to take revenge; cranky villagers indulging in cannibalism or ritual killings at their gods request; corrupt chiefs or businessmen, with a lust for wealth, who become members of satanic secret societies where money is produced in bizarre rituals; false pastors who associate with the devil to exploit the people of their parishes; as well as demonic children and aquatic spirit-beings causing disorder and chaos.
The film „Ghanaian Video Tales“ draws a portrait of four Ghanaian filmmakers - producers and actors. The supernatural, magic and money play special roles in their stories. The result is a truly „demonic screen“ where - as in the tradition of grotesque realism - the eerie and the bizarre mixes with the modern in a great way.

Bob Smith Jnr. is the main character of “Ghanaian Video Tales”. He became famous for his role as the “snake man” in a series of several films called „Diabolo“. He transforms into a snake and  enters womens vaginas. By this magic trick, the women are temporarily turned into money spitting monsters. Bob is known by everyone and anyone in Ghana and many people think that Bob really can turn into a snake…

With  William Akuffo, Ahiagbor Akwetey Kanyi, Alex Boateng, Richard Quartey, Socrate Safo, Bob Smith Jnr. and others.

Cultural anthropologist and filmmaker Tobias Wendl worked and taught at the universities of Paris, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt, now he is at the FU Berlin.

"Ghanaian Video Tales" was funded by the Federal German Research Council (DFG) and Kulturwissenschaftliches Forschungskolleg Medien und kulturelle Kommunikation der Universität Köln.

2007 - Margaret Mead Filmfestival, New York
2007 - Ethnofilmfest, Berlin (
2006 - Göttingen International Film Festival (

Film download:

  • D2004, 58 Min. (Location: Ghana)
  • Script, Director & Photography: Tobias Wendl
  • Sound: Richard Assiamah
  • Editing & Postproduction: Thorolf Lipp
  • Federal German Reserach Council (DFG)