Meet Ebeneza Blanche, the SMUGGLER director whose captivating work transports viewers into extraordinary worlds with both his enchanting and stunning visuals.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I had a diverse experience growing up, which involved living in London and Amsterdam. It wasn’t until I moved to Ghana, however, that I realised just how different life can be. For this reason, I felt inspired to document the time I spent here whilst attending boarding school. 

What do you find most rewarding about your job?

Spreading knowledge. I feel like ever since I started, I have been one of those guys at the forefront of making content that was never seen before in Ghana. I wanted people to experience it through my lens. 

Can you share the inspiration behind your latest project, ‘Mathlete’?

The New Originals of Amsterdam approached me asking if I wanted to make a short film for them in Ghana. I instantly felt the idea of a boarding school bubbling inside of me and I realised that it was finally time to bring this idea to life through my own past experiences studying here. 

How do you find collaborators who understand your artistic vision?

I travelled to Ghana quite a lot before I started shooting bigger projects, so I have met so many creatives during this time. It was almost like a database that would keep track of everybody after a while!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced throughout your career so far?

Throughout the early stages, I would say I struggled to stand out as a film director. The content I was making wasn’t too popular, but there was just way too much competition. It wasn’t until I discovered my purpose that I had a stronger desire to create something that the industry needed. 

How do you balance storytelling while also representing cultures authentically?

Understanding different cultures is a massive part of my work, and I enjoy learning and experimenting with them on screen. Making them look elevated is also key, as I often like to put some U.K. swag into it. 

What are your aspirations and goals for the future?

I would love to do more work in fashion because I think it will continue to enhance my aesthetic and creative skillset. 

Tell me what it was like to partner with Gucci and NFL star Jalen Ramsey...

It was a crazy experience shooting out in LA, but you have to remember we’re all there for the bigger picture and I really believe we made something amazing with that project.

How do you enjoy spending your downtime?

I just try to relax and really work on myself. Being out here in Accra offers me the best opportunity to do exactly that. 

What is your favourite clothing brand right now?

I promise this isn’t even a paid promotion but it just has to be TNO (The New Originals.) I just think all of their designs are really clean and easy to wear on a day to day basis!


Interview by Jude McMichan

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