Writer/director AMMA ASANTE (Directed by) made an unusual entry into
filmmaking. As a child, Asante attended the Barbara Speake stage school in London, where she
trained as a student in dance and drama. She began a television career as a child actress,
appearing as a regular in the popular British school drama "Grange Hill." She fronted the 'Just
Say No' campaign of the 1980s and was one of nine "Grange Hill" children to take it to the
Reagan White House. She went on to gain credits in other British television series including
"Desmond's" (Channel 4) and "Birds of a Feather" (BBC1), and was a Children's
Channel presenter for a year.
In her late teens, Asante left the world of acting and eventually made the move to
screenwriting with a development deal from Chrysalis. Two series of the urban drama "Brothers
and Sisters" followed, which Asante wrote and produced for her production company and BBC2.
Asante's 2004 feature film, A WAY OF LIFE, was her directorial debut and premiered at
the Toronto Film Festival. The film won Asante 17 international awards for her writing and
directing including The BFI London Film Festival's inaugural Alfred Dunhill UK Film Talent
Award, created to recognize the achievements of a new or emerging British writer/director who
has shown great skill and imagination in bringing originality and verve to
filmmaking. Additionally Asante collected The Times 'Breakthrough Artist of the Year' at the
prestigious South Bank Show Awards for writing and directing the film.
At the BAFTA Film Awards in February 2005, Asante received the BAFTA Carl Foreman
Award for Special Achievement by a Writer /Di rector in a Debut Fi lm. On the same night , she
scored a double triumph at the 2005 Miami International Film Festival, winning the award for
'Best Dramatic Feature in World Cinema' and the FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film
Critics) prize for 'Best Feature Film.'
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