A University of York student has won a prestigious award for his role in a film about cocaine smuggling in Ghana.
John Apea, a third year Sociology and Social Policy student, won the best screenplay award for Run, Baby, Run at the African Movie Academy Awards in May. He also played the starring role in the film.
Run, Baby, Run tells the story of a young student who inadvertently picks up a huge stash of cocaine in London. After selling on the cocaine, the original owners track him down, leading to a dash across Britain and Africa, ending in Ghana, where the cocaine originated.
The film received a total of four awards at the ceremony held in Nigeria. Apea said of the ceremony: “As I looked into the crowd, I could see the jury members clapping and we actually had a standing ovation. The atmosphere was impeccable, extremely glamourous and well co-ordinated.”
For Ghanian Apea, the award came as a surprise: “The look on peoples’ faces showed that they were in shock that a film from Ghana, which is considered backward in filmmaking, had won four awards.”
The film explores a regional drug industry that is out of control. About 300 tons of cocaine, with a street value of £30 bn, is now trafficked through West Africa to Europe each year, according to Interpol estimates.