Emmanuel Adjei, a Ducth-Ghanaian filmmaker and visual artist, was appointed by Jay-Z, his wife Beyoncé, and the American retail and luxury company Tiffany & Co, to direct the film for the global campaign About Love.
The film, premiered on September 13, 2021, is based on the Carters’ love story which is illuminated by the Tiffany Yellow Diamond and set against the backdrop of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Equals Pi (1982).
The film also features a musical performance of the song Moon River. Made famous in the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the tune is reimagined with vocals by Beyoncé.
Here are 7 things you should know about Emmanuel Adjei:
1. He had his education in fine art
Emmanuel Adjei graduated with a degree in Fine Art from the Utrecht School of the Arts in the Netherlands, before securing a talent scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium, where he studied Audiovisual Arts and Film. During this time, he discovered his passion for experimental cinema and video installation. In 2013 and 2014, Adjei was awarded a Young Talent grant from the Mondriaan Fund to develop his artistic practice.
2. He focuses on storytelling
With a primary interest in storytelling, Emmanuel Adjei’s work interrogates concepts of power, freedom, displacement, and inequality, told through his multi-layered dramatic narratives. Creating atmospheric worlds in both a painterly and cinematic style, He always seeks to challenge the boundaries between fiction and reality.
3. He was a co-director and creative collaborator of Black Is King
Emmanuel Adjei contributed to Beyoncé’s visual album Black Is King as a film director, visual-effects director, and creative collaborator.
On Instagram, Adjei said that he was “overwhelmed and honoured” to have the image of a body floating in space above the earth chosen for Black Is King’s official poster, a good indication he’s responsible for that portion of the visual album.
4. He has also collobrated with other top recording artists
Emmanuel Adjei’s career has been marked by collaborations with a variety of recording artists such as Madonna, FKA Twigs, Mark Pritchard, Sevdaliza and Mykki Blanco.
5. He’s created two great short films so far
Emmanuel Adjei’s short films – The Formula (2016) and Shahmaran (2018) – have received widespread critical acclaim, numerous awards and nominations.
6. His work has been screened at top film festivals
Emmanuel Adjei’s work has been screened at Academy Award and BAFTA qualifying festivals around the world.
7. His work has recieved great reviews
Emmanuel Adjei’s distinct visuals for Madonna’s Dark Ballet (2019), and Batuka (2019), have been praised by the likes of The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Dazed, Shots, The Hollywood Reporter, The Guardian, Nowness, Pitchfork, NME, The Fader, and Billboard.
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