Shirley Frimpong Manso
CEO, Sparrow Media
Telling African Stories: Power, History, Demand and Finance
An exploration of the growth and impact of the African film and TV industry, as African content gets more attention globally. A conversation with key people responsible for this shift, are within the shift, and are navigating the shift through current and future strategies.
With a background in directing, writing, presenting, producing, and event organization, Shirley Nana Akua Frimpong – Manso brings to African Cinema a rich and varied experience. 42 years old Shirley joined the media and entertainment industry In Ghana right after completing her advance level education at Mfantsiman Girls Secondary School at age nineteen. During this time Shirley presented programmes on Radio Gold, TV3, Metro TV and GTV respectively. She also anchored live events such as Miss Ghana and various corporate and State events. She later graduated with first class honors in BFA at the National Film and Television Institute majoring in Film Directing. She formed Sparrow Productions in November 2003 while still in school and hired a collective of talented and creative minds.
Shirley has written, produced and directed several widely acclaimed Ghanaian movies including award winning films like The Perfect Picture, A Sting in a Tale, Contract, and the first ever cinema series on the continent Adams apples. She collaborated with other producers from Nigeria and Sweden to produce the widely acclaimed movie Potato Potahto, a romantic comedy which had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival 2017 and was accepted to screen at the prestigious Durban Film Festival in South Africa, Silicon Valley African Film Festival and The British Urban Film Festival (BUFF) and currently streaming on Netflix.
Ten years after changing the narrative of African Cinema in West Africa especially, Shirley and her team have released a sequel of their most commercially successful film The perfect picture 10 years later, which was also in celebration of Ghana’s year return to mark 400 years of the first enslaved African arriving in America and encourage African diasporans to return home. The movie which had it’s home premiere on the 1st December 2019 has once again broken box office records and is currently the most watched and celebrated film in the country. The Perfect Picture 10 Years Later will screen in Nigerian Cinemas, the UK, Europe and in America.
Shirley’s aim is to tell progressive African stories and push boundaries using a touch of realism.