Toronto Pictures Completes Ghana Filming of “Punctured Hope” and Brings New African Talent to Canadian Production Company’s Studio

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Veteran filmmaker, Bruno Pischiutta, President and CEO of Toronto Pictures, Inc., has just completed filming his newest docu-drama, Punctured Hope, in Ghana.

Veteran filmmaker, Bruno Pischiutta, President and CEO of Toronto Pictures, Inc., has just completed filming his newest docu-drama, Punctured Hope, in Ghana, where the movie has been in production for some six weeks. Punctured Hope not only reveals the startling ages-old tribal cultural practice of Trokosi that promotes the continued enslavement, mutilation and sexual abuse of West Africa’s young girls and women, it does so with an all-African cast, whose lead actress is, herself, a survivor of these culturally imbedded religious beliefs which have affected millions of African women over the past 300 years.

Preparatory to the film’s production, and in concert with his vision for a diaspora of global film schools to engender professional cinematography, in May 2005, Pischiutta founded the Film Academy of Ghana, the first such institution in West Africa. The Ghanian Academy was established through the collaborative efforts of native African Evangelical pastor, Kingsley Sam Obed. Obed, who wrote the screenplay for Punctured Hope together with Pischiutta, is an active partner in Toronto Pictures’ efforts to raise global awareness regarding Trokosi.

Pischiutta’s Ghanian Academy has already helped to cultivate and refine the acting skills of a number of native West African actors whose prospective careers hinge largely on the experience and exposure derived at the Academy. Foremost among them is Ms. Belinda Siamey, whose portrayal of “Edinam” in Punctured Hope is an eloquent reflection of the young actor’s own tragic life experiences as a victim of Trokosi.

“Fostering new talent in the developing world is a thrilling experience for all of us at Toronto Pictures,” says Pischiutta. “In founding the Ghana Academy, our intent was to discover and develop new talent in West Africa. Belinda’s extraordinary work in our latest film is testimony to the effectiveness of our mission; she’s a budding Meryl Streep whose expansive talents are only just beginning to blossom.”

Pischiutta has signed Ms. Siamey, and four of her colleagues – Mr. Samuel Ruffy Quansah, Jr., Ms. Faustina Pinnock Asiedu, Ms. Joyce Tonye Akagbo and Ms. Seayram Esamboye – who likewise appeared in Punctured Hope, to extended contracts with Toronto Pictures, where their collective talents will be nurtured in the Company’s future projects.    

Toronto Pictures is donating 10% of Punctured Hope’s profits to a West African foundation whose priority is the provision of enhanced educational, medical and infrastructural improvements to the village where the movie is being filmed.

The film, which is slated for release in the U.S. in the summer of 2006, is being co-produced by Transcontinental Film Financing Company. In addition to serving as the film’s Director, Pischiutta is the project’s Executive Producer with Toronto Pictures’ Vice President, Daria Trifu.

Toronto Pictures is committed to developing and marketing films that are financially viable, yet violence-free. Targeting a global audience, Toronto Pictures addresses broad-based topical issues in a dramatic format, often combined with documentary genre influences. Now in partnership with International Film Properties, Inc., the Company is seeking to expand its operations by acquiring equity in selected entertainment industry-based agencies in Eastern Europe.


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Bruno Pischiutta