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13 January 2022

Pressing issues.

by Andrew MacGregor

Short Films: “Awoko” - 8 mins 35s

At one point in this satisfying documentary, the Awoko printing press in Freetown, Sierra Leone, is hit by a power cut. As the workers manoeuvre in the dark like it's happened countless times before, one says: "Being filmed in a blackoutů how bad's it gonna get?"

It's a lovely moment of humour that shows what the newspaper's staff must contend with as the deadline approaches. When the power does return, directors Joshua Hughes and Felix Bazalgette capture the staff's handiwork in micro-detail.

Close-ups of the machinery, running repairs, and proofreading are complemented by Fred Pearson's excellent sound design, with a soundtrack of clicks and rustles that will please the ASMR crowd. Proof that there's still life in the dead tree press.

Colourist: Jodie Davidson
Location: Freetown, Sierra Leone

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