Shirley Frimpong-Manso (born 1977) is a Ghanaian film director, writer, and producer. She is the founder and CEO of Sparrow Productions, a film, television and advertising production company.[2] She won Best Director at the 6th Africa Movie Academy Awards. Frimpong-Manso is also a principal of Sparrow Station, a video streaming service for African entertainment from Sparrow and other African film producers.[3] In 2013, she was ranked the 48th most influential person in Ghana according to E.tv Ghana.[4]

Frimpong-Manso is described as one who "seeks to raise the standard of film production in Ghana and Africa by telling progressive African stories as seen through the eyes of Africans."[2] According to her, .Her films are also known for their "fierce female leads,"[5] as they portray African women with agency who can be breadwinners and lead complex lives.[5][6]

Biography

Frimpong-Manso is from the Eastern Region of Ghana, from Kwahu Pepease. As a child she organized plays, which "felt a lot more fun than playing with sand and dolls."[2] She graduated in 2000 from the National Film and Television Institute of Ghana and worked as a presenter at Radio Gold, a private station in Accra, and then went on to start Sparrow Productions in 2003.[2]

Works

With producer and actress Juliet Asante, Frimpong-Manso helped produce the TV show Heart to Heart for two years shortly after school. She has also produced:[2]

  • Different Shades of Blue - a television series about five university girls who share a dormitory in a university hostel.
  • Personalities Kitchen - a cooking program that hosts two personalities and challenges them to a rice meal of their choice.
  • The Miss Ghana Pageant - she produced two semifinalists at the Miss World event within five years during her time.

Filmography

FilmProduction
Year
Distribution
Companies
Production
Type
Notes
Life and Living it2009Sparrow StationFilmThe stories of four male friends: a musician, a dancer, a doctor, and an advertising manager.[7] "Major themes include love, friendship, and family."[8]
Scorned2009Sparrow StationFilm
The Perfect Picture2009Sparrow StationFilmThe story of the lives and loves of several Ghanaian women friends,[10][11] focusing on marriage and societal norms of Ghana that are not represented in Western film.[12] Frimpong-Manso won Best Director for The Perfect Picture at the 2010 African Movie Academy Awards, where her films garnered a total of four awards.
A Sting in a Tale2009Sparrow StationFilm"A cautionary tale about two Ghanaian men scrabbling to find jobs."[13] It won an Audience Favorite award at the 2010 Pan African Film & Arts Festival
Checkmate2010Sparrow StationFilm
Six Hours to Christmas2010Sparrow StationFilmA tale of a creative director whose life was overturned when he was tempted to stray on Christmas Eve.[14]
Peep2011Sparrow Station

TV3

TV Series
Contract2012Sparrow StationFilmA successful businessman who desires to avoid marital responsibility contracts with a woman to bear his child.
Adams Apples2011-2013Sparrow StationTV SeriesA 10-part serial released during one year starting in April 2011. It follows the lives of four women (a mother and three adult children) in modern Ghana.[15][16][17]
Potomanto2013Sparrow Station

Africa Magic

FilmAbout "an emotionally sore private investigator who mistakenly stumbles on a case of organ harvesting."[18]
Big for Nothing2013Sparrow StationShort Film
Stranger in my Bed2013Sparrow StationShort Film
Tenant2013Africa MagicTV Series
Devil in the Detail2014Sparrow Station

Africa Magic

Film
Love or Something Like That2014Sparrow Station

Africa Magic

Film
V-Republic2014Sparrow StationTV Series
Grey Dawn2015Sparrow Station

Africa Magic

Film
Rebecca2016Sparrow StationFilm"Abandoned and lost in the middle of a deserted road, an egotistic proper city guy gets a rude awakening when he begins to realize that his only companion, a timid looking village girl who he had been forced to marry only a few hours earlier is anything but ordinary."[19] Nominated in two categories for Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards[19]

Awards