Inspiring Change and Breaking Barriers: A Journey of Visual Storytelling by Bernard Kyei Baffour

Inspiring Change and Breaking Barriers: A Journey of Visual Storytelling by Bernard Kyei Baffour
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In the bustling world of cinematography, a luminary emerges whose work transcends borders and captivates audiences worldwide. Meet Bernard Kyei Baffour, affectionately known as Ben Kay, a visionary videographer hailing from Ghana and currently mastering his craft in the United Kingdom. Present on Instagram as benkay_ with a professional LinkedIn profile showcasing his experience and portfolio.


As I delved into Bernard’s portfolio, I was struck by the depth and diversity of his collaborations. One such collaboration caught my eye – his partnership with the renowned body painter Mawuli Awuku, whose captivating artistry has garnered a significant following on platforms like YouTube which I had previously encountered in 2022.

Together, they’ve produced mesmerizing short films like “Supremacy,” “Soul of Dejection,” and “Zulu,” each a testament to Bernard’s multifaceted talent.

SUPREMACY

In “Supremacy,” Bernard’s primary role as cinematographer is complemented by his outstanding contributions as editor and director, showcasing his exceptional skills and versatility. The film explores social issues through a narrative deeply rooted in Ghanaian culture and heritage, featuring stunning visuals and poignant storytelling.

“Supremacy” delves deep into the intricate world of traditional African royalty, where the throne is not just a seat of power but a symbol of heritage and lineage. The film tells the story of a usurped kingship, where the rightful heir is targeted by a usurper who seeks to solidify his illegitimate claim to power by eliminating any threats to his rule. This harrowing tale of survival, deception, and the quest for justice is a poignant reflection of the societal struggles faced by many communities today.

One of the standout features of “Supremacy” is its authentic portrayal of Ghanaian culture. From the stunning traditional costumes to the meticulously crafted props by Gracilla Akade–Yeboah.

Every element of the film is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Ghana. The film’s setting, with its vibrant landscapes and historical backdrops, further immerses the audience in the world of the characters, making the story all the more compelling.

“Supremacy” is more than just a film; it is a reflection of Bernard’s vision and a testament to the power of storytelling in bridging cultures and addressing critical social issues. With his unique perspective and exceptional talent, Bernard is poised to make a significant impact on the global stage, and “Supremacy” is just the beginning.

Bernard’s collaborations extend beyond borders. From working with industry stalwarts like Barrak El Mahmoud and James Kwaku Mensah from Kumahood to forging international partnerships in the United Kingdom, Bernard’s footprint in the global creative landscape is undeniable.

In the bustling city of Accra, Ghana-West Africa, a young boy named Bernard Kyei Baffour began his journey, navigating the complexities of life with resilience and determination. Born into a world filled with challenges and opportunities, Bernard’s early years were marked by hardship and adversity. However, he refused to let these obstacles define him, choosing instead to find solace and expression through the power of art.

Raised by his uncles and his mother in Kumasi-Ghana, Bernard discovered his passion for creativity at a tender age. Drawing became his sanctuary, a place where he could articulate his emotions without fear of judgment. It was during these formative years that Bernard’s innate talent began to blossom, laying the foundation for his future as a visual storyteller.

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The turning point came in 2008 when Bernard stumbled upon the Hindi film titled “Taare Zameen Par” “Every Child Is Special.” As he watched the protagonist’s journey unfold on screen, he found echoes of his struggles and triumphs mirrored in the narrative. In that moment of revelation, Bernard realized the transformative potential of art to touch lives and inspire change.

From that day forward, he knew that his destiny lay in the realm of storytelling. In 2011, Bernard embarked on a journey of self-discovery at Kumasi Academy, exploring various mediums of artistic expression. From picture making to ceramics and graphic design, he honed his skills and nurtured his creativity. It was during this time that he taught himself Photoshop, delving deeper into the world of graphic design and digital artistry. His talent and dedication did not go unnoticed, earning him recognition as one of the top graphic designers in his class.

Driven by a desire to capture the essence of life and culture, Bernard purchased his first camera and ventured into the world of photography. It was here that he discovered the power of motion pictures to convey emotion and narrative. Inspired by this newfound passion, Bernard pursued further education at Takoradi Technical University, where he immersed himself in the study of videography.

Throughout his academic journey, Bernard distinguished himself as a natural leader, serving as the media chairman for the Faculty of Applied Arts for two consecutive years (2018-2020) and also appointed as The Creative Director for SRC Womans’ Commission, Takoradi Technical University (2020-2021).

His exemplary leadership qualities and artistic vision caught the attention of his peers and mentors, earning him accolades such as Videographer of the Decade by the Takoradi Technical University’s SRC Executives Awards in 2021.

In 2022, Bernard’s exceptional talent was recognized on an international level when he was awarded a partial scholarship as a recipient of the International Talent Scholarship at Falmouth University, United Kingdom. This prestigious honour served as validation of Bernard’s dedication and commitment to his craft, propelling him further along the path of artistic excellence.

Today, Bernard Kyei Baffour stands as a testament to the power of perseverance and passion. His journey from adversity to artistry is a testament to the transformative power of creativity and the indomitable human spirit. As he continues to push the boundaries of visual storytelling, Bernard’s impact on the world of art and culture is sure to be felt for generations to come.

Alongside his academic pursuits, Bernard co-founded Snaphactory a media company established in Takoradi – Ghana in 2019, leading the videography department from 2019 till date, shaping it into a trailblazer in the multimedia industry. He also established the GHAB Photographic Equip Hub in Takoradi – Ghana in 2021, dedicated to providing photographic equipment to fellow creatives, fostering innovation and collaboration. Bernard is currently the media technical adviser for Driven Concepts, a firm in Ghana.

Bernard’s expertise extends to esteemed media companies in Accra and Kumasi, where he significantly contributed his talents to Capture and Modern Media Concept. His work not only enriched his skill set and professional network but also played a crucial role in Capture receiving the prestigious Best Media Team 2019 award at the Ghana Event Industry Conference.

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Additionally, his exceptional contributions helped Barrak El-Mahmoud earn the title of Ghana’s Most Respected CEO in Photography in 2020, an accolade presented by The Business Executive, highlighting the exceptional services Capture provides to its clients.

Seeking to broaden his horizons, he pursued a Master of Arts in Film and Television at Falmouth University, United Kingdom, from September 2022 to September 2023. During this time, he seized the opportunity to collaborate with fellow artists on short films such as “Heretic,” and “Wave,” and is currently engaged in the production of other international short films in the United Kingdom.

Cover Art for “HERETIC”

In a contemporary world rife with elusive promises and concealed sacrifices, “Heretic” emerges as a poignant testament to the intricate nature of life’s odysseys. Directed by Jacob Adicco, this captivating short film delves into the turmoil of a young man grappling with grief and the seductive allure of false assurances. Set against the backdrop of a society where aspirations often metamorphose into disillusionments, “Heretic” unveils the stark realities of pursuing an illusory path to a better existence.

As the protagonist navigates the murky waters of deceit and disillusionment, viewers are invited to reflect on the true meaning of sacrifice and perseverance. In the heart of the United Kingdom, among the picturesque landscapes of Falmouth, a diverse array of creative minds came together to bring “Heretic” to life. Bernard selected sound as his primary role in “Heretic” to gain more experience in this area, transcending borders by meticulously crafting the auditory landscape and infusing each scene with raw emotion and depth. From recording dialogue on set to curating multiple voice recordings in the studio, Bernard’s dedication was unwavering.

His versatility extended beyond sound design, playing a crucial role in the editing process and creating a captivating trailer that teased audiences with the promise of an unforgettable cinematic experience. In an industry eager for multi-talented visionaries, Bernard’s prowess stands as a testament to the global impact of Ghanaian creativity.

The short film ‘WAVE’ draws its inspiration from a poignant and deeply personal narrative rooted in the director, Miles Hamilton, own experiences living in London. It delves into the sense of suffocation and entrapment often felt in urban environments, reflecting on the struggles and challenges faced by individuals navigating through life’s complexities.

Through the lens of change, new beginnings, and the pursuit of a better future, the film sheds light on the harsh realities of systemic injustices, particularly those faced by black communities. By exploring themes of resilience, adaptation, and the quest for liberation, ‘WAVE’ confronts issues of racial discrimination and police brutality, urging viewers to confront the harsh realities of society and advocate for meaningful change.

Shots from “WAVE”

Bernard on Set

Bernard’s main role as cinematographer plays a pivotal role in portraying the protagonist’s journey of leaving his past life behind and embracing a new beginning. This critical evaluation focuses on key areas of cinematography in ‘WAVE’, including the creative approach, influences, and technical aspects used to bring his vision to life. He took on the additional responsibility of editing the entire film and creating a trailer when the main editor unexpectedly had to leave the project.

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This exemplifies Bernard’s exceptional versatility and ability to fulfil multiple roles, qualities that are rare to find in the art community. Bernard’s timely intervention ensured the completion of the project within the deadline. His expertise in lighting setup, camera shots, and angles resonates profoundly with the audience. I am eagerly anticipating his future endeavours as he continues to explore his craft in the United Kingdom.

His dedication to mastering various video editing software, including Avid Media Composer, Davinci Resolve, and Adobe Premiere Pro, culminated in certifications obtained in 2023. With an illustrious portfolio and boundless passion for storytelling, Bernard continues to push creative boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on the global visual arts landscape.

Bernard’s role as a videographer goes beyond mere storytelling; it’s a catalyst for change. Through collaborations with artists, activists, and communities worldwide, he sparks dialogue and inspires positive action, believing in the transformative power of art to heal and unite.

Bernard’s work seeks to illuminate the shared humanity that binds us all. Through Afrocentric storytelling, he unearths the rich tapestry of African experiences, from the scars of colonialism to the triumphs of contemporary Africa.

Photos from a short film called “Glory”

Yet, Bernard’s vision transcends geographical boundaries. His storytelling aims to bridge cultures and amplify voices often overlooked, promoting empathy and understanding across borders. Drawing inspiration from Ghana’s landscapes and rhythms, he creates cinematic experiences that transport viewers and provoke meaningful conversations.

Bernard on Set

Rooted in his Ghanaian heritage, Bernard brings a wealth of unique cultural perspectives and insights to the creative industry. His diverse experiences catalyze innovation, enriching the global creative landscape with authenticity and depth. Beyond his proficiency in videography, Bernard’s versatility as an artist allows him to craft dynamic and captivating content across diverse mediums and platforms, showcasing his multifaceted talents and contributing to the vibrancy of the artistic community.

As Bernard embarks on his journey in the United Kingdom and beyond, his mission remains clear to contribute to a more just, equitable, and compassionate world through the power of storytelling. His art is his activism, a beam of hope for generations to come.

In Bernard’s work, we find not just captivating visuals but a profound commitment to social change and cultural transformation and as we journey alongside him, we are reminded of the enduring power of storytelling to shape our world for the better.


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