“I learn so much from kids and they are so pure and it’s an interesting way to get the point across,” muses burgeoning filmmaker Anthony Nti, whose 20-minute “Da Yie” is the yet another film about children in peril that has been shortlisted at the Oscars in recent years for Best Live Action Short. “Maybe it’s more appealing,” says Nti about having young protagonists, in his exclusive interview with Gold Derby (watch the video above).
“Da Yie” takes place over one day in Ghana, in which two children are lured by a stranger with sinister intentions. He laughs, “I never started the film thinking: This is the formula for the Oscars.” Nti explains, “That wasn’t the criteria for me to make the film. I’ve always worked with kids and I was telling a personal story about my childhood.”
Nti says that crafting a film with such dark subject matter that could be watched by all ages proved to be “one of the biggest challenges.” He explains, “As a kid, sometimes the perspective is different and we wanted to make a film where you can have an older person look at the film and then a younger person look at the film and they both experience a completely different thing.” Nti says that only for adult viewers, “There is this fear or this tension or this thing of: What is going to happen?”
Having played at 160 festivals since 2019, “Da Yie” is the most-awarded short film in contention at the Oscars this year. Nti served as its director, as well as a producer, screenwriter, art director and supporting actor on the film. Nti lives in Belgium, but is currently shooting a commercial in South Africa.
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