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Meet Anah Ambuchi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Anah Ambuchi.

Anah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
When I was in 4th grade, I was bullied by classmates. They hurled many insulting words to me such as, your skin looks like poop, slut, African Booty Scratcher, monkey, homo, blacky and many others which then lead to a decrease in my self-esteem and my grades started dipping. After a few months of going through the bullying I final told my mom everything that was going on at school. My mom later encouraged me to write my story in my journal and after a few weeks of my mom helping me to build back up my self-esteem, I mentioned to my mom how I wanted to make a film out of my story. I knew that I wanted to share my story so that I could inspire, encourage, educate, and spark a national conversation on how to decrease the fact that every seven minutes a child is bullied on the playground.

I later shared with my acting coach Mrs. Jossie Harris Thacker with Kids WAY Acting Academy about how I wanted to make a film about my bully story and Mrs. Jossie gave me a book titled Dark Girls, written by her friend and mentor, Bill Duke. When I got the book it took only about 30 minutes to read the book (because it was so good) and immediately felt a confirmation that I needed to move forward in making my film. The book inspired me about finding ways to change the culture of colorism and it reminded me that I was not alone. Thanks to Mrs. Jossie Harris Thacker, I was able to meet Mr. Bill Duke who embraced my passion about my film and the change that I want to make.

I went through multiple titles for the film but in the end settled with Made in His Image. I’m a believer and I chose the title because I wanted to remind people who are bullied that they were made perfectly and wonderfully by the creator and no matter what anyone says about you that you are beautiful and perfect just the way you are. You have to believe in who they are no matter what people say.

The film was shot in two day in three locations in Chicago. My plan is to screen the film in October during bullying month, and then take the film to local schools and churches in order to start a dialogue about the bullying statistics.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly I thought that directing my film would be easy because it’s based on my story but I found out very quickly that there is a lot of organization and preparation that happens before you can shoot a film. There were lots of late nights for me for about two months due to organizing and preparing for the shoot dates plus I still had school so it was very hard. I remember on both shoot days we ran out of our allotted time that the spaces we were using gave us. Thanks to Mrs. Jossie Harris Thacker (Co-Director), we got majority of the important shoots we needed for the film.

Also it may seem easy but reliving the bullying while filming was also difficult. The actors/actresses did an amazing job portraying each character that at times I had to remind myself that I wasn’t still in that moment of being bullied.

Anah Ambuchi – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I’m an actress, writer, producer, director, model, and dancer. I started dancing at 5yrs old and transitioned to acting at 6yrs old. I’ve been performed at some of Chicago finest theatres such as the Harris Theatre Millennium Park, Gorilla Tango, Looking glass, and Collaboration. I’ve also appeared in commercials such as a Build-A-Bear, American Girl Doll, BuzzFeed- Jewel Osco and also held principal and supporting roles in short films and independent feature films.

At the age of 9yrs old I wrote my short film about my bullying experience and at the age of 10yr I directed my short film.

I’m proud of myself for being brave enough to share my story to the world, especially for young girls like me. I want people to know that suicide is not the answer and I want people to know that they are beautiful and that they need to believe that they are beautiful. I want to remind people to be courageous and to be kind and to spread love and not hate!

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Besides being known as a child writer and director, one of my biggest accomplishments of my careers is when BANG, a film I had a principal role in was an official film selection for the Cleveland International Film Festival, NAACP National Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, and the Justice on Trial Film Festival in Los Angeles. The film BANG was based on a true story about the injustice of women in the prison systems.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Jossie Harris Thacker
Darrin DeShazer
Maques Haynes

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