Get your own Little Black Book.

Build your own personal news stream. Discover the latest work created that interests you, share your favourite stories and follow your favourite people and companies

Already have an account?


Black Men Face a Struggle with Fate in New Film Collaboration by Sevdaliza and Emmanuel Adjei

The singer songwriter and director collaborate on ‘Shahmaran’, a project supported by WeTransfer

Black Men Face a Struggle with Fate in New Film Collaboration by Sevdaliza and Emmanuel Adjei

A three-year work-in-progress condensed into a seven-minute film, director Emmanuel Adjei and artist Sevdaliza have created a visually cinematic and sonic journey that questions the eternal fascinations and desires of the human mind. Supported by global file-sharing giant, WeTransfer, 'Shahmaran' is a visually cinematic and sonic journey about love, power and the misrepresentation of freedom.

With Sevdaliza’s music and energy in the film, Ghanaian director Emmanuel Adjei tells the story of the black man, who continues life in a cycle of oppression. The modern chains on black men today are the aspirations of decadence, power and success that create a false sense of autonomy and freedom. This leaves them victim of addictions to power and materialism, unable to venture outside what is “expected” of their behaviour. The film serves to show two very different marginalized individuals (Sevdaliza & Adjei) supporting one another, whilst respecting each other’s space and voice. The visual element came to fruition after Adjei and Sevdaliza came to a symbiotic understanding that ‘Shahmaran’ was her music to his story.

Director, Emmanuel Adjei, comments: “Carrying the burden of their ancestors, most black men today are still born into an environment that limits their freedom. Lost in a hazardous place from which they can’t seem to escape, their survival mechanisms have become their guide when making decisions. Whilst growing up, they have learned to fixate on the place where they know they need to be. Drawn to the dream of having power and success, they hold on to a false idea of autonomy. Yet, it is  this house of freedom that has enslaved these men again. Chained to a fantasy, often of a materialistic nature, they remain upright throughout survival.”
Film director and visual artist, Emmanuel Adjei, has collaborated with musician, Sevdaliza on several projects. In ‘Shahmaran’ his creative vision challenged them both to deconstruct characters and the very format of their artistic expression.

With 40 million + monthly unique users, WeTransfer takes a commissioning body approach to new content. Supporting the project from the beginning, Adjei’s film will run on WeTransfer, as well as across his and Sevdaliza’s YouTube and Vimeo channels.
Also weighing in on the project, Red Bull screened the film to an exclusive group of European creatives (under the banner Red Bull Frontiers) in Matera, Italy, ahead of the launch.

Outdoor activations will run in exclusive locations in London, New York and Amsterdam.

Special Thanks: WeTransfer, LBBonline, Biz3, Headfirst Music, Kadri Mahmoud, Kiran Mandla, Benjamin Mamou, Ine Kim, Phoebe Siggins, Red Bull Music

Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
Production Company

Production Company: COMPULSORY, Handsome, Halal Pictures

Director: Emmanuel Adjei

DOP: Paul Özgür

Producer: Chris Toumazou, Melodie Saba

Stylist: Kristin Kathol

Drone Operator: Josh Yeo

Hair Stylist: Devin Bianchini

1st AC: Ai Dang

2nd AC: Harper Thomas

Gaffer: Scott Ray

Key Grip: Ryan Lozano

Steadicam Operator: Parker Brooks, Chris Loh

Art Department: Rudy Grazziani

Wardrobe: Inez Naomi

1st AD: Jesse Hays

Executive Producers: Chris Toumazou, Melodie Saba, Sam Fontaine, Gijs Determeijer

Costume Designer: Creepy Yeeha

Writer: Marleen Özgür, Emmanuel Adjei

Production Designer: Miranda Lorenz

Production Service

Production Service Company: Paranojia Productions

Producer: Andrea Sastoque, Ariel Navarrete Spahn

Make up Artist: Carla Rosso

Production Coordinator: Fabien Colas


Edit Company: Trim

Editor: Emmanuel Adjei, Leila Sarraf, Marleen Özgür

Post Production / VFX

Post Production Company: Mathematic

VFX Supervisor: Yann Aldabe

VFX Coordinator: Guillaume Marien

Flame Artist: Fred Brandon


Original Composition: SEVDALIZA, Mucky, Zeb Wayne, Mihai Puscoiu, Leon den Engelsen


PA: Nick Weir, Camilo Godoy, Ann Kocarek

Category: Business and services , Software