Rita Osei is a Director, Producer and Writer. Nominated for Seville European Film Festival's Europa Junior Award. Rita's directorial feature debut Bliss! had its World Premiere at the 70th Edinburgh International Film Festival, Best of British Strand. Graduating from University of the Arts, London with a Joint Honours BA in Visual Arts, she began her career in Film and Documentary development at 1515 Productions. There she assisted Executive Producer Nick de Grunwald, son and nephew of Producers Dimitri & Anatole de Grunwald, who produced such films as 'The Millionairess'. Rita produced Award-Winning animation for Turner Broadcasting Europe (Cartoon Network, CN Too, Boomerang, Toonami) for 6 years. She founded Sugar & Water Films Ltd to produce her first short film, Threesome. It screened in the Calling Card Program at Telluride Film Festival and numerous additional film festivals, and was nominated for a Stella Screen Award. Threesome sold to Sky Movies and Canal + and was distributed worldwide by Canada based Buzz Taxi. She directed, produced and wrote short films: Too Much Love, Room To Let and Screen South part funded The Curry Club starring Cleo Sylvestre, Ruth Sheen and Olivier Award Winner Kenneth Cranham. All her shorts screened at international film festivals. Rita has directed 2 theatre productions, both A.R Gurney Jr. plays. She also writes poetry.
What do I do best?
Bringing people together, and motivating others. As well as actively working on being the best version of me. For years I had a ritual of spending the 6 hours between one year and the next, 6.30pm on December 31st - 12.30am on January 1st, meditating.
What makes me the best version of myself?
Persistence and having clear goals have helped me to be where I am today. Adventure. Being with the people I love. Working. Regular meditation, and time in nature all help me to be the best version of myself.
What are my aspirations?
A business ambition is to be useful in the great mission of equality in all things, particularly in the film & TV industries. A personal ambition for next year is to become a great snowboarder. I had my first go on a board last year. Next year I plan to make that happen.
My Biggest Success?
Helping to raise my nephew, who is now 30-years-old. In tact in him is all the vulnerability, mystery, tenderness and beauty of his younger boy. He still calls me auntie in public.
Directing my debut feature film, Bliss! in 4 weeks across 2 countries: the U.K. and Norway. It has an ensemble cast, and had a teenaged newcomer in the leading role.
It was a struggle to make happen during 6 pivotal years, and when the first day of principal photography arrived: it was truly blissful.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Deciding to develop and make my debut feature film Bliss! after the original script was rejected by the BFI.
Feel it, through your intuition. Then do it.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My family are my favourite people. Barry Spikings, Oscar Winning Producer of “The Deer Hunter”, is also top of my favourite people list. He’s inspiring and kind. Production Designer Deborah Evans, Artist Kate Enters and Actor Cleo Sylvestre are some of my favourite people too. All very wise and creative women.
Most of my role models have passed away, and still inspire me greatly. Poets, philosophers, politicians who may not have achieved all that they set out to in their lifetime, but never gave up.
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
The Azores is my new favourite place. I’ve been taken on two romantic trips there now by my fiancé. Los Angeles, New York, Norway, The Lake District, London and Rhineland, Germany. Travelling has always been a big part of my life. I travelled around Thailand alone when I was 20, it was a thrilling adventure. Favourite places visited include Chateaudouble, France, the Tate Modern gallery and Donmar Warehouse theatre, London. Kakum National Park in Ghana, El Carmen cantina in Los Angeles, Seville European Film Festival and the independent cinema in Bonn, Germany.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
My ebike and cooking clay pot. The Alexa cameras for shooting.
My Current Passions?
My poetry anthology #WOMAN: Remapping The Territory. Our Way. #WOMAN contains 50 poems and spoken word pieces by 16 female creators from across the globe, including published works, repertoire pieces and new verses written especially for my book. It is the first in a series from myself - founding editor, and editor Michelle Olley, dealing specifically with the journey from child to #WOMAN.
The poems in #WOMAN are arranged around three themes: BIRTH, GROWTH, and ADOLESCENCE, with cover and chapter illustrations by artist and curator Kate Enters, founder of Art Can. Birth, Growth and Adolescence seem to be both highly personal and universal themes. They make strong jumping off points for shedding light on an author’s lived experience. ‘Remapping the Territory Our Way’ is a reference to semanticist Alfred Korzybski's famous saying, 'The map is not the territory' – suggesting consensus definitions of reality don't always chime with our lived experience.
#WOMAN brings together a wide array of female voices and experience. Including Ted Hughes award nominated poet Salena Godden, Graphic novel writer Leah Moore, Environmentalist and librettist Zoë Palmer, Poet and Community Leader Basia Palka, Actress, Director, Multi hyphenate Marianna Palka and Artist, Director and model Nana Ghana. It’s available widely through Amazon Kindle. You can read more about #WOMAN here: