BEN & ARA directed by Nnegest Likke
Ben & Ara Directed by Nnegest Likke I Drama, Romance I RT 1 hour 24 min I USA, Cameroon
Ben Johnson is a struggling PhD candidate in the school of philosophy. It is his seventh year and this is the semester that he must finish his dissertation or all his work will be for nothing. He tries to jolt himself into action but soon tires of the activity. He takes a break and visits a local art gallery opening where he runs into a fellow PhD candidate. Her name is Ara. She is everything he is not: a successful, focused student about to get her doctorate, and a devout Muslim (he’s fervently agnostic). She has sought some refuge that night in the art gallery as well. By happenstance (or fate) Ben catches her eye. They recognize each other instantly as they’re in the same department. From this first meeting, the winds of fate set in and what follows is an unlikely romance between two people from different worlds.
‘Ben & Ara’ explores the possibilities and the limits of inter-religious, inter-racial, and intercultural relationships in our society. They both fall deeply in love with each other, but is love enough? And even if it is, will the price be worth it?
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
NNEGEST LIKKE (Director) is a passionate filmmaker with 10 years of experience working as a professional writer/director in Hollywood. Early in her career, she caught the attention of a top Hollywood film producer who optioned one of her screenplays after reading it. The film was never produced, but Nnegest took his interest in her script as a sign to keep writing. As a means of earning a living while writing specs scripts, Nnegest got her teaching credential and taught English, History and Drama for 4 years at a Los Angeles high school. While on the job, she discovered a new passion for mentoring at-risk youth which she continues to do today.
Nnegest continued her climb up the industry ladder when she was courted to go work for reality genre pioneers, Renegade 83/Gold Coast Entertainment as a segment producer on their popular, hit reality series, Blind Date. Pursuing her passion for “talk” and advice-giving, Nnegest created, produced and co-hosted her own talk show, ‘The Trace and Negest Show’ which aired in Los Angeles for 3 years. Recognizing her talents behind and in front of the camera, Renegade 83/Gold Coast picked up the show for production and it was sold to Lifetime Network.
Expanding her experience in the entertainment industry, the internationally distributed feature film, Phat Girlz by Fox Studios, starring Academy Award winner, Mo’Nique marked Nnegest’s feature film debut. As the Writer and Director of the film, Nnegest had the opportunity to learn every aspect of studio filmmaking, from casting to all stages of pre through post-production and marketing. After Phat Girlz, Nnegest took time off from the industry to travel abroad. While doing so, she was able to network with international television and film producers and began freelance work, writing, directing, producing and consulting in Europe and Africa.
Nnegest is currently in post-production on her 3rd feature film, Everything But A Man, starring Monica Calhoun (The Best Man franchise), Camille Winbush (The Bernie Mac Show), and Jimmy Jean-Louis (Heroes, Joy).