The film is based on African folklore. I wanted to show another side to Africa besides safaris, so I explored different aspects of different countries around Africa in order to give the viewer a pan-African experience. It’s important to me that Africans feel that no matter where they’re from, they’re part of my film. In the West, there is not a lot of exposure to real Africans — most people only go as far as The Lion King. I want to take people farther, to create a deeper meaning. There is a word in Ghanaian: “Sankofa” – it means to return that which was lost. It is a symbol for not forgetting your roots and learning from the past.
It is said that a tree without roots cannot stand. Orisha’s Journey is about a little girl and the transcendent power of imagination. Orisha – who doesn’t believe in fables – finds herself in one, after meeting a “lost-flower spirit.” She must journey through the world of spirits, and the depths of her imagination, to return the lost flower to the mysterious walking forest. The word “Orisha” is a Nigerian term for a nature deity or spirit. Throughout African folklore, it is believed that all things possess a spirit – from the rocks below, to the trees above – even the wind around us. The entire world is as alive as you and I.