CJ Obasi wants filmmakers to figure out their why
The award-winning writer and director shares some profound advice for creators.
Speaking exclusively with Pulse, the Mami Wata writer and director encouraged anyone interested in filmmaking to figure out their why first.
"What I say is to interrogate why you want to be a filmmaker; don't just be a filmmaker because you can or there's a camera. Figure out why. If you want to do it at a certain level, there's a right and wrong reason," he said.
Obasi went on to state the importance of holding on to the right reason for delving into filmmaking. According to him, making movies with the right motives is the key to longevity and real success.
In his words, "I think the right reason is usually more sustainable, and everybody who has attained a certain height in their filmmaking career has been someone who truly had a true love for filmmaking and storytelling. That's the one thing that unites every single person who has attained a certain level of success in filmmaking. Other people might get some clout, but they always hit a ceiling because, when it comes to storytelling, it will always sieve the chaff out. At some point, you have to figure out not only why but also the craft, the story, and the voice."
Oge Obasi, who is his wife and the producer of Mami Wata, also shared some advice for Nollywood producers.
"I think producers should always be on the lookout for talent and they should calm down on the power struggle. I mean, we are not going to get as much PR as the directors would get, even though you do all the dirty work. Deal with it. Producers need to stop being distracted by things like that; it's not that important. I feel like producers need to collaborate more and stop competing. Also, stop trying to do everything, know your strengths, and be true to yourself," she advised.
Obasi's ongoing success with his latest release, Mami Wata, is all the proof anyone needs. The movie has enjoyed impressive critical reception at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and has gone on to snag several awards and deals.
The black-and-white drama is set in a mythical village and explores the fate of a local deity and her followers in a rapidly changing world. The film's cast includes Rita Edochie, Uzoamaka Aniunoh, Evelyne Ily Juhen, and Kelechi Udegbe.
Mami Wata is currently showing in Nigerian cinemas.
Watch the trailer:
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