Film plays a pivotal role in shaping the minds of its audience hence the need for Nigerian filmmakers to begin finding the balance between unadulterated comedy and themes of social relevance.

Damilola Orimogunje's latest film, 'For Maria Ebun Pataki' sits comfortably as a film addressing a subject matter that could, quite frankly, use more on-screen representation especially in these shores

Meg Otanwa in 'For Maria Ebun Pataki' [Black History Month]
Meg Otanwa in 'For Maria Ebun Pataki' [Black History Month]

Postpartum depression is a condition that affects mothers often after birth. Due to the uncommon nature of this condition and probably our climes, there is not a lot of conversations surrounding it. But this silence in no way denies its existence hence Orimogunje's film.

'For Maria' follows the harrowing experience of a first-time mother who struggles with postpartum depression. It stars Meg Otanwa, Gabriel Afolayan, Tina Mba and Judith Audu.

Damilola Orimogunje and the cast of 'For Maria Ebun Pataki'  [Instagram/@dami_orimz]
Damilola Orimogunje and the cast of 'For Maria Ebun Pataki' [Instagram/@dami_orimz]

Pulse recently caught up with the filmmaker who opened up about making the film, his inspiration and everything film lovers need to know before the film premieres.

Can you tell me about what inspired the story behind 'For Maria’?

After seeing the French film “Amour” for probably the 7th time, I decided to make a simple and intimate film that focuses on a family. A chat on postpartum depression with a friend and a thread on Nigerian Twitter about the same topic inspired the story.

When and where was it shot?

The film was shot in November 2019 around Ojodu axis in Lagos.

How long was principal photography?

It was shot in nine days.

'For Maria Ebun Pataki' was shot in Lagos, Nigeria [Instagram/@dami_orimz]
'For Maria Ebun Pataki' was shot in Lagos, Nigeria [Instagram/@dami_orimz]

One striking point to note was the grading. What influenced the choice of colours?

The film itself is quite melancholic. I wanted the picture to be beautiful and vibrant. We used a variation of brown and orange feel essentially because both colours represent comfort, endurance, healing, and emotional balance which is an irony.

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What is the future for 'For Maria', release mediums etc.

We are currently doing festival runs. The film will end up on a VOD platform or cinemas perhaps. Also, we are harnessing a social impact campaign for the film which will lead to several other non-traditional screenings.

Tell me a bit about your filmmaking journey, inspiration and how many movies you have worked on so far?

I started working in the industry in 2014. My journey started from writing to TV production and finally film directing. For Maria is my debut feature but I have several short films as a director. My inspiration is hugely from foreign cinema and some early Nigerian films that lured me to take on this career.