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Philippa Chiedu Abraham Director talks inspiration, challenges, favourite moment on set of "Basira in London"

Philippa Chiedu Abraham talks about challenges encountered while shooting "Basira in London" and the inspiration behind movie.

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Philippa Chiedu Abraham

In an exclusive interview with Pulse Nigeria, Philippa Chiedu Abraham, who directed "Basira in London," shares the inspiration behind the movie.

A hilarious comedy-drama, "Basira in London" tells the story of an African woman (Eniola Badmus) who relocates to London with great expectations.

In the interview, Chiedu Abraham also talks about challenges encountered during shoot, favourite scene and what the audience can expect from the movie.

Photos from Basira in London premiere play Philippa Chiedu Abraham and Eniola Badmus (BBB Media )


On Inspiration

The inspiration to write "Basira in London" came from my childhood experiences with the one of the nannies we had when we were growing up.

She was a kind, lovely, funny woman who had little experience of city life and would do all she could to blend in and take short cuts to solving issues.

Basira in London play

Basira in London


On biggest challenge

The biggest challenge was securing the production budget. We planned on seeking funds from a number of sources but the funds available were small compared to the actual film budget.

We wanted everyone to get paid so my husband and I decided to fund the movie by ourselves. 

On the most difficult scene to bring to life

The most difficult scene was the Wedding scene. We hired a Horse Drawn Carriage to bring the bride to Church. One major challenge in shooting such outdoor scenes is the weather, in the UK sunny weather is not not guaranteed even with the best weather forcast.

The day before the shoot, it rained heavily, the day of the shoot, it was sunny all day and as soon as we wrapped up filming for that day, the heavens opened up again. That was our Elijah moment, God was with us.

Eniola Badmus in 'Basira Goes to London' play

Eniola Badmus in 'Basira Goes to London'



On favourite moment on set

Being comedy we had many fun moments so its hard to decide which is my favourite however, one that springs to mind is when we filmed the street crossing scene.

I had given Eniola Badmus directions on how I wanted her to cross the street in a funny way. I was a bit concerned she would feel too posh to do it but when the camera rolled, she made the crossing her own with hilarious result that had everyone on set rolling about laughing. The clip is available on YouTube.

Photos from Basira in London premiere play

Photos from Basira in London premiere

(BBB Media )


On what the audience will love about the movie

The audience will absolutely love this film. When we premiered the movie in London, we had audience members from many nations represented there.

We had English, Polish, French, Germans, Jamaicans, Africans, Americans and many more in attendance and they all loved it. They laughed all through watching the film and spoke about the lessons they've learned from the story.

And now, the same is happening here in Nigeria judging from the crowds interviewed after the Lagos Premiere. 6. The honest truth is, I had no expectations because we started advertising the movie very late.

In this industry, if you do not promote your film heavily and for a long period of time before screening, the chances of success can be limited.

I felt we had not given people enough time to plan for the film, but have been pleasantly surprised that the movie is Breaking Box Office Records and thank the Almighty God for making Basira in London a successful.

The movie stars Eniola Badmus as the titular character, and is produced and directed by Philippa Chiedu Abraham, who also features in the movie.

‘Basira In London’ was first premiered in the United Kingdom in August, 2015.

It made its debut in cinemas in Nigeria on March 24, 2017, and its still showing in cinemas.

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