Ladybrille’s 15 Questions with . . .” is a feature which salutes some of the most important names in the fashion and entertainment industries around the globe, with a particular emphasis on Africa. We hope you are as inspired as we are with the brilliant men and women in these industries that make the world go round.
We wrap up our features of some of the filmmakers who exhibited their work at the just concluded 19th Annual New York African Film Festival. Today we feature Nigerian filmmaker Tunde Kelani.
“Tunde Kelani holds a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking from the London International Film School, London. After many years in the Nigerian Film Industry as a Cinematographer, he now manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s rich culture.
Tunde Kelani has worked on most feature films produced in the country in his capacity as a Cinematographer. Some of 16mm feature films include: Anikura; Ogun Ajaye; Iya Ni Wura; Taxi Driver; Iwa and Fopomoyo. In the area of video productions, he has to his credit award-winning feature videos: Ti Oluwa Nile; Ayo Ni Mo Fe; Koseegbe and Oleku.
An advocate of ‘Alternative Technology’ in motion picture production in Africa, Tunde Kelani has successfully produced and directed two digital features,Saworoide, Thunderbolt. He also completed work one of his latest digital films ‘Agogo-eewo’ shot on widescreen digitally on Dvcam. In addition to the M-net short features films, ‘Twins of the Rainforest’,’A Place Called Home’ and ‘Barber’s Wisdom’ (35MM) , he also photographed, produced and directed a short feature in 16mm ‘The White Handkerchief’ in the same series. He has since added The Campus Queen’ Abeni and The Narrow Path, the first set of works to probe further the possibilities of advanced digital filmmaking.
He recently added a new film Arugba which has just concluded free, open-air community screenings in 57 local government and development council areas of Lagos State in Nigeria. Tunde Kelani uses the Mobile Cinema Project, designed to take information and entertainment to the grassroot.
Tunde Kelani’s latest film is Maami that tells the story of a single parent, Maami, and her young son who are desperately poor.” – IMDb
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Describe your businesses. What exactly do you do?
Tunde Kelani: I am a trained filmmaker from the London Film School and the Nigerian Television where I worked for ten years. Our company Mainframe Productions make films that documents our rich cultural heritage.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How did you end up in your chosen field?
Tunde Kelani: I fell in love with photography from age 12 and invested time and money throughout my secondary education so much that I decided against a University education but got apprenticed as a photographer. I was later employed at the television house where my professional training started in 1970. I also loved cinema and saw all the great American films in Lagos, Nigeria and coupled with my love for literature, I decided to adopt motion pictures.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What has been the most difficult challenge you have faced in getting to where you are?
Tunde Kelani: Making films in Nigeria poses great challenges of infrastructural deficit. It is difficult to recoup the investment making it difficult to make more films because of the uncertainties and lately huge threat from unchecked piracy.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: How do you define success?
Tunde Kelani: Success is relative because it is generally measured by material possession, or profit but success is perhaps a combination of art and commercialism.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Where do you look to draw inspiration when the going gets tough and the tough gets going?
Tunde Kelani: I draw inspiration from God and other great people in Africa and the rest of the World.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Share with us your memory of the happiest moment in your life?
Tunde Kelani: I cannot recollect the happiest moment in my life because I have fallen down many times but people who identify with me, friends or family pull me up again.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What keeps you awake at night?
Tunde Kelani: I am worried most when I cannot pay a debt on time.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What drives you?
Tunde Kelani: I have a great passion and commitment to my work
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What makes you get up everyday to do what you do, all over again?
Tunde Kelani: Not able to predict what I could be doing because no two films are alike providing variety to life.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What are the daily principles you live by?
Tunde Kelani: The world is a stage, you play your part and you exit.
LADYBRILLEmag.com: When all is said and done, what is the legacy you want to leave in the entertainment field?
Tunde Kelani: (Non-responsive)
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What African artist are you currently playing in your iPod?
Tunde Kelani: None
LADYBRILLEmag.com: Who is your favorite African male designer?
Tunde Kelani: Tosano. Tosano lives and works in Lagos
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What’s your favorite food to eat?
Tunde Kelani: Eba and Efo Riro (Southern Nigerian dish)
LADYBRILLEmag.com: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Tunde Kelani: Be creative but keep it simple.
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