BY ADEDIWURA OKELEYE
Respected Nollywood filmmaker Tunde Kelani launched his film school, Mainframe Film and Media Institute (MFMI) in June and the first set of students graduated earlier this month.
In a recent interview, the Dazzling Mirage producer opened up about his vision for the institute, what he learnt from the students, the things holding Nollywood back from bursting into global film festivals among other things.
Excerpts from the interview below:
On what he learnt from the students and his hopes for them…
“For me, facilitators, staff and students, it has been a journey of self-discovery. There is so much learning to do in the world. And I am more delighted watching students gradually begin to change or reflect perceptions. I could already write a book on the first experience. We shall upload the two graduation films in a matter of days and you could assess progress already made.”
When asked why Nigerian films are yet to feature in global film festivals, Tunde Kelani said the low budgets Nigerian films are made on makes it difficult for them to stand beside films in the global film festivals.
On his various cinematic influences…
“I am a special case. I have certainly been influenced by cinemas from everywhere – Hollywood, Polish, German, Russian, French, British, China, Indian, African but none of them experienced the Yoruba Travelling Theatre especially in its golden years. Traces of this can be found in my cinema. I am most influenced by my cultural experience.”
When he was asked if he intended to retire from filmmaking anytime soon he responded, “Wait until I am 70. If Wole Soyinka has not stopped writing, who am I to stop making films? The answer is as long as I have good health, I hope to spend the rest of my life practicing.”
Read the full feature on The Nation