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Interview: Tanzanian-American Filmmaker Ekwa Msangi-Omari Talks Funding For African Filmmakers
décembre 2013 | Faits de société | Cinéma/TV | Tanzanie
Source : Shadow and Act

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by Vanessa Lanari /// Shadow and Act
by Vanessa Lanari /// Shadow and Act
As curator of the director’s eye project for lettera27 Foundation, I had a talk with writer, director and producer Ekwa Msangi-Omari on crowdfunding and funds.

Ekwa is a Tanzanian-American filmmaker who grew up in Kenya and is based in New York. Ekwa has directed for television and has also directed several short films – including Taharuki in 2011, a 12-minute short thriller set against the backdrop of the start of Kenya’s post-election violence – and most recently Soko (The Market) – a 25-minute short comedy about a middle class Kenyan man. The article starts series of discussions with female African directors that focuses on funding and production strategies for contemporary cinema.

Vanessa Lanari: Ekwa, you have just finished shooting your last short film, and are preparing the next feature film called Sweet Justice. How did you finance it?

Ekwa Msangi-Omari: The short film that I just shot this summer was partially funded through Focus Features’ Africa First Program, and partly through a crowd-sourcing campaign that I conducted online.

VL: You are used to finance part of your films through crowd-funding campaigns. Why did you have the idea of ​​using this type of financing?

EMO: Well, crowd-funding is not only a very popular (maybe too popular!) form of financing, but it is also immediate and a great way to build audiences. Living in USA, there aren’t many sources of funding for short Africa-based films (other than the Africa First Program) that I could apply to as an alternative source of funding. So, in other words, as an indie filmmaker working in 2013 making non-tragic stories about Africans, I didn’t really have many options!

VL: What percentage of the total budget of your films derived from crowd-funding campaigns?

EMO: For Taharuki it was 100% crowd-funding, but for Soko I only used about 20% crowd-funding!

VL: In your experience, what have been the best strategies and methods for promoting and creating a successful campaign? How many investors did you attract and how much money did they contribute?

EMO: Well, for all artists (and really all people in general) our biggest asset is our circle of friends, family and supporters. Before you get to the point where absolute strangers are excited about your work and paying for it, you have to start with your circle of family and friends. They will be your biggest promoters through their excitement and word of mouth.

by Vanessa Lanari /// Shadow and Act
As curator of the director’s eye project for lettera27 Foundation, I had a talk with writer, director and producer Ekwa Msangi-Omari on crowdfunding and funds.


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