Popular filmmaker, Mildred Okwo, says it took five years to complete work on her latest movie, ‘La Femme Anjola’, because she needed to raise the right type of funding for the scale of movie she planned to produce.
Okwo also noted that she commenced work on the film, which stars Rita Dominic, Nonso Bassey, Femi Jacobs, Chris Iheuwa and Ego Boyo, with an audition in 2014. However, actual filming did not start until March 2019, when funding was secured.
Shedding more light on why it took so long for the movie to see the light of day, the movie director said, “I usually take my time whenever I embark on a film project. Filmmaking, like any other creative process, is one that should be painstaking and deliberate. I think one must put one’s best foot forward, get the best of oneself, one’s actors and one’s (camera) shots. Any other thing, in my opinion, would be equivalent to taking one’s audience for granted. I consider that to be sacrilegious even to one’s career. When you disappoint film lovers once, they may not give you another opportunity. You do not know who will watch your film and won’t be there to defend whatever you have done. So, I believe in doing my best so that my work, which is my signature, can speak for me when people watch.
“The bulk of the time (for the movie production) was spent sourcing for big budget funding that could deliver a film on the scale that the producers (myself and my business partner, Rita Dominic), envisioned. With the funding secured in March 2019, we went on location and finished in 2020 but the pandemic had held us back from releasing the film.”
Okwo also insisted that funding had remained a major challenge in Nigeria’s filmmaking industry, and expressed the hope that more investors would partner with filmmakers as they saw more films doing well at the box office.