Ahead of the inaugaral Playback Festival: in association with Random Acts, exhibiting young filmmaker Ayo Akingbade shares tips from what she has learned from making her first funded film.
Making films is no easy feat. (Well, perhaps if you have a disposable income and you're practically born into it.) But fear not! It is possible to make films even if you don’t have those advantages because I am an example: I make films. My films are not necessarily conventional nor are they linear in the Greek structural sense, but nevertheless it does work.
At the moment, I seek to make documentary work. I have stories I want to share – important ones, about London and the wider diasporic community. Ones that I am not seeing being told, so I am creating, slowly. Which is fun, if frustrating at times when you hear that the funds you applied for two months ago have been unsuccessful on the grounds that “your artistic aims were unclear”... But hey, you live and you learn.
Tower XYZ was made because of the fantastic opportunity led by the ICA under the STOP PLAY RECORD initiative. I am in debt to the generous support from all my mentors, and Chisenhale Gallery who were able to help make the ambitious project. Constructive criticism enabled me to progress much faster, as it is sometimes good to have a fresh pair of eyes overlooking your work. I now understand why famous people have agents and assistants. It is all a concentric circle.
Here is manifesto I wrote about being a young filmmaker:
For the underdog, the unsung, the pissed off and the tired. Eager for a means of asserting an authentic way of thought. A new way of imagining the future and beyond. A new shell for diasporic artistic expression.
And if you choose not to follow this manifesto because you just received funding for your first feature film, then abandon this and write your own! ■