Thursday, July 23, 2009

Interview Thursday: "The movie Roots gave insight to blacks around the world into what it meant to have been kidnapped, sold" Ms. Catwalq

She is so talented that she gathered some of blogsphere talented writers together to participate in the stories on 14thandserenity blog. I am impatiently waiting for thise damsel first movie as I believe she will go places and make a lot of differences in the movie industry. I present Ms. Catwalq!

You are a movie critic, where do you get this desire from?

I am not sure I would call myself a critic. I am an aspiring filmmaker and because I have no formal training, what I know about film and filmmaking is from watching others, selecting what elements I like and what elements I don't.

You are into productions, can you give us some details of what your work entails?
Bani Productions, is still in the development stages. It is intended to be a production company with projects for stage, television and cinema.

What can you say about Nollywood?
A lot and not much at all. I don't work within the industry so I am not that much of an authority on how it runs as a business machine or as an artistic medium. The industry's development and growth mirrors in so many ways the way things are in the country. Survival is the motivating factor, no one can afford to have artistic flair unless they can figure out how to make it commercially viable. I believe that to crack the Nollywood code, its mechanisms will have to be rewritten to suit your project's needs. The ideas that I have don't currently have a place in the market, so I am going to have to create a market of my own. Because Nollywood is still building its structure, there is opportunity for this to happen as long as one is willing to put in the work.
Do you see yourself producing movies in Nigeria any time soon?
Of course...why do you think I do what I do? Just wait...a little bit longer....

How will you be able to change the face of Nigeria Movie Industries, espcially with their discriminatory stories of women?
There are discriminatory stories about women because women who know otherwise are not doing anything about it. If you read my blogs, I am sure you would have deciphered where I stand on women's issues and rights. The only way to change the way things are viewed will be to put out an alternate view. I also realise that I will not only be working to change the outlook of the men but most especially the women. Go to any of the popular blogs written by Nigerian women, assess the material and the responses of the female commenters and if you don't break your ribs laughing, you will most likely develop a depression-induced headache.
All I plan to do is offer an alternate point of view. I know that I am not the only female that thinks the way that I do and so, my stories are and will be for those who either think like me, would like something else to think about or are trying to figure out what kinds of thoughts to have.
You are the originator of 14thanserenity, do you intend writing books, novels in the future?
The funny thing is that I started blogging because my first manuscript was rejected by every agent I sent it to. Having been blogging for four years, I do see that it was a ridiculous effort and have since honed other writing skills. I am working on alot of projects, so we shall see.

What can we expect from you in the creative business in the next 5 years?
Whatever is allowed to happen. I am taking each day as it comes but I intend for Bani Productions to be a much more recognisable name.

Are there any female writer or actor that have inspired or impressed you with their work?
I have been inspired by many different people over the years and the list is evolving as my tastes and skills are evolving. When I was little, I tried to write like Enid Blyton because that was what I read alot of. Then when I was in my early teens, it was Judith Mcnaught, Amanda Quick and a host of other female romance writers because that was what I read alot of. Alot of female bloggers have also entertained me and influenced my work: Waffarian, Allied, Jola Naibi, Wordsbody, to name a few This is not to say I read exclusively stories by women but your question only asked about the females. With film, I like many actresses from around the world. If I were to start naming them, I would have to go by country and that would take me a long time. I follow the director's more, since that is my destination. I would like to be able to make the hard hitting, controversial movies like Deepak Mehta, presented with the visual spectacle and seduction of Mira Nair and relevant like Amaka Igwe.
Do you think film is a powerful instrument in changing mentality and addressing social issues.
Film is probably the most powerful instrument there is. The movie " Birth of a Nation" was a powerful instrument for presenting the black man as an animal to be reigned in by the Klu Klux Klan and the latter as a respectable organisation whose goal was the preservation of America way of life. Most especially it depicted the white woman as a thing to be protected from the amorous and unwanted advances of the Negro. Till today, the idea still persists that the white woman is a thing of coveted beauty. You can google the KKK for stories of what they have perpetrated, the Jim Crow laws and what blacks have had to endure in the United States. The movie Roots gave insight to blacks around the world into what it meant to have been kidnapped, sold and transported into slavery for the African. Coming To America, gave the African American the belief that their history was one descended from a monarchy. Film is a visual representation of a story and most people believe what they see. Before, Jenifa, most people were not saying, "I gats to be bigs" but now they are. Most people still refer to the actor's Ego Boyo and Bimbo Manuel as Anne Hastrup and Nduka, respectively. Why? Because those are the characters they played on the tv series, Checkmate. And most likely, no one knows the names of Yoruba film actors and actresses because they go by the name of the character that launched their career. So when someone argues that we don't need movies for more than pure entertainment, I chuckle at their naivete. How do they not realise that many aspects of their lives are influenced by what they see enacted on screen.Most people expect certain actions and reactions because they have seen it on screen. The X men don't exist (or at least, that is what I am told) but if I were to say mutant, you would know what to imagine. With film, you present a "reality" and that is always the first step to asking the questions that make a change.
Any advice or suggestion on how to have more vitual images to address social issues?
I think when I start doing so, I will be better able to answer this question. For today, I have my blog, my folders on my computer and my ever creative mind.


blazer said...

enjoyed raeding this.dont give up on that book of yours.good job stands.keep it up too.once again hoping your journey to 'OBODO' was all that you hope

Minor Insurrection said...

Been reading Catwalq for a couple of years and what I find most striking is the homour she is able to weave into her stories. On her getting published, I have often wondered why she was posting those great short stories on her blog when a dozen of them would have made a nice book.

chayomao said...

i enjoyed this

Vera Ezimora said...

You go, Catwalq....!!

Didn't know you're into film, Catwalq.

.... And you go too, madam Standtall...!

Writefreak said...

I'm so impressed! I write for screen and I love to read about pple passionate about productions and stuff.
You go girl!

Geebee said...

Catwalq, I admire your resilience, especially considering the fact that after having your manuscript rejected, you cast the pain aside and pursued what you love. It depicts a kind of strength and spirit that’s rare in this present day. I am definitely inspired by your works, as I am an aspiring writer myself. Keep it up, sis. . . And yes, 'Roots' remains a masterpiece that would continue to be celebrated for generations to come.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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