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Money + Artistry Kills Creativity – Says Imoh Umore

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Imoh Umoren is an independent film producer/director in Nollywood. He is one of the most brilliant minds in the business. He always pushes for excellence and this shows in the movies/short films he has worked on.

His movie, Hard Times won him an Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award in for the Best New Media-Online Video category in 2015.

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A few of his movies include; Children of Mud, the Happyness Limited, Secondary, Club, Oghenekome (the Series). He speaks to Lingo Africa about his work and why he would never mix artistry with making money:

1. As an Indie Film Director in Nigeria, what social ills have you addressed with your work, and why?

Films are primarily for entertainment and while infusing some information that should not be overly preachy so as not to lose the audience but in Children of Mud, we tried to address the way children have been abused by our society and this story really needed to be told so I went for it.

2. How long have you been in the film industry and what informed your decision to partake in it?

I have been a film director for ten years, but I started out as a writer and a producer and I do not mean titular producer, I was an actual producer, but I have not really had the one eureka moment where I said I wanted to be a film director…but I sort of evolved into it.

3. Say, for instance, you were to pitch your ideas to foreign investors to put their money in Nollywood, how would you convince them of a good return on investment (ROI)?

Usually, I would not. I would have my producers and the rest of my team run the numbers. I have consciously divorced myself from the money aspect of the business. Capitalism kills art but what I would say to new investors is start small and build up.

4. What new project(s) are you working on? Any details you want to share?

I am currently writing my new film, Savior and in post-production for All Sorts Of Trouble… The trailer is out next week.

5. Share an anecdote based on your experience as a film director in Nigeria.

Two actors were reading lines and one of them was a new actor, so the new actor kept hitting the other actor after her lines..they were rehearsing..so we were all amused and then worried and she indicated that she saw the word “beat” on her copy. However, “beat” or “takes a beat” on a screenplay is taking a moment or pausing for a second. So it was really funny.

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