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  • Jason Inanga

Jason's Jive December 2023

I am so sorry for not being able to have a column last month. I had a few challenges at work as we had a top Corporate Executive spend two days in the Dallas Market and I had to shadow him, attend meetings, take photographs everywhere he went and then produce a few publications on some very tight deadlines. Kind of reminded me of my times as a Correspondent in St. Kitts, typing really fast to get breaking news filed and the challenge of using internet dial up to upload photos from my floppy disk (I used a Sony Mavica at the time).

A lot has happened in the past month. I officially launched my Public Relations and Marketing Company, Hibiscus Place Media and simultaneously got drafted into a few projects, the most notable being the African Cultural Film Festival, AFRICUFF, in Houston. You will hear me talk more about this as it was a great opportunity to network and create some alliances with key players in the Nigerian Film Industry (popularly known as Nollywood). One highlight of the Festival for me was meeting a top Producer/Director, Uzodinma Okpechi. He is seen as one of the stalwarts of Nollywood. The film festival coincided with the release of his latest project on Amazon Prime. The movie, Kamsi, is centered around Dozie and his daughter, Kamsi. While going about their daily routine, Dozie (a widower) and Kamsi fall victims to gun violence. Kamsi is hit and her life is in immediate jeopardy. Dozie, as a father, now has to go outside his comfort zone to … (oh you thought I will tell you everything about the movie? Lol. No, I will not, you have to watch it like I had to).

Kamsi, the movie was used to close the African Film Festival last month in Houston and it won many different awards, including Best Director and Best Actor (Wole Ojo). I will share brief comments from each of them, about the movie. Space is limited, but you can go to my LinkedIn Profile, Jason Inanga, to see a more in-depth interview, which sheds a lot of light on the socio-economic theme of the movie, which in reality is the danger that many face, daily, not only in Nigeria, but throughout Africa.

Here is an excerpt:

What motivated the movie?

The motivation for KAMSI was that of rebellion.

I was rebellious of a system in Nollywood that wanted every film to be a comedy because according to the exhibitors, that was what Nigerians wanted to see. I thought otherwise.

It appears you picked the right actors/actresses for the roles. What went into narrowing down your choices?

My Choice of actors was based on a single fact - Acting. I wanted Actors that could act either known or not. I wanted actors that would give believable performances such that it is easier for the audience to suspend their disbelief.

What do you want viewers to learn from this movie?

The viewer walks away knowing that no matter what comes your way, you can cage a man but not his will.

Why did you put it on Amazon Prime and not Netflix?

Amazon showed interest immediately when they saw the preview of the movie. For me , that says a lot.

The making of a movie of this magnitude -- filmed in 2018 but released in 2023...What was going on behind the scenes, with the post-production? Kamsi was shot in 2018. It took 5 years to finish post-production because I ran out of finance. That's the life of an independent filmmaker. Finance is usually a struggle. So, I was editing in bits until I got over the line.

So, my dear reader, go read the rest of the interview on LinkedIn or better still, please watch the movie. Have a nice thanksgiving when it comes. I am excited as I will be hanging with friends from St. Kitts, I have not seen in over 20 years – we all live in Dallas. Eat in moderation and please stay safe.

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