Actor, producer and radio broadcaster David Buakei Vandy has expressed a desire to work with Sierra Leone and African filmmakers to help create a better film industry for the continent.
Mr. Vandy who was speaking at the first ever press conference for a Sierra Leonean film, ‘High Fashion’, shot in the United States, said: “The African movie industry is growing and it is growing very fast but
we still have a lot of work to do.”
He commended filmmakers in Sierra Leone and the rest of the continent for working very hard to develop the African movie industry. “Our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone are fighting very hard to
put our films on the map and we recognize and appreciate all their efforts,” he said.
The actor also highlighted the animosity that has been going on between filmmakers in Africa and the Diaspora. He said they wanted to collaborate with filmmakers in Sierra Leone and the rest of Africa.
“We are not trying to take away what they are doing back home in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana or Nigeria, we want to collaborate with them to make better films. We are not competing; we want to
collaborate with Salone and Africa filmmakers.”
He went on: “Nollywood is the umbrella but we want Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and the rest of the continent to be identified.” Princess Jnap Sesay, one of the leading Sierra Leonean casts in ‘High Fashion’, said the movie was 90% Sierra Leonean casts. Jnap said she was happy to work with producer Winstina Taylor on the set of ‘High Fashion’.
“I am very proud to be part of this high quality production,” she said. She added: “This is the first All cast Sierra Leonean film that makes Nigerians shaking.” Jnap said she travelled to South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria but realized that her country was only known for the war and refugees and not for filmmaking.
She said to improve on her filmmaking career; she had to travel to Nigeria to perfect her craft. She said African filmmakers can learn a lot from the successes of the Nigerian/Nollywood film industry and
still maintained their own uniqueness in telling their stories.
Winstina Taylor, Producer of the film said they are trying to put Sierra Leonean films on the map and they are working with different African nationalities to achieve that. She said people looked at
Nollywood as Nigerian films only, forgetting other filmmakers in the continent. She said Nollywood has expanded to be known for African films not just Nigeria. “I want Sierra Leonean films to be the third largest film industry in the world. I even want us to surpass Bollywood, I know it’s a stretch but that’s how it is…but we are doing everything possible to get there,”She described ‘High Fashion’ as the high point of Sierra Leonean movies. “I’ve done different movies but High Fashion is more of a Sierra Leonean actors and actresses vs. any other nationalities…so that’s a landmark. We are bringing all different nationalities to create one big path.”
Other speakers at the press conference included the Director of Photography, Foday Conteh, actress Fatima Cham and Cameroonian actor Claudio Oben.
The Press conference was also attended by publishers of The African Mirror Newspaper, SaloneJamboree CEO and a host of other US based journalists.
The press conference was organized at the prestigious Big Brother Photo Studio 505, Hampton Park Blvd Capitol Heights, Maryland USA.
About the Film: ‘High Fashion’
Prime international productions and real time management productions
present: High Fashion
Welcome to Tincel & Co two sisters, Two Models and one Company. When fashion becomes center of the day, blackmailed and jailed are the high point of life. When business become personal, find out who can save who in the turnpike of “High fashion”. Starring fast rising Sierra Leone award winning actress Winstina Taylor and Princess Jnap sesay. Voice of America host David Buakei Vandy, 2014 GIAMA award winning actress Paula Osaka , Alimatu Mary Bangura and one of DMV top model Chanel Issac on her acting debut. Screenplay by PASCAL Amanfo and Michela Songa, Directed by: Nick Zemura, Director of photograph (DOP) Foday Conteh and produced by Winstina Taylor and Mariatu KaiKai.
A Red Carpet premier of ‘High Fashion” will take place on October 10th at the AMC Magic Johnson Theater, Largo, Maryland. USA.