Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Interview with filmmaker Ssenkaaya Martin

25th Best & Great Date will be screening at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

How did you get into making films? 
Since I was a young boy I loved watching Hollywood movies, I could tryout their character styles but I failed all the time making me a bad actor, I felt connected to the film world, I wanted to do something undone by other directors in my country .The passion for movies and the presence of passionate people around who hard different skills needed in film production, I had to drop from IT class on my last year, then I joined YouTube film makers classes every day and I felt this is what I wanted in life, that what made me feel that am breathing again I learnt skills in 2 years i.e. script writing, screenplay writing/ editing, film directing and acting, these made the idea of starting producing movies very strong and producing the first movie was inevitable. We started with the short movie titled I CRY IN PAIN at a budget of 50USD and another one titled HOMELESS FET at a budget of 100USD, the two short movies taught us a lot of lessons about the film industry and movie production as a whole. The challenges we faced, the successes, made as strong and optimistic about our journey in the movie industry. And now in this year of 2019 we have managed to produce our first featured movie titled 25TH BEST AND GREAT DATE at a budget of 500USD since 2015 when we entered into this film industry. 

What inspired you to make your movie? 
What I can say is that am self-Draven person, the dream, the fire which was burning inside me, inspired me to get a paper and a pen to write something on it, [2]of course just like others the absence of good quality movies in our country; seeing most of the movie producers in the country producing half-baked and poor quality movies, we didn’t have a second thought on starting to produce movies that can reach the international standards which can help our movie industry in Uganda to glow. We may be a little bit far away from this dream, but we are hopeful that one day, which is not far from now, we shall make it happen. 

How has your style evolved? 
We have been able to create our own dolly machines we use in our movie productions, just by our self and we use common materials to design them. They are made out of scrap, but on the standard. Our movies are now in the festivals, not only that, we have now five featured movies with scripts in our store ready to be produced, and one TV series about the history of the greatest kingdom in our country. 

Tell us any strange or funny stories while making the film? 
Ha-ha……., during the production of this featured movie 25th BEST & GREAT DATE!, since we were not paying the casts and other production team, the director could go and cook food for the cast and crew, and there after comes back to direct the set, I can’t forget when the leading cast was hungry at the very time of shooting his scene, but the food wasn’t ready!! So whatever he was acting didn’t come out very so we had to stop the shooting until the food is ready, this made the scene to be shoot the following day.. 

The Misrule film movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind? 
What I can say is that any attempt to break the rules of film making is a good thing, so misrule film movement & Pink8 manifesto bring what to mind the hope to an extent, the reality of rewriting cinema`s language through the artists of the underground. I love the idea of going against, going against the grain what film school teaches and creating instead, with low budget, a cast of unknowns. In my country I haven`t got a director I admire about the adhered to these kinds of ideas in the past. 

What can we expect from your next film? 
In the next film, it’s going to be very big, because the lessons we learnt from this one, we are going to apply them in the next movie to make it better than the previous one. Also expect new material, entertaining and action which is going to make it great. We have resourced more talent from the communities both crew and casts. So don’t miss out! I`m not sure how much more shooting that I will do before I decide that the project is complete, but there are a couple other locations that I’d like to capture before closing the door on the coming movie.