Photographer and film maker who’s using his talents and skills to grow his community.
His latest movie is called Hadisi which was screened to more than 600 people in just two towns!
With 8 movie titles so far, what motivates him? Why his hometown?
- Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?
Getting started is easy. To keep going, in the arts is almost an art itself. I came face to face with challenges I had not foreseen, and realized even what I knew was a lot harder to implement than I’d thought. But, I kept going by setting smaller goals, surrounding myself with positive people and making sure I never lost focus on the bigger picture.
- You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?
Film making is a very collaborative venture, and as a result the people you work with determine, in a big way, how far you go and what you produce at the end of the day. I have quite a number of movies that I started shooting but never finished shooting because either a crucial member of the team quit or the inspiration to do it just withered off. That’s how I learnt the importance of working with the right people, and over time as I work with different people, I find myself choosing some specific people either because of their work ethic, their energy, their passion for what we do and of course their talents.
- What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
I’m a photographer first, a filmmaker second. So I easily get drawn to movies that are well shot. And this does not mean just beautiful or crazy shots, but rather photography that enhances and upholds the narrative. A good film should also say something. It must have a philosophy that’s worth debating on. If it doesn’t, then it’s just 90-minutes of bad television disguised as a movie. (though we have good television as well, like one of my favorite shows, Jacob’s Cross)
- What films have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
As a person, the Bollywood classic, 3 IDIOTS changed my life. Anyone who has watched the film will know why. I highly recommend it for anyone under the age 25. As a filmmaker that will be the South African flick IZULU LAMI (my secret sky). I really enjoyed it, and from it I figured what kind of movies I want to make, which is; movies that feel and look African, especially rural African. Before then I always tried to make movies that were urban and Hollywood- ish. I didn’t like them. That’s why I chose to be based in my hometown, Kisii and all my stories start and end in a village.
- Do you use social media for your work? Why?
I have no idea what I’d do without social media. I like to say my head office is my phone, because I can manage most of the company operations right from my phone. 80% of our marketing and referrals happens through social media. And for a long time, 254 FILMS existed only on Facebook and my office/studio was my bedroom.
- Best advice given?
I read somewhere that the best way to learn how to make movies is by making movies. That’s one advice I’m glad I took seriously.
- Whose work are you following at the moment?
That has to be The Nest Collective. Especially Jim Chuchu. The guys have been doing groundbreaking work and their work inspires me A LOT!
- What advice would you give me?
If you are a filmmaker, or are working towards being one, get out there, meet other filmmakers, and start creating. Don’t wait to access or afford high-end equipment. Use your phone even. (The much acclaimed Jongo Love movie was shot on a Nokia Lumia).
If your interest is in photography, always make sure your picture has a story to tell. Don’t take photos that are just beautiful for the sake of being beautiful, which is something I’ve seen a lot of late.
It’s never too late to be what you might have been.
- Do people really get wiser as they grow older?
They should. Experience has always been a good teacher. But only to a good student.
There’s a Thomas Edison quote that goes, “I didn’t fail. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
- Pick a motto to live by…
If opportunity does not knock, build a door.
Watch the trailer to his latest film
Samora and his team’s objective being to ignite a Film making and Cinema Culture in today’s generation and the next, prove that they are artists driven by Creativity, Passion and Commitment!
Follow more of his work and reach him through Social Media:
YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2kw1njpn7ITluQQoZjmS_A