The Popular actress, film maker and director, Genevieve Nnaji has expressed her desire for visual storytelling as a result of many untold African stories.
She made this known while speaking in an interview with Women and Hollywood on why she ventured into directing.
Here is an excerpt from the interview.
W&H: What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
GN: I’ve always had a hunger for visual storytelling. There is so much material out there that is still untold — countless real-life stories from within and outside Africa, and today, we have the chance to tell it ourselves. My hope is that Africans will have adequate representation globally, and be given a seat at the table in big studio productions as we continue to grow and improve from within the continent.
I also believe that my generation of women need to continue to work at paving a path better than the one that exists today for the future generation of women in film.
W&H: Describe the film for us in your own words.
GN: “Lionheart” is an inspiring drama about family values, succession, and most importantly, female empowerment. It highlights the various challenges faced by women, particularly in male-dominated industries.
W&H: What drew you to this story?
GN: The message and the environment which forces a heroine to shoulder the load. Questions of succession, gender roles, and traditional versus modern ideals surround the story. Plus, that it was rooted in African culture which made it even more fascinating. So, drawing inspiration from a close friend and family run businesses in Nigeria, “Lionheart” was created.
W&H: What do you want people to think about when they are leaving the theater?
GN: I want people to reflect on the endless possibilities of growth and success that come with men and women, the old and the young, working together: a world where insecurities are tackled and equality is encouraged. We need to be more open and accepting of competition instead of feeling threatened by it.
W&H: What was the biggest challenge in making the film?
GN: It was very difficult playing both roles of director and lead actor. Fortunately, I was surrounded by a very efficient and effective crew. With their help, plus adrenaline and sheer determination, we were able to make a movie.
However her directorial debut movie “Lion Heart” where she also played lead actor premieres today, 8th September, 2018 at the Toronto international Film Festival marking the first Netflix original film from Nigeria.
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