Musa Alderson-Clarke Talks … Killing Boris Johnson

Musa Alderson-Clarke’s journey into the film industry is off to a great start.

After recently graduating from the renowned National Film and Television School, the filmmaker is about to premiere his graduation short film Killing Boris Johnson in Cannes.

We spoke to him about this fantastic opportunity …

Please introduce yourself …

I’m Musa Alderson-Clarke, born and raised in London. I’m a writer/director whose short film Killing Boris Johnson was the only UK selection in the La Cinef section of Cannes Film Festival. The film was my graduation project at the National Film and Television School where I studied the Directing Fiction MA.

Your interest in film was inspired by?

Film for me is really powerful, and just watching films had such a profound impact on me and my understanding of the world. It’s something I immediately understood and is almost like a language. I would not say any one person inspired me but more the countless filmmakers that are dedicated to the art form.

Discuss your short film Killing Boris Johnson is the only UK La Cinef selection at this year’s Cannes film festival …

The team behind the film all worked so hard and we are extremely proud of it. So sharing it with the world for its premiere at Cannes is something very special. This film was made to be seen, and for it to be recognised by Cannes will no doubt mean it will have a further reach. I don’t know why it was chosen, but I can say I put a lot of myself into it so maybe the fact it was specific to an experience, appealed to them. The title helps.

Shadrach Agozino in Killing Boris Johnson (2023)

What are you watching? 

Films are a bit like books, there are so many of them that you just have to select randomly with hopes of finding the one you like. I’m revisiting some of my old favourites, like Paul Thomas Anderson and Andrea Arnold. But I’ve seen some really interesting new releases like Godland by Hlynur Palmason, which was really intricately made and deep in so many ways. I discovered a beautiful film by Sara Gomez from 1975 called One Way or Another that is bursting with originality and ideas. But my favourite film of all time probably is Babylon (1980) which I often revisit. I mostly watch feature films, I sometimes watch TV but mostly revisiting my favourites like Atlanta, The Royle Family or The Office.

What are you reading?

I recently finished Poverty Safari by Darren McGarvey and fiction, Wise In the Miso Soup by Murakami.

What are you listening to? 

Everything. My favourite album of all time is What’s Going On. I like Nines’ new album, but also discovered a great folk song recently by Fairport Convention that is beautiful lyrically. Reggae is also a staple, I like more gentle lovers reggae, Cornell Campbell, Gregory Isaacs etc. Of course Neo Soul – D’Angelo Voodoo is a favourite.

Last thing you saw on stage?

I don’t go to the theatre as often as I’d like to – it was just never something I was exposed to a lot and it’s a habit I’d like to change. Last time I went was to see Don’t Open the Door at Waterloo East Theatre. Alessandro Babalola, who I’ve worked with in an earlier short film, was in it and he was fantastic. It was a powerful and moving show and I’d really like to go more.

Whose footsteps are you following in?

I struggle to answer this. As long as I make my grandma proud I’m happy.

What’s next?

I’m keen to write some feature films as I do thoroughly enjoy writing.

What’s your socials? 

I only really use IG @musa.aldersonclarke


Killing Boris Johnson was created at the National Film and Television School and will premiere at Cannes on Wednesday 24th May. For more visit NFTS

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