TBB TALKS to … Tobi Kyeremateng, Director of ‘ÓWÀMBÈ’

Please introduce yourself …

I’m Tobi Kyeremateng – the Director of ÓWÀMBÈ. 

Why ÓWÀMBÈ?

I really wanted to make this film as I hadn’t seen a documentary on parties like this before. You wouldn’t really know about them unless you are Nigerian or know Nigerian people. I wanted to document this cultural occurrence in the UK specifically. 

Tell us about your team …

I had the most amazing team – my producer Debo Amon is a good friend and he was my rock during the whole process, really supporting me and making it happen.
My Associate Producer Aniefiok Ekpoudom helped shape the interviews and the stories. Without him, I wouldn’t know how to put these stories into context. My DOP Pablo Rojo is brilliantly creative – I had a really supportive team. 

What’s the story for you?

Personally, it was really beautiful just having these conversations with Nigerians especially as I never had done so before. My Uncle told me stories about my mum at these parties which was so surprising as she’s not a party person. The footage, stories, photos were all really beautiful and affirming. As a creative, doing something new and exploring that side of my creativity was a brilliant challenge. It was a curveball in my career creatively but I am glad I did it. 

Tell us a memorable moment from idea to final edit?

Gathering the archive – the moment we realized that we didn’t have this footage on the Internet and we had to source it ourselves. My archive producer Tania Nwachukwu was incredible and went to every person’s house and scanned images, DVDs, videos. She sat with the families, chatting with them on their memories as they were going through it – a priceless experience. 

Share a skill-defining moment making this film?

This was definitely working with a team looking to you to have the answers. As a director people are asking you the questions and you need to trust your vision and choices. The process made me do that and just go with my ideas. On the first day, my DOP told me you have to say “Action” with a bit more affirmation and it really helped me develop trust in myself. 

Being a recipient of the 2021 Netflix Documentary Talent Fund means …?

It means that I got to make this film with resources, mentors, and nine other people who were also making their films. I got to share this journey with them.

What’s next?

Sleep! I really want to see how people respond to the film. As a producer, I have a few film things happening this year. We will see once the film comes out. 


ÓWÀMBÈ

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