Andre Sanganoo-Dixon speaks on how Ancient African story-telling inspired his short film; Trauma of The African Samurai
Film Description: Yasuke is confronted with a harsh reality and everything he accomplished in Japan is at risk of being destroyed. In this monologue, he reflects on his situation.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I’m Andre Sanganoo-Dixon. I am a British Visual Artist, cinematographer, and film-maker from North London. I create short-form narratives usually centering around African History or Futurism.
What inspired you to do what you do?
I watched a lot of sci-fi and anime films growing up, I loved the visual style and the futuristic elements, colour palettes, neon and cinematography. And also the afterthought your left with once the movie is finished. As I got older, I started looking into my history and all of the triumphant stories around the world, kings, queens and heroes from the African diaspora. I started to wonder where all the stories were from African history. Why were they not on my tv screen? After working on a number of projects, I decided that I wanted to keep true to the work that motivated me. I wanted to combine what interested me and channel my energy into creating projects around Afro futurism.
What was the biggest challenge when creating this film?
Trying to figure out how to use a static shot over a long length of time to make the audience feel as uncomfortable as the character. I think we managed to do this in the film. The biggest technical challenge was creating the set from recyclable materials to make sure the set was sustainable. We searched for second hand materials that people no longer needed, which meant we were limited with choice and had to be smart about it.
What was the funniest thing that happened on set?
When Riaze had to fall down, to break his fall there were some pillows. On one shot, as he rose back into the shot from the ground he lifted the sword so proudly, yet to know that he had fluff covering the sword and ruining the shot!
What are some of the highlights/successes you’ve had most recently?
The feedback has been great, we have also had interest to fund our larger Obsidian project that you can check out here.
What’s next for you on your journey?
To start production on the larger Obsidian project, which will then fuel a cinematic series of historical heroes. To shine a light on the heroes that are not popularised in western society.
What would be your advice to other young film makers?
You are the trend setters for film. Don’t get so hung up on perfection, focus on growth, start and complete a project to the best of your ability then move on and apply your experience to the next one. Be consistent.
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