GUAP Interviews: Cheryl Jordan Osei On Her Film “Y LOVE YOU, Y2K” Exploring Black Identity & Nostalgia [@chezzzydopez]

Cheryl Jordan Osei

Cheryl Jordan Osei is a South-London based filmmaker who created ‘Y LOVE YOU, Y2K?’ which is a Fashion Film that explores the early 2000s through a love triangle. The film centres around the complications of young love and celebrates Black British identity using Garage and Grime to represent an era of Black Britishness in Fashion and Music. As a filmmaker she aims to create a state of nostalgia for audiences whilst allowing them to reflect on how black identity has shaped youth culture. We had the chance to interview Cheryl on her fashion film which is available to watch now on Youtube!

Tell us a bit about yourself? My name is Cheryl Jordan Osei. I’m from South London and are of Ghanaian descent. Y LOVE YOU, Y2K is a short Fashion Film that explores the early 2000s through a love triangle. The film uses streetwear and music to capture the era for audiences and takes them back the naughties as an era whilst showing how black culture impacted it significantly.

What inspired you to do what you do? I think what inspired me to create this film was that I missed the era and wanted to show how monumental black British culture has contributed to the urban scene. I think when you come across projects that evoke the late 90s or early 2000s they are always African American inspired. This is cool but I wanted to show people how Black British culture contributed to the early 2000s and how we have a unique a way of expressing ourselves in Fashion and Music. 

What was the biggest challenge when creating this film? Time! My team and I were cut short for time on this project as most people were preoccupied with other things they had to do after so we weren’t on set for a full 8 hours as we normally would be; I think we were filming for about 4 hours also so that was a challenge. I think that’s also the beauty of this project; having limited time meant we forced to be creative as possible and it turned out great.

What’s the funniest thing that happened on set? A lot of funny things happened but I think the way in which the actors had to interact with each other was quite funny since a lot of the scenes required intimacy. I think it was funny because we all knew each other, so it’s like working with your friend but somehow you have to convince yourself they are your lover in an alternative reality. For those of us on set (myself included) it meant coming out of my comfort zone but it was a lot of fun. We all made each other feel extremely comfortable.

What are some of the highlights/ successes you’ve had most recently?
Since the premiere of the project, I was selected by the international film platform Shiny Awards to have my work showcased at their event which showcased the work of up and coming female directors; my work was selected to be reviewed by senior directors in the industry and an audience. This was a great experience because I was in a line up with other phenomenal female directors so I felt really honoured. I’ve also been featured on the film platform Undr Lndn’s website as an up and coming creative which has been great as I’ve been able to share my work and journey as a creative on their platform.

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What’s next for you on your journey?
I plan to keep creating more Fashion Films and short films that explore black identity and alternative realities. I’ve also recently ventured into Motion Graphics Design so I’m finding a way to incorporate this into my film work. 

What would your advice be to other young filmmakers?
Just start. that’s all you need to do. If your project feels ‘weird’ gravitate towards that and run with it. I can guarantee you projects that aren’t the norm are very exciting and liberating to get involved in. Also, make sure that you’re challenging yourself – this is key. Creativity is about problem-solving so find a way to solve a problem through your work.

Check out the GUAP Arts & Culture section, to discover new art, film, and creative individuals. 

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