22 November 2012

Gambia: A Few Words From Gambian Film Maker


A young Gambian Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu, is currently in The Gambia, on a working visit in preparation to shoot a film in The Gambia. The following are excerpts from a statement sent to Foroyaa. We will interview on the film before his departure.

Someone said besides the film project that seeks to market The Gambia and leave a legacy, I will be writing about real life in The Gambia to the world from a unique perspective.

I am grateful to all the people who welcomed me so far. What I learned about the Gambia since my arrival is more than what many Gambians would know about their country during their lifetimes. Thank you all for confiding in me. I will take what is private and confidential along into the grave and would only be talking about what you respectively approve for public consumption once their times are ripe.

The warm receptions from my immediate and distant families do push me into tears of joy and fulfillment whenever I think of them.

Things in the Gambia can be terribly slow and it can be irritating when one is used to the seriousness and swiftness of commitments and actions in Germany. Patience and restraint are however the keys to breaking through.

The informal interactive sessions with potential actors and actresses as well as crew members at the Alliance Franco-Gambienne along the Kairaba Avenue, was very productive. I understood the fears of the local Gambian talents who lamented the fact that they were repeatedly exploited by non-Gambian directors and producers. I told them I work according the international standards and ethics. No talent will be commissioned as a cast or crew member of my projects without a legally-binding contract. Fees will be paid as agreed and the production contracts will be governed by the Laws of the Gambia as the production country. I practice what I preach. I will not be that greedy to commit a credibility suicide as my compassionate and humanist heart cannot stand it. The fact that I for one cannot hide, makes me very conscious of my duties and responsibilities.

My current film project has, in addition to edutainment diversion, these core objectives: a) to place the mirror before society on the global menace of rape b) market the Gambia's brands and image c) promote skills and technology transfers between Germany and The Gambia d) expose hidden Gambian talents and I thus nominated a home based Gambian to direct it and d) give me experience in making films in The Gambia as part of my overall plan of contributing my quota towards the development of our own world standard Gambian film industry.

I deliberately kept the production budget of "The Woman In A Black Jacket" low and realistic so as to serve as a filter. Those who are in the film trade just for quick money and fame will leave. But those who are serious and passionate will join me in executing the project until the final cut and I will consider them for the subsequent projects with bigger budgets.

The film is not a commercial project with profit motives. It is an art house social commentary with civic education purpose.

As Fatou introduced me to her domestic and Diaspora audiences [during Fatou Show], my preoccupation was to give more sincere and quality answers within the limited time available. In the process, I made some forgivable mistakes though. I wanted to say that I am politically active in Germany while neutral in The Gambia but was not sure of the answer I gave.

When she asked whether I spent the past 15 years in Germany only. I understood it to mean whether I tried relocating to other countries. The appropriate answer is that German is my permanent country of return as I travel on German passport. I have been jet-setting across the four corners of the world for the past 15 years but Germany remains the constant home base.

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