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Victoria Film Festival Interview: B FOR BOY director Chika Anadu

B FOR BOY -- At VFF 2015
by Jason Whyte

"B FOR BOY is a contemporary drama set in Nigeria about one woman's need for a male child. It explores the discrimination of women in the names of culture and religion." Director Chika Anadu on the film B FOR BOY which screens at the 2015 Victoria Film Festival.

Tell me a bit about your background and what led you into movies and film festivals.

I grew up in Nigeria, and have a degree in Law and criminology. I have loved film since I was a child, but it wasn't till I saw the film CINEMA PARADISO that I knew that that was what I should be doing. That was nine years ago.

How did this whole project come together from your perspective?

After making a couple of shorts, I decided it was time to make a feature. I wanted to apply to the Cannes Film festival's Cinefondation Residency program in Paris, and needed a 14 page treatment for a feature included in my application. This subject/theme was the only one I felt I could waffle on about for 14 pages successfully. I got into the residency program.

What was the biggest challenge in making the film? And the most rewarding moment?

Every single aspect of getting the film made was incredibly difficult. Seeing the finished film made all the suffering worth it.

What keeps you going while making a movie?

I'm very stubborn, and a typical Type A. I chose to be a filmmaker, and wanted this film made, so quitting was never an option. It still isn't.

I would love to know about the technical side of the film, your relationship to the director of photography, what the movie was shot on and why it was decided to be filmed this way.

Monika Lenczewska was my director of photography. She is super talented and very dedicated. She and I are great friends now, although not so much during the shoot). I had decided early on that the film would be shot handheld, because of time and money constraints. It ended up being the best thing for an intimate story such as B FOR BOY. The film was shot on the Red Epic mostly; because it was cheaper than the Arri Alexa, which I wanted. Four days out of the 17 day shoot was shot on the Red MX.

I would love to hear about the journey this movie has had on the fest circuit, and the plans you have for the movie after it plays in Victoria.

We premiered in competition at the London film festival in October 2013, and have been travelling with the film since then. We won the Audience Award in the Breakthrough Section at the 2013 AFI Film Festival in L.A. We were at Rotterdam IFF, Goteborg IFF, Seattle IFF, Atlanta IFF, and over 20 other film festivals, and counting. From Europe, to the U.S, to India and Singapore. We also won the African Oscars (AMAAs) for Best Film in an African Language 2014. It'll be available on iTunes and Google Play this spring.

What would you say or do to someone who is talking or texting during a screening of your film in a cinema?

A pox on their houses! Seriously, it is incredibly disrespectful of the filmmakers and other cinema goers. And it says more about the texter/talker than about the film.

There are a lot filmmakers, especially up-and-comers, reading our site. I was curious if you had any advice to aspiring filmmakers? Don't do it! Just kidding...sort of. It's ridiculously difficult, and not for the faint of heart, so don't kid yourself. But if you decide that this is really what you want, then you'll discover that the suffering is worth it. It really is. Masochist! I hear you say.

And finally, what would you say is your favorite movie or film festival movie?

That's an impossible question to answer. However, the best film I have seen in the last 18 months is STARRED UP.

For additional information on the Victoria Film Festival including screening times, ticketing information and other events happening around the city in the next ten days, point your browser to

Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @jasonwhyte for live updates throughout the fest including Instagram updates, commentary and links to upcoming interviews and coverage. If you see me in line, please say hi!

Jason Whyte,

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originally posted: 02/16/15 04:19:32
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