1. Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
New York City is home but I like to consider myself a global citizen. I was born in Nigeria and my family immigrated here when I was 5 to escape the threat of a hostile military regime.
You grow up fast living in New York and develop specific defenses in order to survive the cocktail of energies and personalities (currently deprogramming some of those unhealthy defenses FYI). Definitely saw some unsightly spectacles on the subway at a very early age. And got into late night debauchery with friends—going to places where 16 year olds probably shouldn’t be…
It wouldn’t be New York City without the chaos.
Then there’s the people. I’m obsessed with the multiculturalism that makes NYC so special and dynamic. I don’t think I could ever live in a homogenous place. I oftentimes feel like living somewhere else in my adult life to experience a different pace of life but no matter where I go, when I’m back, I know I’ll always get that warm, tingly feeling in my belly when I see the skyline as the plane descends.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
Other forms of artistic expression. Reconnecting to singing. Writing poetry here and there. Taking photographs of friends. Dancing in my apartment to feel more embodied. Watching my roommate, who’s a dancer, get lost in an improvisation to a Bon Iver song. Being moved to tears while I imagine how I’d capture her movement. A close up of her arched right hand. Catching her body grazing the floor through the mirror leaning on the wall.
Slowing down and connecting to nature more often. Putting my bare feet in the soil. Tending to my houseplants, watching them grow. Feeling the sun kiss my skin as I sit on my fire escape.
Learning about universal archetypes and symbols. I’ve been writing my dreams down and deciphering meaning from them. Currently reading “The Writer’s Journey” for the first time. I’ve also gotten into reading tarot. It’s all connected.
And honestly, my own life. For a long time I shied away from drawing from my own experiences or creating a character that’s some version of myself, but I’m starting to embrace my unique perspective. I’ve had a pretty crazy life so far.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Witnessing myself grow as an artist. Getting past the initial resistance and defensiveness while being critiqued in First Year. Now I live for it—tear me apart, I dare you! :)
But seriously, it rules being able to get feedback, keep what resonates and throw the rest away.
Admiring my classmate’s work and also watching them grow. I can’t wait to see some first features!