IN CONVERSATION WITH

KOFI NTIFORO

F: Where did your interest in filmmaking and directing originate from?

K: I love to write and tell stories, a lot. I've realised over the years that I tend to narrate the most mundane events with details you would expect from a poet. So, the man just didn't cross the street, but "the black man in a yellow tuxedo with a leather briefcase in his left hand crossed..." you get it. Filmmaking seemed to be a very creative and holistic medium to channel my writing and storytelling amidst other mediums. So that urge to tell stories from experience, imagination or necessity is what I pour into filmmaking, an art form I've fallen in love with.

F: What and who are your biggest influences?

K: Interestingly, that depends on the time and season I find myself in. At the moment, I find myself studying and drawn to filmmakers whose works embody ethereal and emotional themes such as Andrei Tarkovsky, Christopher Nolan, Salomon Ligthelm, Jordan Peele and Allie Avital. That's in the world of film, but generally, my relationships with people - conversations, experiences and interactions - serve as direct influence for my work.

GENERALLY, MY RELATIONSHIPS WITH  PEOPLE -   CONVERSATIONS, EXPERIENCES                     AND

INTERACTIONS -

SERVE AS DIRECT INFLUENCE FOR MY WORK 

Interviewed by Fleur Adderley

F: Your works capture some very beautiful moments; how do you know when is the right moment to press record?

K: Thank you. 

To give a definite answer to that would be almost impossible. It's a moment-by-moment experience. Sometimes you see it coming, sometimes you don't but you move with your gut feeling. I don't have such a large array of works yet to be able to conclude on a pattern, but it's mostly a gut feeling even after all the good rigorous planning.

F: What is your creative process, from the original concept to the final piece?

K: I daydream a lot. Sometimes people ask me if I'm okay in those moments because I suddenly zone out of a conversation, maybe because of a word or image that was painted. That leads me wandering into wonderland and if that idea doesn't let me sleep, if it keeps interrupting my conversations with my girlfriend or just haunts me, then I have to write it down. From there I put some flesh around it, which can take some time - sometimes months or more. Getting the right team is the next phase which can be challenging but I believe is the most important stage for executing an idea. From there it's all history. 

 

F: Where do you see your filmmaking progressing?

K: Ideally into people's lives all around the world with the help of easily-accessible social media and eventually onto bigger screens if necessary. It's all about stories and I love what Madeleine L'Engle said about stories, that “[they] make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.” 

 

 

F: What creative advice would you give to fellow filmmakers at this time of such uncertainty? 

K: That what we are all facing is a merely a moment in time but also an opportunity experience humanity in a different light. Once there is life, there are stories to tell; once there is hope, we can then create for ourselves opportunities to create. My favourite writer, C. S. Lewis once wrote, and I paraphrase, "we cannot study the future, we can only set knowledge of the past against the present". I guess he was right. 

F: What are the biggest challenges you have faced as an independent filmmaker?

K: I still have young wings but it's definitely hard to fly against any storm. I think the biggest challenge for me, so far, is not getting comfortable with the fact that filmmaking has a mind of its own - you can plan all you want but the art of film involves allowing space for the unexpected. I just need time to get used to that. 

 

 

YOU CAN PLAN ALL YOU WANT BUT THE ART OF FILM  INVOLVES ALLOWING SPACE FOR THE UNEXPECTED

Stills from Kofi's films

C O N T A C T

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