From Nolly Silver Screen Magazine: Stanlee Ohikhuare: I Will Become A Pace Setter In African Cinema


Stanlee OhikhuareFilmmaker, Stanlee Ohikhuare, in this interview, speaks to Ebunoluwa Mordi of Nolly Silver Screen about his movie, The Verdict, his inspiration and dream projects

Tell us about your filmmaking career.

In a nutshell, my filmmaking career owes a lot to my artistic background. Directing was inspired by 3D character animation while cinematography was perfected behind still cameras. My visual style as a filmmaker was however inspired by my specialisation as a painter. I also learnt early enough that being a good photographer was the starting point for anyone interested in perfecting cinematography.

Where does your inspiration come from?

For me, my innate inspiration comes from the ultimate creator; God himself. Daily inspirations for concurrent projects come from observation and experience. Everything I see, hear, taste and feel comes in very handy when I am about to embark on any creative quest. Some of the recent film projects I am in pre-production stage for are largely inspired by some of my favourite movies as a child.

How did you feel when The Verdict was nominated at this year’s AMVCAs?

I believe the nominations were totally well deserved because of the unusual direction of the storytelling as well as the gripping effect it has on viewers in its short duration of nine minutes.

What was it like working with Zainab Balogun on The Verdict?

There’s something about Zainab Balogun. She exudes this energy of peacefulness and calmness the moment you meet her. I needed someone who would look so peaceful and amiable when she is seen in the first few frames of the film. This was quite necessary to contrast with her demeanor when she is eventually battered and violated. It was an absolute directorial decision to make.

Stanlee OhikhuareWhat does the future hold for you?

In ten years time, I see myself becoming a pace setter in the African film industry and a global player with remarkable relevance in the global entertainment sphere. I see myself doing a lot of training and consulting. I also see myself winning a globally recognized award for filmmaking excellence in less than three years.

What are your dream projects?

Regarding film exploration, I would love to

shoot a movie in 3D, and if budget permits, I would shoot a couple of epic stories – especially from my tribe in Edo State. I just don’t think we have looked inwards as much as we should to bring our cultural and historic stories, myths and legends to the big screen.

What is your advice to young and aspiring filmmakers?

My advice to young film makers will be to indulge themselves with the excitement of discovering their identity as filmmakers before being caught up in the frenzy of monetary returns. Even when I start making millions from my movies, I will still keep indulging myself as a creative person and reinforcing my visual style and creative identity. A filmmaker whose work cannot be easily identified by consistent visual elements and technique is yet to discover himself or herself. They should first and foremost discover themselves.

What is your favourite line from one of your movies?

It is from my yet to be released conscience film entitled Common Man. The line goes thus: “I long for a world where we all take a closer look at one another and make the most amazing discovery – that no man is indeed common.”

What is the weirdest comment you have received from a fan?

When people meet me after seeing my work, I usually hear comments like, “I saw your movie, do you know you are crazy?” I often say, “Thanks for the compliment.” With a smile!


This interview originally appeared on Nolly Silver Screen Magazine

Photos courtesy