By Rita Okoye
Aside being a filmmaker, Sandra Bremaud is also a lover of nature.
As a teenager, watching actors interpret their roles had fueled her obsession for movies. Indeed, for Sandra, filmmaking is a childhood dream come true.
In this interview, the graduate of Project Management Technology from Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) recalls her journey into Nollywood, challenges, new project and lots more. Excerpts:
Can you briefly tell us about your growing up?
My growing up was fun laced with discipline. I grew up in a competitive environment that guided my vision today.
Were you a spoilt child or born with a silver spoon?
No. I wasnt born with a silver spoon and was not spoilt as a child.
Tell us about your journey into filmmaking?
My journey into filmmaking has been pretty much of self-taught. I believe strongly that if you want to learn how to make films, just go out there and make some films. It all started from my teenage years as a university undergraduate who was obsessed with movies and watching actors interpret every character. So, this is my childhood or teenage dreams come true.
What inspired your new movie, April Showers?
April Showers was inspired by women who are striving and conquering in their fields of work through hard work and intelligence. I felt we are not cheering and celebrating them enough, instead they are being tagged, defined etc. For example, people say ‘don’t buy that house, men will run away from you oh’. But then, you are over ripe for marriage (laughs).
What lessons are viewers expected to take home from the movie?
The viewers will definitely have something to take home. There are so many angles one can see it from, and that is what makes April Showers a unique movie for every African. It’s a story that was told by an African for Africans.
Is this your first cinema movie?
No, this is not my first; Love Bane was my first project. It was released in the cinema in December 2020. April Showers is my second project and it’s something I am sure will gain more grounds and give me a step up in the African cinemas.
How was the experience like on set?
For me, it’s learning and evolving process; and I am confident that the challenges are making me better and more creative. Hopefully, we are expecting the film in the cinemas by the end of September, as we are currently putting finishing touches to it, to make sure its worth every penny spent.
Can you mention some of the stars in April Showers?
We have top actors like Enyinna Nwigwe, Lilian Esoro, Pere Egbi, Gbenga Titiloye, Gregory Ojefua, Thelma Ibemere, Anthony Monjaro, Kunle Remi, Priscilla Okpara, Sacha Ekama, Amaka Enoch and many more.
What inspired your choice of cast and crewmembers?
I think each character defined which actor got which role.
What do you look out for before picking an actor or actress for a role?
Charisma; an actor has to be delightful, appealing and enchanting to the viewers. Understanding human behaviour, some actors are knowledgeable of the human mind, and they know what’s required at a given moment by their audience. Then, I look out for confidence, intelligence, hard work, energy; and the actor must be highly imaginative.
How has it been as a female filmmaker in a male dominated industry?
It has been a wonderful experience. It is also very possible to succeed as a female in such environment, despite the challenges. However, such challenges are what keep me going and I’m never intimidated. In a nutshell, my vision is my driving force. I want to help redefine the African film industry by telling our African story the same way an American will tell an American story.
How was your first experience behind the camera?
My first experience was amazing, thanks to my director, Richard Omos-Iboyi, and the scriptwriter, Mrs. Pacass Adebayo. Richard guided me; he was very patient with my anxiousness. The cast members were very professional too, and that encouraged me a lot.
Have you ever considered settling down with a colleague in the movie industry?
I don marry oh (laughs), otherwise why not? With what I have seen so far, there are some cool, levelheaded dudes in the movie industry.