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Camer Nollywood actress; Okawa Shaznay breaks down the difference between the Cameroon Film Industry and Nollywood!

Cameroonian Nollywood actress; Okawa Shaznay recently granted an interview with Pulse Nigeria, where she gave out details on her journey as a Cameroonian in Nollywood, winning an Eloy Award, the difference between Nollywood and the Cameroonian film Industry and how she broke through Nollywood as a Cameroonian.

When asked about her biggest career challenge; she said:

“My biggest career challenge has got to be in the period when I moved to Nigeria sometime in 2013. I had to understand my surrounding and the people ; basically getting acquainted with Nigerian living because I felt it will play a big part in the film roles I’ll play.
As being in Nollywood, it is normal to find scripts written from a Nigerian perspective. So understanding the country I now live in was very important which wasn’t easy back then when I first moved here as it is now years later.”

On the difference between the Nigerian and Cameroonian  film industry, Okawa said;

“The only time I filmed in Cameroon was back in 2004 before I travelled for school and i have not permanently lived there ever since, so I may not be able to give a better analysis on how the movie industry is in Cameroon.

But from a general perspective after attending the Cameroon International Film Festival last year, I would say the big difference between the two industries is that Cameroon is at a stage where people are exploring and taking risks in making movies which I applaud, but with little or no distribution channels within the country.

I feel that is a major challenge in the Cameroonian film industry if the movies being made are not able to penetrate into a vast majority of the homes across the country.
More so, there is a need for cinemas to promote a strong film culture within Cameroon, but without these, it is difficult for a lot of people to have access to the movies made in Cameroon.
I find these the major difference between both industries- the distribution factor that is, which I hope should be looked into.”

On how difficult it is to find a good role in Nollywood; Okawa said:

“In general, I would not say it is difficult, but it definitely takes hard work and determination to find good roles in Nollywood; as you can see in recent years based on some great movies which have been released, we find that there are actually good roles which come from great writing and producing as well.

Now getting the good roles will have to come with how well you’ve carved a niche for yourself in regards to the type roles you’ve had in the past and the ability to network within the industry.
More so, I find that if you are not getting good roles or roles In general; actors are getting into the production aspect of filmmaking to create these opportunities for themselves which is a big plus.
If you look across Nollywood today people have created big brands by producing movies themselves to have those roles they desire. So, in my opinion, I generally do not think that it is more of being difficult in finding good roles, but rather more on focus and networking in the right channels.”

On what she wouldn’t do as an actress:

“For me, I would not compromise certain personal attributes for a role I don’t feel comfortable portraying. Not in terms of how challenging the role is per say, but more on personal grounds psychologically.”

On upcoming projects:

“Yes, I am on the set of an Africa Magic commissioned movie which I am really excited about. Also, I will soon go on the set for season 4 of “Delilah” .
I also have new things coming out this year – a two cast period piece will be released soon titled “Soul Tie” with Ramsey Nouah and myself, Season 3 of “Delilah” will be out most likely in June this year as well.

Also, the movies “Crossed Path” with Ken Erics and “Perfect Strangers” with Desmond Elliott and Segun Arinze came out earlier this year online on IROKOtv . So far so good by God’s grace I am pushing through.”

To read full interview click HERE

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