‘We spent like 10 days with Fulani herdsmen while shooting’ – Asurf Oluseyi on ‘Hakkunde’

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Asurf Oluseyi

Director, Asurf Oluseyi has a new movie coming out.

And that, you may already know. You may also know that the Nollywood director and producer is featuring Internet sensation, Kunle ‘Frank Donga’ Idowu, in what is his first lead role yet.

But what you do not know is what Asurf did to get this movie done well.

During a media screening last week, the director revealed to TNS the length he went to for his upcoming movie, Hakkunde.

On whether or not Hakkunde will have controversial moments like his short, Hell or High Water:

‘I don’t think so. I think Hakkunde is going to be more of exposing some things that we really don’t know that does exist in Nigeria. And it’s going to change perception about how we see the North in general.’

Asurf’s short film, Hell or High Water tells the story of a homosexual Pastor and his travails.

READ: You’re about to see Frank Donga in his first-ever ‘serious’ movie appearance

The reason he decided to heavily shoot in the North:

‘As a filmmaker, I have seen a lot of amazing filmmakers in Nigeria. And I think the only thing that can stand you out is you doing something differently. er… I have seen too much of Lagos, I think. Why did we have to go to the North? To add aesthetics and also tell stories that are not so common. I have never shot in the North before, so I took that as a challenge.’

About problems faced while shooting in the North:

‘Number one, language. But we were able to break that with my Assistant Director, Nadine Ibrahim. She broke that barrier of communication between me and the actors.

Number two, I think I was able to beat my fears. We were supposed to shoot in Abuja but imagine pulling like 500 cows? I don’t see that happening in Abuja. And at the same time, we were scared of going to any other state in the North because of security and all that, till I spent a week in Kaduna and everything changed. My perception about the North changed just within that one week and I had to review even my narrative in a way that it can tell the story of that particular environment.

‘And guess what? We spent like 10 days with the Fulani Herdsmen. From morning till night and nothing happened. We didn’t even lose a pin. And we didn’t have Mopol, guns and all of that around us. It was amazing. I wouldn’t have felt that, wouldn’t have even imagined that if I didn’t go to the North. I want to use the opportunity to encourage other guys, there are other parts of Nigeria. I think we have amazing environments in this country and we have amazing stories that can be told around this country.’

On why he had to tell that particular story:

‘Like Hakkunde is a story that connects to me. I have a lot of friends that are Graduates and some of them even send me CVs – and I am a dropout – believing that I have some connects that can get them jobs.

‘And I always feel bad knowing that some of them have been out of School for two years. They’ve spent two years still looking for jobs. And even when you try to engage them, you realize there’s a bigger problem. Yes, they have certificates, yes they’re done with School but it’s so bad you can’t even question most of these Graduates in line with what they studied.

‘In my course of research I realized not everyone has to go to University. Some people just need to go to a Tailoring School nearby and learn how to sow. It’s so bad, you end up seeing someone that spent like 6 years in University coming out and do 3 months course in Make-up and in 6 months they’re doing well. So why waste 6 years in University? So I picked it up – that’s why I said the situation I noticed around me – I groomed it up and turned it into story.

‘Hakkunde has a particular audience. I particularly care about taking it across Universities.’

Hakkunde hits cinemas May or June 2017.

This post first appeared on TNS.

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