Sundance London: 5 Minutes with Shola Amoo Director of Dear Mr. Shakespeare

Alt A had a quick chat with Amoo, his film Dear Mr. Shakespeare is showing at 2017 Sundance Film Festival: London.

Where: Sunday 4th June as part of the Sundance Film Festival UK Shorts.

The Film: A reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Othello.

An exploration of Shakespeare’s intentions when writing Othello, exploring the play’s racial themes in a historical and contemporary setting and drawing wider parallels between immigration and blackness in the UK today. Written by Phoebe Boswell.

Shola Amoo said:

1) Why is the message of dealing with the concept of the “other” important right
now?
It is always important to engage with the concept of the “other” as historically we have seen how various societies have used this concept to define ideas of superiority and legitimacy, which has obviously led to disastrous results. This is extra pertinent now in a post Brexit Britain and with the West’s general trend towards the right, as well as the current anti-immigrant sentiment being openly expressed.
2) As a director how did you derive at/approach the cinematic presentation of this piece?
I wanted to create distinct visual worlds that would collide as a collage of imagery and find an organic rhythm with Phoebe’s words but also take them to unexpected places. An unrestrained sense of movement was key to creating this effect as well as finding architecture that could play with the theme of the other in a contemporary and historical context. I worked very closely with our amazing cinematographer Stil Williams to achieve Dear Mr. Shakespeare’s unique aesthetic.
3) How did you feel when you knew Dear Mr. Shakespeare was showing at Sundance Film Festival: London?
I felt great, I had a fantastic experience sharing the film in the U.S edition of the festival in January, so I’m excited that the audiences here get an opportunity to see it on the big screen.
4)As a Director being approached by the British Council to direct Dear Mr. Shakespeare did that come as a surprise?
No because there were clear thematic ties to my work.
5)Tell us a bit about The Last Tree?
It’s in development with The BFI.

Tickets currently sold out but try: http://bit.ly/2qDbyP8
Sundance London info: http://bit.ly/2ripLQW
Image credit: Still from Dear Mr. Shakespeare Courtesy of Sundance Institute
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