Filmmaker Tomisin Adepeju caught up with Alt A, he is known for his award-winning short films, The Good Son (2015) and Marianne (2016). His latest short The Right Choice (2017) had its World Premiere at Sundance Utah 2018 and will screen at Sundance London as part of the UK Shorts Programme on Saturday 2nd June, Picturehouse Central.
Adepeju who was born in Nigeria moved to London when his was 12 years old, discovering his love for film in his early teens. He said. “When I was about 14 I saw this Woody Allen film, called Annie Hall, it was a very powerful film. When I watched that film, it was the first time I realised this is a world created by someone, a world crafted by a director”.
This followed a journey of discovery for the director “I spent the next five years watching films, not just watching British Films or American film but all types of films, French films, Spanish films, African films. I saw some great pieces of work that made me realise this is what I wanted to do”.
Adepeju attended film school in 2014 which he acknowledged as “the turning point” where he found his “voice as a writer”. “There was no ambiguity in terms of what I want to say. I wanted to make films about my culture, for years I made films that were not really about me”. His decision to study film was because he “really wanted to understand cinema in a deeper way”. “All the films I liked were made by someone who had made their stamp on it, it had their voices, their style and reflected their world view and I realised that as a Nigerian British man I could make films that convey my own personal view”.
The Right Choice was shot over 2 days in London, Kings Cross. The story is about a young couple who must, with the help of an adviser answer three “harmless” questions in order to determine the creation of their designer baby, addressing as Adepeju points out themes of “technology, sexuality and race”. Instinctively the film evokes laughter which is quickly drained away by the seemingly harmless questions which present a dark reality where the right choice involves deciding whether your child should be gay or straight, dark skinned or light-skinned, factors which will have a huge impact on “quality” of life.
For the 28-year-old director there is one issue closer to his heart. When asked what he thinks the film encapsulates he states.
“What it means to be a black man or woman in the 21st century, is a very important question we should ask ourselves, to think about the future and where we are going. Most people do not think about it, that being a black man or woman is incredibly hard right now, difficult and dangerous. This is not a myth, everything in the film is based on fact and has been researched”. In The Right Choice the “baby” adviser points out how the tone of your skin as a black man can dictate your likelihood of being shot by the police.
When asked how he felt about his film screening at Sundance London he told us that” this year has been the biggest change, I have had so many more opportunities and I have been networking. It has been wonderful this year to have this platform”.
Film Credits: Director Tomisin Adepeju (His films have screened at over 100 film festivals and at several prestigious institutions including: Cinematheque Suisse, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the British Film Institute & BAFTA) Writer/Producer Vijay Varman, starring Michelle Greenidge, Krystine Atti and, a debut performance by Obi Iwumene. Book tickets