The Movie Industry Does Not Breed Alot of Filmmakers Who Are Willing to Take the Bold Risk of Standing Out. – CEO & Founder of Accra Indie Filmfest (AiF) Shares In An Interview With SammytheAuthor.

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1: For the Benefit of those who might not know You, Who is Mr. Evan Eghan?
I’m an Actor who doubles as a Director/Producer and a Writer. I holistically, call myself a “filmtrepreneur” as in film entrepreneur and this is because I try my possible best to span wide my creative capacity as far as filmmaking is concern. I have only been in the film business for about four years now. However, my career experience spans beyond Ghana to another African countries as well as Europe. My acting projects include but not limited to the following; “Divine 419 – Hawkers’ Hustle” (2019) directed by Johannes Krug from Germany, “Stalemate” TV series (2015-2017), “If God Be For Us” (2016) all directed by Pascal Amanfo and produced by Venus Films, “No Man’s Land” (2016) also directed by Pascal Amanfo. “Hooked” (2016) directed by Chima Okoroji from Nigeria, ISIDORE (2018) directed by Nuhu Dalyop also from Nigeria, Samai (2017) directed by Eddie Nartey. On top of my screen acting reel, I have numerous credit for theatre performances as an actor. These credits also include but not limited to the following “Blood and Tears”, “The Trial of Dedan Kimathi”, “The Legend of Aku Sika”, “Fences”, “Perpetua and the Habit of Unhappiness”, and more.

2: Tell us more about Yourself. I mean what’s Your Story? (Family, Education e.t.c)
I lived with my grandparents in a village around Mankessim called Ayeldu and that is where I had my primary education till I was in primary 3 when I moved to stay with my dad in Obuasi in the Ashanti Region. I moved back to the village to my grandparents from when I was in JSS1 till I completed JSS in 2007 at St. Augustine Catholic Junior Secondary School. Afterwards, I had a scholarship to study General Arts with specialty in Literature at Aburaman Senior High School in 2007 till 2011 also in the Central Region. In between this period I was living both in the Central and the Western Region with my elder brothers. In 2012, I won the Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarship to study Theatre Arts and Information Studies in the University of Ghana which I completed with a first class in 2016. I did my national service as teaching assistant at the School of Performing Arts assisting the teaching of courses including; Fundamentals of Radio, Film and Television Production, Research Methodology, Media and Society, and African Film and Cinema. So I moved to Accra basically for my university education but I now permanently reside here.

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During the period of my national service, I again won a scholarship to do my Masters. However, I had to decline that and discover myself in the world of creative business and to solve practical problems rather than being in the academia. But we will go back to the academia pretty soon after we have gathered enough experience to share and inspire.

3: As the Founder & CEO, what was the Inspiration behind Accra Indie Filmfest (AiF)? Give us an Overview?
I practically realized that, there was a gap in the film industry considering the ground for growth as filmmakers. Elsewhere, there are enough available avenues that kind of help the growing filmmaker to really understand and appreciate the process of growth or realize that whichever level that they are in as filmmakers is part of the growth. Unfortunately here in Ghana, one is practically considered as a filmmaker when he/she makes a feature film and premieres at the cinemas. So Accra Indie Filmfest (AiF) is practically created as the avenue to celebrate the growing filmmakers who are practically using short film productions as the learning ground and creating amazing films that the regular film lover does not have the opportunity to see. Again, AiF stays as the ground for healthy creative collaborations and knowledge exchange among the local and international filmmakers who have the opportunity to be part of this internationally ground-breaking short film festival.

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4: What are some of the Challenges You face or still facing as an Actor?
The major challenge is basically lack of opportunities. The industry does not breed a lot of filmmakers who are willing to take the bold risk of standing out as well as searching for other alternatives of storytelling or film marketing. Unfortunately, the already existing distribution channels or systems do not favor so much of the trending filmmakers. So the reality is that, some new filmmakers find it exciting and get into film producing and after one or two films, they are unable to come back to make the films. So if you are a daring actor like myself that is looking for some sort of “extraordinary” films to be starred in, then you are likely never to act. And the regular actor who is even willing to jump on anything, the opportunities are still limited. Because, literally actors are the last to be considered in the process of filmmaking, so if the initial process of production is not commissioned at all, then it does not even get to the casting stage for an actor to get the opportunity to act because almost everybody is scared to make a film for the fear of losing money.

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5: What would you suggest Actors or producers/directors do to help lift or give the Movie Industry a facelift?

I think in the execution of our various duties as creatives in the filmmaking process, we should make it obligatory to make the success as collective as possible. We mostly boast of our individual successes as the best actor or the best director or producer but at the end of the day, does your success affect another person’s growth? On top of this we should seek extensive knowledge so we don’t become outdated with time. Again, we should also look deeper into ourselves and there is always something more that we can all do to help the growth of the industry. Example is, I’m an actor and have created a film festival, another actor can create an online streaming platform and it will further attract external investors when they see the prudent opportunities

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6: How was the feeling like, winning big at the film reality TV show, ‘Script 2 Screen Africa 2018’ hosted in Nigeria?
I felt special because it was not a kind of award that some people needed to vote in order to win but it was an award that was won purely based on hard work that could never be ignored. As one of the three Ghanaian in the competition and also being able to win the ultimate prize with my group as the group leader for the competition was heartwarming. And the goal was not necessarily to win but to give off my possible best that at the end of the day, I will never regret of the fact that, I could have done more. On top of the award, the caliber of creatives that came on the reality show and getting the opportunity to share that experience with them was phenomenon.
7: Any Self-produced/directed movies so far?
Yes. I wrote and produced my very first short film titled “The Rough Sketch” in 2017. And in 2018, I established my own audio-visual production company called Keghan Studios under which I wrote, produced my second short film but my first directed short film titled “AKOM” that have enjoyed screenings in several local and international film festivals. It is under the same production house that I produced “FilmOpinionTV”, a web film talk series on the African cinema. I am currently at the post-production stage of my next short film titled “The Trip”. Keghan Studios is also the Powerhouse for Accra Indie Filmfest (AiF).

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8: Any Awards won so far aside “Script 2 Screen”?
Individually no. However, a film that I was a co-star titled “Divine 419 – Hawkers Hustle” directed by Johannes Krug won the African Rising category at the Black Star International Film Festival 2019 and another award in Germany.

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9: If you had the Opportunity/Platform to advice a full room of Aspiring Actors/Actresses, what would you say?
What I will say is quite simple. Acting is a journey of self-discovery and until one is able to discover who he or she really is as a person, he or she might never enjoy their journeys as an actor and actress. You cannot give what you do not have and as such the inner satisfaction of being able to excellently portray a character might never be achieved. So self-discovery is key. Again, the total business of filmmaking should never be ignored by any actor or actress, else one will always be cheated.

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