Sunday 13th January 2019 marks the release of ‘AMANI’, a short film based on a true story produced by former learner Amani Simpson, staring UK actor Joivan Wade. The story gives us an insight into the inner reflections of a young man battling with his faith after being stabbed seven times.
Gaining more then 100,000 views on YouTube in less then 24hours, we was given an exclusive Q&A with Amani himself answering questions put together by our learners. He spoke about how the idea came about, the process into creating the film and his journey so far.
Q&A with Amani…..
What is the concept of the film?
The film depicts my inner reflections of battling with my faith after being stabbed seven times.
What inspired you to write the film?
It’s a true story, seeing loads of different young men go through similar scenarios. It happened to me, so the film tells the story of how I got myself into that situation.
How did you make it happen?
The film was a joint project with Joivan, I pitched the idea to him and he loved it. He wanted to work on a similar idea so we came together and after a tough process we produced ‘AMANI’.
How was the film funded?
We ‘Go Funded’ the film, a lot came from public donations.
What platforms would you recommend for a young person trying to make a independent film?
Genera films ( www.generafilms.com ) is a platform who take on film projects and fund up to £5000.
Tell us about your experience growing up as young man in London?
I have had people who have opened doors for me and I have worked extremely hard for what I achieved, once you get to the stage when you believe in your dreams anything is possible. As a young person you have to adapt, the world doesn’t owe you anything. No matter what your background is you have to put your work in!
When creating the film, what was the biggest challenge?
Definitely funding, as we funded the project as it was going rather then have the money beforehand. It was quite a draining experience, I was telling my story to people that I didn’t know and I felt vulnerable telling my story time and time again.
How would you describe your time at BCE & what subject did you study?
It was life changing studying at BCE, It caught me at a time in my life when I was coming off of the streets. I had a very supportive tutor who encouraged me to do amazing things. If I didn’t have the support I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. Theres a great saying, ‘when the student is ready the teacher arrives’.
How has BCE had an impact on where you are today?
BCE was the first environment where I could be creative and bring my ideas to life. A place like BCE really allows you to home in on your creative ability and provides young people a platform to be themselves.
What did you do after leaving BCE?
I was head hunted after BCE by another college and continued to study.
What advice would you give to a young person starting out in the creative industry?
Keep going don’t be afraid to put in the work, continue to go through your own personal development of becoming a better human being.
Tell us more about ‘Aviard Inspired’?
Its a social enterprise, we empower young people through this.
I am going to start taking the film into schools across London and share my story and get the message across to young people.
Who are you inspired by?
Jiovan inspires me a lot, when he first got his part in ‘The Purge’, I got to fly to Atlanta and visit him on set.
Lastly, where did you get your funky shirt?
My wife, she was the one who picked out the shirt.
Check out the full film here.