Portrait of a Cinema Icon as a Young Woman

Monica Obaga of the Talent Press Durban 2014 interviews Frances Bodomo, who shares her secret to securing funding and directing the youngest Oscar nominee in history.

Filmmaker Frances Bodomo

Frances Bodomo has a filmography of two short films, so why are we already obsessed? Her films' distinct aesthetics and point of view, enviable casts (including a historical Oscar nominee) and a flawless record when securing new funding. Her experimental short film AFRONAUTS was the most talked about film not at the festival. What's her secret?

Having grown up in Ghana, Hong Kong, Norway, and New York, the fluidity of identity and the loss of a sense of home are prevalent themes in Frances' work. Filmmakers who inspire her include Akosua Adoma Owusu, Wafa and Amirah Tajdin.

Her secret to securing funding: What can one do with a major in English? Write grants! Her advice to fellow filmmakers when looking for funding: Be yourself. Don't present what you think they want, show them who you are.

Her experience directing the youngest ever Oscar nominee: Quvenzhane Wallis was a consummate professional, who came to set prepared, script highlighted and character choices made. What were you doing when you were 7 years old?

Her favorite part of the Durban International Film Festival: being a part of the African filmmaking community, the number of African women filmmakers and not having to frame her context and perspective, getting to geek out instead.

Her secret talent: Before she started making films, she was a poet! We spent an additional hour pontificating about the dangers of a single millennial, transnationally African, online story. We could write a book! The true secret to Frances' brilliance is her big heart and enthusiasm. One can't help but root for her.

Frances Bodomo is currently working on the feature length version of one of her shorts, AFRONAUTS.