Mfoniso Isong is a vibrant young filmmaker, writer and an entrepreneur from Akwa Ibom state in Nigeria. He was born in the 90s’, loves nature and regards the kitchen as his second home. Mfoniso is a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Port Harcourt.
What inspired you into film-making?
I started out as a storyteller. I love telling stories a lot. Maybe I picked it from my Dad because he is a great storyteller. I started out as a filmmaker because I wanted to tell stories that most filmmakers are scared of. Stories that bothers on sexuality, rape, love, religion and what have you and I ’m glad I’ve been able to push my stories out through my short films – Seven, and Snap out and also through my various social platforms.
One of the thing that inspires me is happiness. When I’m happy, I can do anything. I can create stories and do magic and I also draw my inspiration from God.
How old were you when you ventured into film-making?
I was 22 at the time when I ventured into filmmaking. I’ve been writing even before I gained admission to Study Theatre and Film Studies In The University of Port Harcourt but I fell in love with acting, costuming and make-up as a student and this has really helped me on my journey as a filmmaker. it became a platform for me to leverage on.
Can you also be referred to as a director?
I am not actually a director per se, though I’ve directed a TV magazine Show. It was an experience I won’t forget so soon. It was challenging and… Well, what I’ve done for the past four years as a filmmaker is producing, writing and financing some of my short films. So basically, I wrote and produced Seven, Snap out, The Fourteenth Street which is a feature-length film and a TV Magazine Show which I directed. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=9M8OSGewnqw
What are the Challenges you have faced as a filmmaker?
First was having to walk out on my mom who thought i will be a great lawyer rather than a filmmaker, I had to ditch law for film. Being a young filmmaker hasn’t been a bed of roses. I’ve had several setbacks, disappointments, and betrayals. I’ve cried myself to sleep many times because of betrayal from close friends. Basically, I think being a filmmaker requires you to be strong enough to push further even when no one cares. Being a filmmaker requires you to be your own cheerleader, a fan of yourself because there are times when no one believes in you.
Financial challenge is one of the major challenges i have faced as a filmmaker and that is why collaboration is very important when it comes to Film-making. I’ve been able to leverage on friendship to see to it that I pursue my goal as a filmmaker.
What is your advice to youths who would love to go into the film industry?
Filmmaking is fun. You need to know what you want. You need to know the area or field you want to function in. Most people think that the three areas in filmmaking is acting, directing and producing. But there’s more to that?
How can one have access to see some of your work from outside Nigeria?
Anyone can access my work by subscribing to my youtube channel and these are some of my work https://youtu.be/2znxFOL9ZVc