Ramsey Nouah on Nollywood, Living in Bondage, and Being a Director

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Interview Ramsey Nouah on 'Living in Bondage' and Being a Director

Last year, Nollywood veteran Ramsey Nouah transitioned to a director with Living in Bondage: Breaking Free, the sequel to the 1992 classic Andy Okeke story. The film follows Andy’s son, Nnamdi Okeke, who tows a similar path as his father, one that almost leads to his destruction.

In an interview, published on Filmone Digest Q4 2019, Nouah discussed the transition, attributing it to directors not getting the best out of his talents and delivery.

“Sometimes I watched my acting and could feel like, okay, I gave it all the emotions required at the time. But I could not see the results of my efforts due to wrong angles or camera placement,” he says. “Stuff like that does not bring the best out of me, and so I began desiring to become a director to capture the right emotions of the actor. [Also], I have always wanted to tell my own story and put it together in my own way.”

Nouah also spoke about working as a producer, director, and actor on the Breaking Free. “It was overwhelming,” he says. “Having to work as a co-producer – getting people to support the project – while directing and acting is such a humongous task. I have told myself that I won’t take on the three at once again, but I can do two. I certainly wouldn’t advise my colleagues to do all three.”

When asked about his thoughts on the industry, Nouah was both critical and understanding: “The film industry is still growing, [but] our storytelling needs to improve. In terms of business, we are yet to harness our full potential because we need to consistently churn out quality films to do so. However, realizing that requires capital intensive investments.”

Nouah continues: “Cinema-goers are used to seeing quality in Hollywood productions. They are used to good pictures and sound, and matching that standard requires heavy investment. Unfortunately, there seems to be no guarantee on ROI when such investments are made.”

In the interview, the veteran actor also touched on getting rights for Breaking Free, working with Charles Okpaleke, his dreams as a filmmaker and his director role models. Nouah is set to direct the remake of Amaka Igwe’s Rattlesnake, which comes out this December.