Besidone Atsemudiara, also known as Besiara Emmanuel, is a film producer and editor working in the entertainment industry. She also writes and directs.
When asked about how she started, she says, “As a child, I loved to read stories and watch movies, and I remember back then, I would often wonder what it would be like to just jump into the TV screen and see how they made everything I was watching work. Looking back now, I guess that was the beginning of the seed being planted inside of me; but I just didn’t know it. Because even though I was already writing short stories as a child, I just never imagined that I would end up picking this career path; I used to think that I would be a doctor or a journalist, but never a film producer or editor or director, until one ordinary day during my teenage years. On that day, I had what I call my “eureka moment,” and that was it. I just knew right then and there that I wanted to be a filmmaker; I knew that I wanted to be involved in bringing stories to life on the screen. But, I was just beginning my University education, so I had to wait till I finished, and as soon as the time was right, I took the plunge and enrolled into film school to hone my skills. After film school, I jumped straight into working in the independent film world in LA, and the rest as they say is history.”
She had a lot to say concerning the challenges she faces in her business. “Often times in producing, trying to secure adequate financing for a project can be a challenge, and a major one at that. But you just have to keep giving the process your all and putting in your absolute best.”
“I have also faced the challenge of dealing with different personalities, for example, we had already started filming on this particular project when all of a sudden, the director and cinematographer, for whatever reason, stopped seeing eye to eye; and that threatened production. Those were two people holding two very important roles, and the success of the film to some great extent depended on their collaboration and how well they worked together, so I had to step in.”
“At the beginning of my career though, I had the challenge of finding like-minded individuals who I could trust and rely on. Our industry is the kind that depends a lot on who you know. People would rather work with who they know and trust, or who comes highly recommended by who they know and trust, than work with a random stranger; and rightfully so.”
“Ultimately, I have always believed that challenges can be dealt with and conquered, no matter how long it might take. You just have to figure out the best mode of attack for each challenge that comes your way.”
The film producer draws her get my inspiration from different things and situations. “Sometimes, it’s from people in the industry, hearing their stories, how they started, all the things they had to go through to get to where they are. That kind of stuff inspires me, to push harder, to be more fearless and tenacious. Other times, it could be from watching a movie, I get inspired watching some movies and shows.”
When asked about the project that made her believe in herself, she has this to say, “Tobi was the first big project I produced and it was really what got me to know that I could this. Before then, I had been learning a lot and failing a lot, and at one point, I was greatly discouraged, but thank God that He put people in my life who reminded me that it was okay to fail as long as you were learning from your failures. I took all the lessons I had learnt and poured it into that particular project and when I saw the end result and remembered how I rose above all the obstacles that were in my path, to get the work done, I couldn’t help but believe that God was with me and because of that, I could believe that I could do this. I’ve gone on to produce and edit bigger projects since then, and I intend to keep working on bigger and bigger projects.”
Besidone mentioned a number of opportunities she is looking to take advantage of. “Firstly, is the opportunity of time; right now, people’s appetite to see the positive side of Africa has been awakened on a global scale. And I want to take advantage of that by pushing to tell the stories of some of the most important figures in our history on screen. We have to feed people’s appetite for our stories and this point in world history is a perfect time to do that, so we can reclaim our narrative and stop it from being so skewed.
She thinks “youth empowerment is really necessary because as a youth you need guidance, you need people who care about you, who can mentor you, people who want to see you and help you succeed; people who will tell you the hard truth when you need to hear it so you don’t go down the wrong path. We can empower our youths by continuing to hold trainings, workshops, and seminars, where useful skills for their trade can be acquired and where they can also be provided with access to people who can answer any burning trade questions they might have. Also, we can nudge those people who we see having the abilities to be great mentors, to reach out to youths who they see have potentials and take on the task of being mentors to them.”
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