In an exclusive interview, Ex-MTV Shuga cast, New Nollywood actress & executive producer, Fe Doyin talks about her new short debut movie Homecoming, dreams and her experience while working with Nollywood Star Femi Branch.
ON HER PERSONAL LIFE, BACKGROUND AND JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE:
I am Fé Doyin, a native of the Sunshine State, Ondo State. I come from a family of 4. I come from an average background, where my Parents ensured that we didn’t lack anything.
Fast forward to 2013 when I lost my mom in a road accident, I had to go through the worst year of my life but it also put me in the spotlight of my own life because, as I had to start making personal decisions that affected me one way or the other. I’ve always been a rebel at heart but that attitude is part of what brought me where I am now.
Anyways, I’ve always wanted to act, there were so many difficulties, but in 2017 I played a minor role in MTV Shuga as Bisi, a secondary school student and then I decided to finish my university programme and focus on acting. But then I got married, had a baby and my plans got a twist that led me to produce this short film as a way to put myself out there.
ON HER FAVORITE NOLLYWOOD MOVIE/TV SHOW AND FAVORITE DIRECTOR:
Oh, I don’t know if I have a favorite Nollywood movie because there are tons of very good movies to choose from, but my favorite director is Tope Oshin.
ABOUT WHAT INSPIRED HER TO PRODUCE THE MOVIE “HOMECOMING”:
Personal experience actually. When I was 8 years old or so, my mom and I had a personal experience with Oro Festival men where they chased us, naked, at what I assume was midnight. We had to lie on the floor at the back of the car, while my uncle and brother were in front, my uncle was driving. They chased us on foot while we were in the car, insisting there were women in the car. We were going to my hometown, Ikale from Lagos and had not called nor informed anyone about our coming. That was my first experience with them and it stayed with me. The second experience was in 2019, at the market place and in broad daylight. I had asked someone to go to the market for me and she came home screaming about Oro men and that there was pandemonium at the market with everyone running helter-skelter. These experiences inspired me to create the content for what later became this short film.
ABOUT HER EXPERIENCE WHILE SHOOTING THE MOVIE:
It was great. I had a great experience working with so many talents and learnt a lot from them. When you attempt to make something you receive a lot of suggestions and corrections which is the basis for improving oneself. Although the work gave me satisfaction at this level, there is still scope for improvement and learning.
ABOUT THE MOVIE BEING FICTIONAL OR BORN OUT OF REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE?
Although the idea of the film was born out of real life experience, the film itself is completely fictional.
THE ORO FESTIVAL DATES BACK TO YEARS OF HISTORY, DO YOU THINK THAT THESE HISTORICAL RITUAL RITES SHOULD BE TOTALLY BANISHED? IF YES, WHY
Do you know, I have asked and researched, and I can’t find a reason why the Oro festival was started in the first place? I mean, if we can understand the why of this festival then maybe we might be able to grasp its intentions. But there isn’t a single reason beyond that it’s a Yoruba traditional rite that kicked off many years ago. And if this is so, then I think that it has had many years too long of existence already and it needs to go.
If our culture custodians can explain why the festival came into existence then they may be able to argue why it should stay. But here’s a reason why it shouldn’t stay. One of the rules of Oro festival is that a woman mustn’t see the procession or else…(you know the rest).
According to research, myths and legends, these “unfortunate women” that get caught in this circumstance are killed for being seen outside during a procession and honestly I believe this because of my experience when I was eight. What would have happened if they had caught up to me? While I’m not attacking any assertion, I’m saying it does not have any good societal impact to continue to keep our long years of traditional rites that have to do with the disappearance or death of our women.
WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO HAVE PLAYED THE LEAD ROLE IN THE MOVIE:
It wasn’t like anything really because, well, it is my film and my story. I didn’t feel challenged enough. Unlike if I had been chosen for a role or given a role in another person’s movie or story that I was unfamiliar with.
HER ROLE MODEL IN THE NOLLYWOOD INDUSTRY:
In Executive Production? Mo Abudu. I look at that woman and I know I can do anything no matter the obstacles. In acting? Madam Funke Akindele. It’s all love and respect from this side.
ABOUT THE CREATIVE PROCESSES BEHIND THE FILM PRODUCTION AND THE CAST:
Uhh.. Well, like I mentioned earlier, the content was created by me, but I am no script writer. This made me reach out to an able Director, Daniel Uzodinma, who is also a script writer. After going through the story, he got really excited and impressed and we both started planning how to bring this short film to life and we agreed there and then that he’d be both script writer and director.
After that, once I had found locations that would be suitable for our story line, Daniel got the crew to come and check the locations out to make sure that they were fit for the film and after all that was sorted out, we then proceeded to pick out the casts.
That was how we kicked off the production of the film and it was important to keep to the tasks and Daniel as the producer had a good grasp on that.
After we were done, it was then up to post production and the short movie got edited by Uchechukwu Okoro and boom, the film was ready for viewing!
WHAT IT FELT LIKE WORKING WITH A NOLLYWOOD STAR LIKE FEMI BRANCH:
To be very honest, I was nervous working with Femi Branch because I felt like, what could I possibly do where this man is, LOL. Guess what? It turned out exactly like that. He was flawlessly good and I was the baby in the room taking baby steps but he was patient and fatherly. It was a wonderful experience to have worked with a star. I loved it.
ON WHERE SHE SEES HERSELF IN FIVE YEARS IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY:
I used to think “oh I’m going to be an actress”, and I still want to be an actress because I love to act but I’ve tasted executive producing, and it’s tough, challenging and exciting but I love it!
So I think I’m going to take my time to learn more about executive producing and plow this path first. In 5 years, I see myself making even more films, feature length movies, and then I’ll start acting again. But I love this “behind the scene” vibe. Its boss.
ON NEW PROJECT(S) TO LOOK FORWARD TO:
Fé Doyin Production isn’t just about making films, it’s about bringing to light the problems that have been overlooked, problems that a lot of people don’t even see as problems anymore because they’ve been around for so long. It’s about making the minority realize that they matter too and that their problems are valid. Whatever my next and subsequent projects will be, be rest assured that it will always be fun, meaningful and impactful.
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