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Writing about oneself is sometimes challenging because you feel like writing your whole life on a piece of paper, at the same time you see limitations in writing. You want to write only what is necessary to fit the platform or your desired audience.
My name is Michael Asonganyi and this is how I became a filmmaker in the African film industry. I was born and raised in Cameroon and at the age of 23, I moved to study in Sweden where I met my wife, a Norwegian national studying at the same University. After two years together, we got married and moved to Norway were I presently reside. I am currently studying International Social Work and most of my projects will be around societal issues that affects minority groups.
Before getting into the film industry in Cameroon, I was a cultural promoter involved in organizing many different cultural events and social activities like talent competitions within schools. In high school, I had a dance show, called The DONWOODY SHOW where young talented students who had the passion for dancing came together to compete with each other. I took this passion of cultural promotion with me to Europe, where I represented BinAm Studios in the ZAFAA AWARDS 2012 and 2013 respectively.
Coming originally from Cameroon, I had been more involved in promoting Cameroonian film projects in and out of Cameroon. In 2009, I was approached by BinAm studios who were in search of an Executive Producer. After sponsoring two of their projects, I decided to join the group. The role broadened my knowledge about film production in Africa and also exposed the challenges of filmmaking in a continent where film financing was and is still a very big challenge.
Getting involved in film making, demands unquenchable passion and vision especially in a continent where filmmaking was only for the rich who had the passion and the money to promote it. It was also only for the rich, who could afford to take their children to cinemas during weekends. Over the years the advent of cheap digital cameras and vision has put filmmaking in Cameroon back in the spotlight, while cinemas have dwindled, film production has increased.
Finding my space in the film industry and empowering myself with the know-how has also been a big challenge. As mentioned by Ellen Johnson “If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough”. Making films warrants passion, vision and a big dream in transforming your stories into the screen. Creating relationships and networking has been my greatest tool in the pursuit of my film making career. Recognizing networking as a tool for success in the film industry plays a big role in solidifying your platform for marketing.
Through effective networking and participation in many red carpet movie premiere events in London and Maryland, I have been lucky to attract people who saw me as a potential actor. Networking in many African red carpet film events greatly inspired me to take film roles in movies like; FLIGHT 447, FOR THE LOVE OF MONEY BY Florence Okonkwo and ABUSED by Abegail Irvring. My participation as an upcoming actor in these film projects, helped to boost my acting potential as well as help increase my passion for movie directing.
I am currently shooting my short film called KONTE in a small town in Sweden called Gavle. KONTE is a short film about a newly arrived refugee from Somalia who falls in love with a Swedish born Somalian, but will only marry her on one condition - she must be circumcised.
In filmmaking, one needs to find the motivating factor in general and inspirational drive behind each film project. And, most importantly, believe in yourself and create more and better networks.
Thank you for reading and I hope this will be of help.
About Michael Asonganyi
Michael Asonganyi is a Norwegian, originally from Cameroon, come filmmaker / Producer / Upcoming Actor .Born and raised in Limbe, South West Region of Cameroon. He attended G.H.S Limbe, G.B.H.S Fontem and later travelled aboard to further studies at Halmstad University in Sweden. Before getting involved into the film industry in Cameroon, Michael has always been a film freak and cultural promoter especially when it came to putting Cameroon at the spot lights. His turning point into getting deeply involved in the industry came in 2009, when he was approached by the BinAm Studios team as they were scouting for an Executive Producer for their upcoming projects. He did not only agreed to sponsor two of the projects, but decided to join the group as an active partner and shareholder to see that any amazing projects that done by this group (BinAm Studios) which he is now part of, to be able to stand the test of time and promote the entertainment industry at an international level. He has a Filmography of 2 feature films and 3 short films done with the group, but has been actively involved in other solo cinematic projects as the person in charge of some Cameroonian film’s Promotional packaging and Marketing at international levels. His interest in co-productions and opening up Cameroon to the international scene with other African filmmakers can be seem in his daily struggle to bring in foreign filmmakers into the country to share, exchange and discover stories from various destinations. He is member of the Organizing committee of Art City short film festival 2014. Michael Asonganyi is a highly creative and innovative Producer/Promoter and he has a quick ability to adapt to this fast pace, ever changing and pressurized film industry environment. Currently studying International Social Work in Sweden. Professional Experience: Producer / Promoter / Actor/Marketer at BinAm Studios, 2008 International representative for BinAm Studios, 2009 – Present Organizing committee member for Art City International Founder of BigFixed Studio.Currently working on his short film "KONTE".which is about a refugee from Somalia demanding his Swedish born fiancee to be circumsized before they can get married....
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