Joe Njagu, a brilliant and talented award winning film and television director is our man crush this week. With three critically acclaimed movies under his belt, this guy is part of our generation’s film royalty. We had a chat with the ‘guy behind the movies’ to get a little bit of himself that google won’t show you and this is what he had to say.
Joe, tell us about yourself…
Cool!, Let me start with my name of course. My name is Joe Njagu I’m a film-maker, a storyteller to be precise and I have been in the film industry for over 10 years now. I have directed movies such as “Escape”, “Sores of Emmanuel”, “Lobola”, “Something Nice from London”, “Wedding Night” and “Salon.Com” just to mention a few. Overally I am on a journey to discover and achieve more in this multi-talented industry.
Give us an insight into your journey as a Film-Maker, How has it been?
Bumpy, I won’t lie there the journey has not been smooth all the way but it has been exciting nevertheless with a lot of memorable moments from the get go.
Tell us more about these “memorable moments”…
Oh man, there are so many where do I start? Okay, I would say…. winning Best Director Foreign Language Film at the American International Film Festival 2012. To be honest, I was exhilarated when I heard that I got nominated, winning was something else!
Of the many movie sets you’ve been on, Which set would you say you enjoyed the most?
Easy, all of them. I have had fun on every set i’ve been on. I get to experience something new every time and that’s dope!
What inspired you to choose this career path? And who among the people you have worked with inspired you the most?
I have always wanted to tell a story that matters, a story that is relevant to the current society and the film-making industry allows me to do that effortlessly. Wow I’ve been inspired by a lot of talented individuals. I would say Ben Mahaka and Tatenda from Studio 263, those are the ones that inspired me as I started out in this industry.
Dream Filming Destination?
Zimbabwe! Without a doubt, I go with Zimbabwe because I believe you are only as good as where you come from. I have so many stories to tell that are relevant to my country as I draw some inspiration through our many great Zimbabwean icons, for example, we have Mbuya Nehanda and Sekuru Kaguvi.
Who inspires you in film-making?
Guy Ritchie and Christopher Nolen, And it would be a dream come true to work with Guy Ritchie
What are the challenges you have faced in your field?
I would liked to avoid mentioning financial challenges which at this point really stick out like a sore thumb. The country has so many talented actors and directors but lack in support and respect to match up.
Any advice to aspiring, upcoming film-makers?
Invest in your skills and expertise. There is need to have the passion to keep on learning and increase knowledge everyday.
What is your next move, that is if you’re allowed to tell us?
Right now I’m in the production of “Cook Off” which I promise is going to be worth watching and I’m also working on something else but unfortunately, I can’t mention much about that haha!