Cameroonian filmmaker: ‘Why I made a film for £5,000’

Olivier Assoua’s first feature film was shot on a shoestring budget in the small Cameroonian town where he was born. As he tells the BBC, the low cost ensured the movie got made – and this is why his long-held dream is set to be realised when it is released in the coming months.

When Olivier Assoau was 10, his civil-servant father bought a VHS player. His was the only family in the neighbourhood to own one.

“When we did well at school, my father allowed my friends and I to watch a movie as a reward. It motivated me to do well in school because I really wanted to watch movies,” Assoua says.

And thus, a lifelong passion began.

At the age of 15, Assoua left Cameroon for France and in 2006 he moved to the UK.

Years later, he returned to his birth town to embark on a film-making journey. He wrote, directed, shot and edited his first feature-length film, La Vallée des Aigles (“The Eagle’s Nest” is its English title).

“I made the film for £5,000 ($6,400). If I had paid myself market rate for each role, I would never have been able to make it,” Assoua says.

In Olivier Assoua’s film, one of the girls wants to leave for Europe, the other wants stay in Africa
“My film La Vallée des Aigles is about two female friends in a small town where many young people emigrate to bigger cities or Europe in search of a better life.

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