In our new series, #TANTVSpotlight-we showcase creatives shaping up the continent and the diaspora. This week’s spotlight features Michael ‘Ama Psalmist’ Akinrogunde who is a filmmaker, director, editor and scriptwriter. He has been featured on BellaNaija as a rising star who’s making a mark in Nollywood. He’s also been featured on TechCabal and across several platforms.
Michael studied Mechanical Engineering as a graduate of Covenant University, decided to go into filmmaking after finding himself commenting and correcting mistakes in films. From then on, Michael began to read a lot, join drama groups and learn as much as he could about filmmaking. In 2017, he was one of the five finalists for the inaugural Accelerate Filmmaker Project and his short film “Penance” won the 2018 Africa Magic Viewer’s Choice Award for Best Short film. In 2018, he was nominated for The Future Awards Africa Prize for Screen Producer. Michael’s “Penance” also won the Moet & Chandon and FilmOne Distribution’s Film Gala Award for Best Short Film in 2019. He was also named in the 2019 edition of YNaija’s New Establishment list.
Michael ‘Ama Psalmist’ Akinrogunde, is also known as the Silver Bullet in the Nollywood cinematic circle. His portfolio includes being involved in the production of some of our favorite cinema movies and Netflix blockbusters like Kemi Adetiba’s “The Making of A King”, a documentary on the making of King of Boys and “The Ghost and the Tout.” In an interview with BluePrint Afric, he described he has two kinds of perfect days namely work-perfect day and rest-perfect day.
“My work-perfect day would involve shooting really beautiful scenes on a film set with an amazing cast and crew. My rest-perfect day would involve being with my close friends, laughing a lot, video gaming, and watching an amazing film with plenty of food!
For this film-maker, he counts Ava Duvernay, Ryan Coogler, and Jordan Peele as some of the foreign directors he looks forward to working with.
TANTV caught up with him for a 5 question rapid fire:
1. Background in film-making:
I’d always been involved in the arts, growing up. Music and drama in nursery, primary and secondary school. I was also in the theatre group in Covenant University. I however, professionally got training for film in 2017 at Accelerate Filmmaker Project, and have done more trainings in Delyork Film Academy, Sidomex to mention a few.
2. Start in Nollywood:
My debut film was a short, as it is with many filmmakers. I made it under the Accelerate Filmmaker project platform after I was one of 5 winners. I then went on the win an AMVCA, and everything pretty much picked up from there, steadily.
3. On skills applied to directing the documentary, “The Making of A King”:
Honestly, every filmmaking skill. The cores would be story telling and directing. However, I had to be intricately involved in producing, writing, editing, and the entire post production.
4. Art of filmmaking:
I like to think of filmmaking as a gift. The rare opportunity to sort of control what people see, hear and film and suspend that belief even if it’s for 5 minutes is simply a gift.
5. Current projects:
I am currently in post production for a couple of series. A pan African project called WILDFIRE for Youth Bridge Foundation and OSIWA. A web series funded by Pichr. A series for Accelerate TV, Clinically Speaking. Ricordi for Diane Russet TV. These are a few I can mention. Bound by NDA not to mention others.