There Are Three Ways To Study Filmmaking… Go To Film School, Watch Films And Most Importantly, Make Films… MISSY JAY
Missi-Jay is a pet name, my actual name is Jenneh kamanda, and my birth name is Amadu. So I like to be addressed as Jenneh Amadu-Kamanda. I am a nurse by profession. I am an actress, producer, scriptwriter, fashion designer… I am a creative person.
I started working in the film industry back in Freetown as an actress before I moved to the UK. After acting in several UK Nollywood films, I co-produced my first film “Second Wife” with our Orgnanization called JOT. I then moved on to solely produce my first film now called Plus Size
Plus Size is inspirational and personal, being a plus size myself; I felt there is no better way to address the issues surrounding the plus size woman. So the movie is saying;
we are here, we are women, we are human, we are beautiful. To women out there, be confident in yourself.
In the UK, the industry is still young but many female filmmakers are doing things. We have the likes of Hellen Atim, Theodora Ibekwe, Rhoda Wilson, Myself, and a host of others. The challenges in filmmaking can be enormous. In the movie Plus size, I literally did everything from funding which I did with my friend, I played the lead, also took charge of welfare, make up and costume. One of the major challenges I experienced with Plus Size was my crew, but kudos to my co-producer who was amazing despite being a newbie too.
To fund our films we had to work… If you are a nurse you have to do more shifts.
“We had to improvise and be creative with the limited funds we had to get top-notch quality.”
Lack of prior knowledge did limit my access to possibilities in the UK.
There are three ways to study filmmaking… Go to film school, Watch films and most importantly, Make films.
I have made a film, I watch films and I am studying film so I have all these insight now. I will be able to contribute more now.
At the moment I am liaising with marketers, distributors, appropriate people to make sure the film reaches a wider audience. Amazon and Netflix are producers best friend these days so I am looking at that. I am also working on a script that is a big project; it is a true story and is truly inspiring. The background is Sierra Leone but it will involve other nationalities.
In Africa, we have rich stories that need to be told. We need to move beyond love stories and be more authentic in our story telling in order to bring our heritage to the limelight. Some percentage of my next film will be shot in Africa for two main reasons. To introduce myself and bring the message closer home.
It is a very good thing that Africans are now telling our own stories, but we need to learn to use this medium to present us as equals and peculiar people with morals and values. Plus Size showcases a successful plus size woman and in summary it’s evident that size doesn’t really matter.
Missi-Jay is a strong willed and loving person who is willing to contribute to society through various mediums. I am from a very humble background but I work very hard.