Telling Relatable Film Stories: A Dialogue with Peter Sedufia.

Author:Mogami, Gaamangwe Joy

Gaamangwe Joy Mogami is a writer, Motswana poet, playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and the founding editor of Africa in Dialogue, an online interview magazine that archives creative and critical insights with Africa's leading storytellers. The cultural hub that connects African writers, interviewers, critics, readers and storytellers through in-depth, free-flowing and organic, long-form interviews, thus the magazine explores various contemporary, historic, philosophical and social discourses that affects African people everywhere, with the ultimate aim of fostering intercontinental engagement, critiques, education and documentation of Africa's thoughts, ideals, realities, philosophies and culture. She has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Botswana. Her works has been published in Africa in Words, The Review, Praxis Magazine, Brittle Paper, Expound Magazine and Mosaic Magazine. She is the co-convener for Arts Managers and Literary Activists Network.

Peter Sedufia is a graduate of the National Film and Television Institute, Ghana with BFA degree in film directing. He has directed several short films and won varied awards, including FESPACO to his credit. He directed "Master and 3 Maids" comedy series, with "KETEKE" 2017 being his debut feature length film. He is the CEO of Old Film Productions and founder of "The Director's Call" workshops for filmmakers. The dialogue here happened between a green bedroom in the sweetspot of Gaborone, Botswana and a film set in Accra, Ghana via Skype (presented here via the permission of Gaamangwe Joy Mogami).


Gaamangwe: Peter, let me start by congratulating you on your feature film, Keteke. Such a fun and interesting film! Tell me the story of how the project came about--from the idea to the production stage?

Peter: Thank you. Well, the concept for Keteke, which means 'train' in most of the local languages in Ghana, started in 2015 during a film exchange program. I did three months in South Africa, then three months in Finland. The beginning of the idea came to me when I was in Finland. I noticed and was impressed by their efficient railways systems. One minute there was a train, and the next train in the next minute and so on. It got me thinking about the opposite case that exists in my country. First, I can count the number of trains we have here in Ghana. Two or three in Accra, and another one in another region, so, naturally the system is not effective.

So, I wondered, what if someone's means of transport is a train? And the next round they can access it is after five hours or the next day? What happens when the person misses it, what will be their situation? That's where I started. It started as a short film but I realized I was going to use the same number of casts, team and costs of production will be the same, so I expanded the script into a feature length film.

Gaamangwe: That is interesting. Take me through the creation of the world.

Peter: Since I wanted to explore the inconvenience of a train system I knew I had to situate my fictional world in the past because right now the system is significantly better. So, I decided to do it in the 80s because by then there was only one train. Some of the incidents related to trains happened around that era.

My writing process usually starts with questions: what is the premise? And in this case, the...

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