The second day of the CINEMA NOW Live Academy programme began with a lecture from French actor Sekouba Doucoure. In just under one hour of casual conversation with the editor of the Cinema Now Live Academy, Biljana Tutorov, he tried to explain how to make a film without money, a film which would find its way to great international festivals, such as Cannes, New York festival, etc.
Sekouba explained how the idea and language of “Donoma” came to be after meeting the film director Djinn Carrénard in New York, where they made a short film. Upon returning to France they gathered a crew of eight, and went on to make a film, the task of which was to show their friends and families what they regarded as truly important in life. Without money, and without having any ambition for the film to reach cinemas, they went on to realize their idea. The director asked from us to allocate 50 vacation days for the film, while the funds for the film we gathered on the principle of exchange. We got a camera from one film association, while my friend landed us the space for shooting. In return I was to keep an eye on her cats, although I was allergic to cats, laughed Sekouba.
Every one of them eight had their respective tasks, someone was in charge of promotion on Facebook, someone for organization, security, etc. At one moment Sekouba would be a cameraman, while in another security, actor, and was even in charge of Tweeter social network. They got the clothes from a young designer, in exchange for a video of his fashion show, haircuts in exchange for shooting an advertisement for the hair salon, etc.
We have arranged for it all because we managed to convince people into the importance of our project, and you can achieve that only if you are obsessed with what you do, and if you truly love it – and we did, said Sekouba. At the beginning none of us knew each other, coming from different social backgrounds, but we all had a common wish of becoming actors. Things started to develop after we managed to organize film screening in a well-known French school for documentary film. At the beginning the screenings were attended only by our families and friends, and then some completely new people started coming, followed by contacts from professional filmmakers. It is then that we decided to open a blog for better promotion of the film. We got an invitation to participate at Cannes Film Festival.
We found accommodation at a basement of one church, in the improvised room for homeless, but even there we kept our optimism and made parties every night. We were impressed with the Festival, and then we started touring the world, visiting festival after festival, in order to get into business, or learn what is needed for the film to reach cinemas. That is how it all started, contacts with professionals, offers from famous directors wishing to change the film, but we did not want that. Sekouba’s story was followed by the letter from the Minister of Culture, praising the film. For the very end, Sekouba’s advice is “Do it yourself!” The visitors of the master-class truly enjoyed his sincerity, openness and readiness to share his valuable experience.