Thursday, February 24, 2011

10 Questions for Director Ngardy Conteh

1) First, how do you pronounce your name?
I always tell people it’s like "Daddy." but with a ‘G’. The ‘N’ and ‘R’ are silent. My name is traditional spelt "N’gadie," "Ngadie" or "Ngady," but my father (who was a linguist) altered the spelling of my name, as he did with all my siblings.

2) What's your connection to the subjects of this film?
I was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone to Sierra Leonean parents. You can say the subjects of the film are my countrymen.

3) How did you get from Sierra Leone to Canada?
My father came to Canada to pursue his PhD at the University of Toronto on a Commonwealth Scholarship, he brought my family with him when I was three-years-old

4) Who will you film in Sierra Leone?
We will film a range of people, but the focus will be on the players on the single-leg amputee soccer team.

5) What do you wish to learn from them?
I want to learn how they are have been able to adapt to life post-war, what is the driving force behind their desire to be a part of the team. How playing soccer has helped them transcend the obstacles in their lives.

6) Beside the capital of Freetown, will you film elsewhere in Sierra Leone?
We plan on traveling to the villages of Bo and Mattru Jong, and possibly another village, the plans are unfolding each day.

7) What will the climate and conditions be like in SL?
What do you expect to see and feel when you set foot on SL soil?
SL is gearing up to celebrate their 50th anniversary of independence at the end of April, so I imagine the vibe with be very positive getting ready for the celebrations. There has been lots of re-building over the years since the end of the war but there is still a lot to be done.
I’m not sure how I will feel, I’ve imagined this moment for so many years, excitement definitely. I don't have any childhood memories of Sierra Leone so I am hoping just the smells and sites of Freetown will trigger memories.

8) How did you find your director of photography, Colin Akoon?
Colin and I worked several years ago on a television documentary series. He was the DP and I was directing a few episodes. We worked very well together. I trust in his creative skills, and instinct and I always wanted to work with him again if the opportunity arose.

9) How's your family helping you with this shoot?
Myself and the crew will be staying with my extended family while in Freetown and in the villages. They have leant their support and knowledge thought this whole process, especially my mother. The Sierra Leone community in Toronto has also been very helpful as well.

10) What's the theme behind this film? The message?
Belonging. Hope. Strength. Resilience. Finding dignity and belonging through sports.

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