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Why I Created PhotoSceneLenses —Mr Tunez Filmmaker

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Why I Created PhotoSceneLenses —Mr Tunez Filmmaker

Nigerian filmmaker Akinnayajo Babatunde, known by his moniker Mr Tunez Filmmaker, has disclosed why he created his fast-rising nonprofit making project, PhotoSceneLenses.

The gifted movie director, Mr Tunez Filmmaker, noted that he created PhotoSceneLenses to impact lives of the less privileged who have talents and passion for acting and filmmaking.

Read his interview below;

Let’s meet you

I am Akinnayajo Babatunde, also known as Mr Tunez Filmmaker. I am a Film and TV director and an entrepreneur.

As a film director, tell us briefly about the movies you have directed that are released.

As a director, I have directed six short films, some of which were nominated and selected in film festivals within and outside Africa… namely; Scan, SEX, Honeymoon (Lune de Miel), La Entrevista (The interview) etc. I have one experimental feature premiered in 2018. I also have directed two feature films; “Midnight”, which was in the cinemas in Nigeria in 2019; currently showing on TV across Africa and “Whirl” in late 2020, which is also showing on TV and host of others.

Having done all these works, a journey of a thousand miles starts in a day. Tell us briefly how you started making films.

I started filmmaking professionally in 2013 after I had a short film course and study under an American filmmaker. Prior to that time, I have been a professional photographer, Red carpet host and lifestyle blogger. After my training, my eyes were wide open to the possibilities of telling African stories.

I was a novice, but I started with what I had. I had little or nothing. I gathered my friends, church drama members and colleagues together to create my first ever short film titled “Bodhisattva”. It was my first ever. We did our best, and it was produced with passion. It was far from perfection, but it was a really encouraging start with a good message. Lolz

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Which of your films do you love most so far or would you ask people to go and see?

Lolz!!! I love all the works I have done because they are the works of my hands and they are blessed. To answer your question,for now, I will recommend that anyone willing to see my works should watch Midnight, The Interview and then the remaining.

I am aware you have a nonprofit project you manage and oversee.  Can you tell us about it ?

I started a nonprofit project some years ago to help people who are interested in learning the art of filmmaking and acting. It’s called PhotoSceneLenses. It’s simply pronounced Photo-Scene-Lenses. It is a combination of the keys words in photography; both in still, motion and acting. The idea of this project is to search for people who have talents and passion but do not have the financial means to learn or find the opportunities to engage themselves in the field of acting or filmmaking.

How do you find them and engage them?

Sometimes, we put out advert asking those interested in learning these craft to apply. We have organized free trainings since 2017 to help less privileged students and orphans benefit from practical and class training in cinematography, photography and directing in the last few years. We have had to go to orphanage homes to talk to their guardians to allow us to come over to their place to spark up the passion and teach the little we can. Some of other times, people recommend people to us.

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What birth this idea and what is fueling the idea?

I created PhotoSceneLenses to mainly impact lives. What brought about this idea is the fact that I was in the situation of no one to help me at some point in my life. I didn’t have anyone who was in the line of this craft who could teach or put me through. I have always had the acting and directing talent from childhood, but I was clueless of how to bring this into the real world and make it work for me. I went through years of hardship , sacrifice of learning on the job, which came with great mistakes and pain. I was vulnerable and had bad experiences.

I can’t go into details now. That’s a story for another time. Lolz. Thank God for where I am now, even though I haven’t started. I knew there will be other millions of people who will be in the same situation as mine and so I decided to help the little I can in the world by finding them and equipping them for self sustainability and societal development at large. The thoughts of this alone is enough fuel and drive to keep us going.

Tell us some of the things PhotoSceneLenses have done so far ?

We have had several trainings from the past but recently we had a PhotoSceneLenses conference mid last year at the University of Ibadan, Ibadan Nigeria where we sponsored 50 participants to learn from award-winning actors and filmmakers. We also had a filmmaking and acting boot camp the same year (2021) in Lagos, Nigeria,where we sponsored some actors and filmmaker to attend a boot camp for three days. They had intensive training from professionals and got certified. These are the recent ones and this year we are about to start another set of trainings that will equip hundreds of people and set them on the right path of their dreams and career.

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Do you engage some of these participants of your training in your films ?

Yes. That’s the only way they can learn practically. We engage them on real-life projects and they learn massively. We even provide them range of opportunities to work with our colleagues as well. Some of my current full-time workers were my students who trained under some of our programs but are now fully employed.

So you have any project in the pipeline ?

I have projects…. with an “s” but I will ask that we all keep our fingers crossed. We will be rolling out awareness when the time comes. I am currently busy with a whole lot that will be unveiled soon by God’s grace.

Thank you so much for your time and we hope to see your brilliant works out there

Thank you so much. Surely you will soon. Cheers!!’

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