Interview with Filmmaker Eric Bomba-Ire (WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?)

WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY? played to rave reviews at the March 2022 Documentary Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

Feeling stuck. 2019 was a hard year all around personally and professionally. By the end of 2019, I had this heavy sense of loss, lack of direction and felt very drained emotionally. It was a rough time and was really seeking to make sense of all that had happened in my relationships and friendships: Examining the events of that year and the realization that I had to make some changes to myself and move forward. So when I brought up the concept to Clive, He volunteered to share his moment. And his sharing, in turn, was so powerful that it brought perspective to my own situation.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

It took a little over a year. The idea was generated in February 2020 and Covid hit soon after. Production didn’t start until late August that year. Post-production lasted another 6 months – From extracting pieces from conversations to tightening the narrative with the visual and music. It was a rewarding Journey.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Oh wow! Two words – What about a series of 2 words like Master Piece? – Narrative Therapy? – STORY TELLING.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Editing was a big challenge. How to tell this personal and true story of real people at a very defining moment in a short form and engage an audience in that journey, guide them through it to find connection with the subject. I knew that I was treading on sacred ground of someone’s emotions and story and needed to do so carefully because I wanted to elevate it – so to speak – from a traditional “documentary” or talking head testimonial. I had to clarify holes in the story and find that space with editing where the filmmaking did not diminish the essence of the story: Clive and his mother, the devastating yet powerful life changing moment and the connection between them after that. I had a lot of listening to do.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

I listened and was very humbled by it. I didn’t know what to expect at first but they all illuminated pieces of the film that spoke to them individually, how they connected with it in their own artistic and human way. I am very grateful for the feedback.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

I was 9 years old when I thought of making films. I remember setting up my Dad’s hi-8 camera and recording doing different things. Around 14 years, It was becoming clear that I will be telling stories in some sort of a creative medium. Music became the vehicle for some time until I could get hold of a camera again.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

There are quite a few but I think, The 400 blows might lead the way

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

The festival is great. Each festival has their own processes for their brand and identity and I like what you do. I would love to engage in a Q&A with the reviewers. Hopefully, we can soon return to more in-person festival experiences.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

FilmFreeway is great. I have been using the platform for some years now and the ease for customizing, filtering and discovering new festivals worldwide and communicating is unmatched. I love it.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Wooo! This is a trick question. I love all kinds of food. Rice and Peanut stew. It’s a West African Dish.

11. What is next for you? A new film?

What’s exciting is, I am currently in the stages of seeking financing for my feature film “I hear You”. I have also completed two shorts films with What Happened Yesterday?. We are also growing our team to onboard more stories and already have a few more in the development process to shoot. So right now, We are looking to connect with creatives everywhere and also financiers in the industry to see what opportunities may lie ahead for them and these projects. Looking forward to it.

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival www.wildsound.ca

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