I produce films on social change — Uru

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KICK-starting her acting career with a London based acting group called ‘The association of multinational performing Artists’ in the UK, where she featured in a number of stage
plays and in house productions. Uru Eke gained a certificate to higher education in computing at Lewisham college from there she went on to study ‘Business Information Technology’ at the University of Greenwich then launched her career in IT working as a Business Acceptance Test Analyst with some of the UK’s leading financial institutions such as Zurich International, Legal and General, HSBC, Halifax and Lloyds TSB.
In 2011 Uru decided to switch careers and focus on event hosting and acting fulltime after dedicating five years to the IT industry. While in her 9-5 job Uru took up vocational training courses and improved her craft and is now a seasoned, trained Actor, event host and Associate producer of Dream Walker’ and Producer of the soon to be released film ‘Remember Me’. She has also acted in a number of films namely ‘Forgive me father’, Ebony, Lucky joe, Widows men, African Soldier, The return of Ogidi, friends in Love, Save the Prince, The Gift, Timeless Passion, Strive, Darkside, Last flight, Weekend Getaway, One Last Word, The Duplex and Being Mrs Elliot to mention a few. EDIALE KINGSLEY interviews.

DOES anyone really get changed from engaging or viewing a piece of art?
You can appeal to the consciousness of people with it. It’s not necessarily aimed at changing anyone but more about sending out a message that we can effect the change we want by initiating certain actions.

Let’s talk about the Chime For Art Foundation? What is it about?
The chime for art foundation is a non- profit organization that has been set up to produce films on social change. Film is an extremely powerful medium that cuts across cultures, geographical spheres and generations. It is an ongoing dialogue between the past, present and the future.

What aspect of change do you focus to achieve with your art Foundation?
Citizen engagement. In the words of Mahatma Ghandi “Be the change you want to see in the world” and that’s the Foundation’s slogan.

Take us through your projects? Tell us about the impact of the “chronicles of the life of a victim of rape project”?
That’s actually my next project, I will be dealing with the aftermath of rape and how it affects the individual. The act of rape is one thing and is a physical act but the mind suffers the most. It takes victims years to get over it and there are cases were some never have.

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What efforts do you put to ensure the entertainment doesn’t still the show in your projects against the messages planted therein?
I wouldn’t consider the film ‘Remember Me’ extremely entertaining as we are dealing with a serious subject but at least it isn’t boring, well in my opinion.
How do you measure the results achieved from the various projects you produced?
This is my first one, so I haven’t quite gotten to measuring how much it has achieved.

How many projects have you executed since starting the Foundation?
This is the first one.

Who are your target audience?
Everyone, like I stated earlier film cuts across geographics, generations and cultures. So ‘Remember me’ has a message for everyone and is for everyone.

How do you get funding?
The film was funded by the Ford Foundation.

Being a foundation are your films also distributed for commercial purposes?
Depends on who’s funding it.

How did you get the inspiration to go into filmmaking, especially having a five year career dedicated to the IT industry?
I worked in IT but always wanted to be an actress but struggled for a while to make the transition. Then when I eventually did I wanted to move along in my career and producing seemed to be the best option.

Can we talk about this form of migration by foreign based Nigerians to Nigeria entertainment industry? Perhaps that will shed light into why you have chosen to do this project in Nigeria after your early exposure to foreign training and education?
That’s a funny question, by all rights I’m Nigerian and both my parents are Nigerians so coming home to join the entertainment industry shouldn’t come across as strange. The opportunity presented itself and I took it. Nigeria is organic and the positive is there isn’t any red tape or bureaucracy to stand in the way of kick starting your business, if you have the money and the support go right ahead. The land is free, open and welcoming to all ideas so I encourage anyone sitting on the outside to step in and make it happen for themselves.

Your new film, ‘Remember Me’ is to be released this March. Tell us about this.
Remember Me is a story about accountability and transparency through citizen engagement thereby exposing and fighting corruption.

The community represented in the movie is it fictional or an actual story of a people in Nigeria?
Totally fictional.

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This is your first job as a producer. Would you be graduating to a director anytime soon?
Nope, not at all.

Remember Me is quite star studded, any particular reason for the choice of cast?
I simply casted based on who I thought best suited the role.

What made United Bank for Africa pick interest in supporting the flick?
They watched the screener and liked it and asked if they could have it on their TV platform called RedTv.

Wearing these various hats as a Producer, Actor, and the foundation’s director amongst others. How do you manage these all and ensure efficiency?
I hate being idle and enjoy being in a job, to be honest I don’t think I am doing enough. So combining all three isn’t a problem, I absolutely love what I do and I feel blessed everyday that God placed the opportunity to live my dream before me.
So why everyone should go to the cinemas and see “Remember Me”.
It’s a film that will appeal to you and hopefully steer whoever watches it in the direction to do their bit as an upstanding member of society. It’s got your favorite actors in it as well as funny girl Chigurl who doesn’t play funny in the film and most especially to support my ministry.

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