Filmmaker and art curator, Sisanmi Eureka Schuller, is passionate about promoting the art in the diaspora. Currently bringing innovation to the community where she resides in Austria, Sisanmi looks forward to a collaborative effort between Nollywood Nigeria and Nollywood Austria. She speaks with SEGUN ADEBAYO about her plans for Nollywood and arts.
Let’s talk about your coming show in July. What is it all about?
Spectacular Summer Gyration is an event created by a team of people with passion for cultural promotion and mutual understanding among peoples of different worldviews. The event is geared towards promoting cultural diversity as an integral part of Lisbon identity and also to promote sustainable relationships between people of different cultures, creeds, nationalities, languages, and backgrounds. Thus this is one the reason I am bent on uplifting the art culture here in the Diaspora.
How will you describe the face of art in the Diaspora?
The face of art in the Diaspora is encouraging in that both indigenes and foreigners appreciate good art and are constantly in search of new artworks. I should say it is the future of art works.
You are involved in so many activities; which do you find more pleasant doing and why?
I find acting and performing art fascinating. Its versatility strengthens my creative mindset and it keeps me inquisitive of the next step, the more reason I take time to study new concepts to ensure a great legacy in the future. I find cultural promotion like music, dance and fashion very pleasant and the reason is because I like getting to meet and know about people of many cultural backgrounds so as to promote understanding among people.
What is the acceptance level of Nollywood production in Austria?
It is a new phenomenon in Austria. However, since the beginning of Austrian brand of Nollywood, it is well accepted especially among the African communities. Nollywood production in Austria is fast rising.
What collaborative effect is being made to fuse indigenous languages in your production?
Strong efforts are being taken to include Austrian citizens, especially the youth, who are veritable source for upcoming talents. It’s been a positive collaboration, infusing indigenous languages in my productions. The experience is amazing. It turned out well to my greatest surprise because Austrians are 100 per cent ready to explore other languages and that we have been able to do in past productions and fusing more this year
Well it is the fear and help of God that has been seeing me through according to Psalm 121. My driving force is to be a model for encouragement to women who for one reason or the others have believed that acting is not meant for women and that acting is for only women of easy virtues. For me, I find happiness representing the art; I am a strong advocate that art should not be gender sensitive.
What was growing up like?
Growing up was like the great Invitation to me. Being brought up by my mother, as a single parent, with two of my siblings, it is still a pain for me not having a fatherly love. It did affect me growing up and also manifest in my inability to get into a relationship earlier enough. When I finally did, it was difficult for me to reciprocate the love. This is more reason I am independent and working hard to be a great mom (wife) some day. It is unimaginable to have a father that is well to do, alive and enjoys helping outsiders, but won’t support his wife and biological children. For instance, it is very embarrassing when employers wonder why we the children look for job immediately they heard the name of my father because they expect my dad to be able to provide everything we might need due to his position in the society.
With all that you do in the Diaspora at the moment, did you foresee this while growing up?
Yes I’ve always wanted to be a media personality as a child. I remember always acting in the children’s departments then and later with teenagers department. It is a dream come true today because I never allowed my background to bring me down at any point in life, I strive to be a better person always.
Is Nollywood Austria open to collaboration with the Nigerian movie industry?
Sure Nollywood Austria is very much open for collaboration with Nollywood Nigeria of entertainment Industry. In fact there was supposed to be collaboration some years back but due to the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, we had to postpone it. We are a growing community open to new ideas and innovation that project our little effort to a diverse audience.