Interview with Wilson Mbiavanga, Director of 5 MINUTES

Wilson Mbiavanga   5 minutes   5min

I believe the web is the future. People will still go to theaters, but mass media is turning into the individual media. The web grasps this shift better than any other medium.

Wilson Mbiavanga was born in Luanda, raised in Paris and is now living in New York, USA. The French born director explains what motivated him to move to New York: My career briefly started in France. While in college in Paris, and together with my best friend and talented cinematographer Sarah, we decided to make a short film, called 5 MINUTES. The production went south due to some location difficulties. But this first attempt increase my drive into the filmmaking world. Hence was my decision to pursue my career in New York.

The director sites as his inspirations Tarantino, Amenabar and… Looney Tunes and why is time so important: Looking back at 5 MINUTES, I can’t help but realize how much I borrowed from prestigious movies: PULP FICTION, THE OTHERS, MEET JOE BLACK. One of my actors even mentioned that Ralph and Sam were the names of a couple of characters in LOONEY TUNES . All this was unintentional, definitely unconscious. It made me realize that I have the basics for filmmaking but that I also need to free myself from it. I’m obsessed with time because I’m obsessed with regretting.

As for directing his first film ”5 Minutes” that you can currently watch on the channel: My preference for suspense and drama pushed me to change the original tone of the script. Adding some personal experience, 5 MINUTES came to life. The script was ready in a year. Unable to achieve the budget we aimed for, we had to reduce our production value to a more affordable project. Our main location was unavailable to us for the shoot. In two days I had to redo the shortlist, blocking. A terrifying but succeeded challenge!

What does Mbiavanga think about independent artists in contemporary cinema: The indie filmmaking is growing fast and will keep growing. Simply put, I generally never call it indie, but just filmmaking: the real and only way artists can express themselves without bending their vision.

And on that note: First, I’d like to thank EuroIFC for their consideration and praise of 5 MINUTES. Giving opportunity and visibility for small filmmakers and other artists to show their work is the more than a gift. I wanted to communicate with the audience. And I have to admit not a lot of film festivals offers that. I will definitely submit my next work to your festival. It’s awesome!

As for his next projects, he has a TV drama on the works: I’m currently working on two projects: a political TV drama called Enlightenments, based on politics and religion and on the other side of the spectrum a CGI project about an ancient African kingdom! All that sounds very exciting and diverse , wouldn’t you say ? Until then you can always watch his first film here: