An S&A interview with Nigerian American writer/director/producer Olatunde Osunsanmi is long overdue, and I’ll get to work on setting something up with him.
I say that because he’s a black director working within the mainstream, in genres we rarely see black filmmakers creating in, who just seems to be able to get his films made and distributed.
He’s made 3 feature films since 2005, and is now on his way to his 4th. That’s 4 feature films in about 8 years, or roughly 1 every 2 years. Few filmmakers (specifically writer/directors, as opposed to directors for hire) can claim those kinds of stats. And even fewer (a lot fewer) of African descent – unless your name is Tyler Perry.
His first film was a low-budget ($150,000) horror movie titled The Cavern (2005), which Sony Pictures released around the world. His second film was a sci-fi thriller called The Fourth Kind (2009), which Milla Jovovich starred in. The budget for that was significantly higher at $10 million. It grossed almost $50 million worldwide.
And his most recent film, a thriller titled Evidence (2013) was produced by the same production team that backed the critically-acclaimed Drive (Nicholas Winding Refn’s film) and was recently picked up by Image Entertainment in a deal that includes theatrical, home video, television and digital rights, with a theatrical release planned for this summer.
That film co-stars rising British star Aml Ameen, and veteran actor Harry Lennix, alongside Radha Mitchell.
The story follows the investigation of a brutal massacre at an abandoned gas station. The Police arrive at the crime scene to find evidence of the victims’ electronic devices – camcorder, cell phones and flipcams, which the detective must then sort through, analyze and piece together to solve the crime and identify the killer.