Behind the Lens with Akona

In this week’s Personality Interview, The Socialite paid a visit to local filmmaker Akona Matyila to find out more about his love of movies, where we’ll find him off set and what we can look forward to seeing next. Check it out…

 

1.    Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself and where you’re from?

I was born in 1983 and hail from East London and I was educated there until I moved to Durban after I finished High School. I then went on to study marketing.  After completion I joined Standard Bank and I was there for three and half years.  I left and took a break while thinking about the future and I went back to what I loved the most which is film and enrolled at the television school at DUT.

2.       How and why did you get involved in the film industry? 

At the risk of sounding cliche’ I have always enjoyed the world of fantasy and make believe and I always loved listening to stories.  I think it comes from my childhood where my mom and gran encouraged us to read.  I grew up in a house with lots of books and we were also encouraged to play outside and use our imagination.

3.       What are some of the past projects you have been involved in?

Last year I created a short film that was screened at the DIFF.  I worked a bit with SA’s Got Talent and I was recently with Collective Film & Video which specialised more on the corporate side of making programs.

4.       What can we look forward to seeing next?

I have just finished production on my short film(26min) and I am currently editing it.  Hopefully it will be accepted at next year’s DIFF and I would like to screen it at the Grahamstown Arts Festival when I head down next year.  I am planning on writing a comedy script and there is another comedy written by someone else that we are looking at developing with a possibility of directing it.

5.        Fav movie of all time and how many times have you watched it to date?

My favourite film without a doubt has to be Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia( 1999) and that is the movie I watch when I need some inspiration and to be honest I have lost count at the number of times I have watched it but I think it is around 30!


 

6.        Who would you want to play you in a movie?

Now as a 27yr old, it would have to be either Anthony Mackie or Michael Ealy.  Or maybe even Johnny Depp…

7.        If you could have three Hollywood celebs star in your next film who would they be?

It would have to be Gael Garcia Bernal, Natalie Portman and Daniel Day Lewis.

8.        Where do you draw your inspiration for your films?

I look at whats around me, I wish I had a wealth of ideas stored away but it could be anything at a time.  Dreams, conversations around me, childhood memories, friends, strangers, family, books, art and movies.  I think living in a complex and beautiful country like South Africa, one can never have a shortage of universal stories to tell.

9.        Where will we find you on weekends? Fav Durban hotspots?  

I enjoy Origin when they have the I Heart Durban parties and Willowvale for the NO!NO!NO! parties.  During the World Cup, I was always at Booty Bar on Florida Rd.  You can also find me at Bean Bag Bohemia on certain days and more often than not I enjoy having dinner at Mo’s Noodles.

10.    If you not working, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Nothing much at all, my friends and I enjoy movie marathons, the beachfront looks great nowadays so we walk there most days.  And on weekends I love to catch up on reading books.

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