-Who is Ivan Mbakop?
I am actually an electrical engineer turned software developer turned actor with a passion for storytelling. However, Google thinks I am a director and producer as well. While I tend to excel in all these seemingly differing fields, the common thread that provides a home for me is the creative outlet they all offer in their unique ways. Let’s see where this boat goes right?
-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Filmmaking is a step further from acting. It offers an incredible freedom into expressing thoughts and feelings in a way that is totally subjective and inimitable, in a way also that can be cathartic because of its opportunity for honesty. It is the only medium that harnesses the power of picture and music all in one, and making of the audiences’ minds and thoughts what it wants for 5, 15, 30 or 90 minutes.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
Cinema has already transcended society in ways we only once dreamt of. Many instances can be referenced, but I’d simply surface as an example, the early films exploring deep space, including the Startrek saga. This has inspired our minds to think and push in a specific direction, and today companies such as SpaceX have all but trivialized space exploration. At least, they have democratized and modernized the process. While today’s space travels is like the early 80s computer chip, tomorrow’s StarWars like lifestyle will be like today’s AI exploits. In the end, it was all fueled by the human race’s collective imagination, only expressed through cinema!
-What would you change in the world?
I’d make more mirrors. There is an inherent desire to see equity in all that we observe, but its a fallacious idea, because equity and fairness only apply when we perceive ourselves to be victims or to be shortchanged in any way. Given the upper hand, we are generally fine with the world inequalities and inadequacies. I would focus more on reflecting what imperfections society inflicts on itself, and allowing people to live with that discomforting thought long enough to either make a change or dive further off the deep end. At least they wouldn’t pretend not to know that they’ve either made an effort towards reason or completely smitten and slayed their conscience into monsterhood.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
There is unfortunately no half full or half empty glass; it’s both together. The depravity of man’s imagination will continue to permeate through all forms of expression, including the most powerful one ever invented, cinema. However, the next 100 years will also see the rise of emotionally intelligent and ethically responsible filmmakers that will not just be willing but be compelled to hold the mirror up to society’s virtues and offer hope for a brighter tomorrow.
“Cinema has already transcended society in ways we only once dreamt of.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Ivan Mbakop
2023 April 2