It has been almost six days since Yvonne Okoro’s first self-produced film, Contract, swept four awards including Best Movie 2013 at the just ended Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) held in Lagos, Nigeria, last Saturday and yet, the bubbly actress seem not to find the words to describe how she feels.
According to the beautiful actress who spoke with Showbiz last Tuesday, she still finds it difficult to express how she feels.
“Honestly, I have no words to describe how I have been feeling since last Saturday. It is just amazing. Indeed, the whole experience just sunk in.
“I can’t believe my film has been so well received and has gone on to win the Best Movie for 2013. That is something. It is just amazing”, she said.
For Yvonne who is known more for being in front of the cameras as an actress, the journey to try her hands at film production was inspired by the desire to contribute to the production of good quality movies.
So when she started a multi-media company, Desamour Company Limited with her sister, Rosalind, making films that would have lasting impact on audiences was one of their goals.
“ You know how sometimes you watch a film and you know something is just not right. Either it has a good story line but production is poor or production is spot on but directing is nothing to write home about among others?.
“ We decided to get our own script, get people who are good at what they do in terms of good filmmaking and in addition, make money as well.”
Touching on what producing a movie entails, Yvonne said “ a whole lot and it is very difficult if you do not get help. It wasn’t easy venturing in there. So many things kept racing in my mind. I wasn’t sure how people would receive it. Whether they will ask me to stay with my day job as an actress and leave production alone and how I would take it if the movie didn’t turn out well.
“We have been lucky since producing a movie with no financial help is very difficult. We, however, had help from companies such as Amarula, Labadi Beach Hotel, PHC Motors, Sultana Rice Carex Sanitizer and Woodin.
“ We were also lucky to have Sparrow Productions too on board. We had no equipment of our own so we went to them, discussed the cost element and gave them the money to do the work and it has turned out very well.”
Commenting on how last year, Contract didn’t win an award even though it received about six nominations at the Africa Movie Academy Awards(AMAA), Yvonne said:“ I think every award scheme has what it is looking for. For me, being nominated is enough. It means you are appreciated and acknowledged for work done.”
With this win to her credit, Yvonne said people should watch out for the good things her outfit has in store.
“ We are about to launch our website, www.desamour.com next week where people can watch Contract on demand. We get calls all the time from people asking to know how they can get hold of copies of the movie and this will serve that need,” she added.
“ Also, we have started a cook show, called Dining With….. which will hit TV soon. We cook with guests while we discuss light-hearted issues. Already we have done some episodes in London and are currently shooting that of Ghana.
Yvonne who is grateful to all who have been supportive of her also appealed to companies to invest in the Ghanaian entertainment industry.
“ I don’t think Hollywood just happened. It got help to make it what it is now. I know the companies who helped us with Contract are also happy and they have called to express their delight.
“ When the entertainment industry in Ghana gets the boost from corporate bodies, one can imagine what else would be the outcome apart from good quality products. It will create employment, people will earn income among others.
And hopefully, others will troop down here to also seek greener pastures which will go a long way to help with nation building” she said .