Madu: Matthew Ogens Interview

Madu: Matthew Ogens Interview

Madu: Matthew Ogens Interview. By Richard Schertzer.

I was able to interview Academy-Award nominee Matthew Ogens. His latest film Madu can be streamed on Disney+. His other films include Audible, which was nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject, Confessions of a Superhero, Meet the Hitlers and Go North. 

Richard: How did you get started in the film industry? I know you directed the documentary Confessions of a Superhero, but what did you do before that?



Matthew: When I was a youngster growing in and around Washington D.C. and Maryland, I wasn’t really exposed to the arts. I came from, you know, you get a job, you get benefits, that’s what you go for. You look for a profession. I was always creative but I didn’t know you could be an artist for a living and I went to college. I went to the University of New Orleans. I got a degree in finance.

I worked on Wall Street very briefly, actually in the World Trade Center, obviously before 9/11 and I worked there for six weeks and six weeks only and I stopped and I decided that I wanted to be an artist. At that point, I was in NewYork and exposed to more art and also seeing more films coming out by diverse filmmakers all over the place, not just big blockbusters but kinda grittier, authentic, moodier films that I connected with by filmmakers that weren’t necessarily from Los Angeles or New York. 

Richard: Of the projects for you to do, what inspired you to make this story about this specific dancer Anthony Madu from Nigeria?

Matthew: A lot of things happened between that first directing gig and now. I realized that what I love to do is tell character-driven stories that have universal human themes and that say something about us that we can all relate to beyond what the hook is, in this case, ballet. Also, I kinda nerd out on craft and I love to challenge myself and the documentary medium of telling immersive stories rather than observational.

I’ve done all kinds of documentaries like interview-based and historical-based but what I love is telling real-time docu-follow and then making it almost look like a narrative and feel like a documentary and really challenge myself to make it feel like it’s the point of view of that character and I guess I’m just out there looking for stories.


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