Meet Sunny KING: A Nigerian born filmmaker driven by uncommon passion


A couple of months back, i wrote about this short film, UNSPOKEN (read and watch here)

Sunny king, Nigerian born UK based film maker is the man behind this brilliant short film. UNSPOKEN has featured in several film festivals like Buff Film Festival,Film Africa London Independent Film festival, Cinema Africa in Sweden etc.

The short film won Best Short Movie at the Nollywood Movie Awards 2013 and got nominated recently for the BEFFTA AWARDS UK 2013. We recently got across to him and he shared his inspiring story and journey into film making with us! Read and share your thoughts!

“My name is Sunny King. I’m of Nigerian heritage. I came into England in the summer of 1997 as a young boy. And by the time I came of age , I got an offer for the next 4 years in university to study visual communication and design. I was an illustrator.

But my interest in the subject began to wane as the course wasn’t challenging enough.

And during my second year in university, my interest in film had peaked and I wanted to know the basics of film-making without spending too much money.

  Quentin Tarantino of Reservoir dogs and Pulp fiction fame didn’t go to film school so why should I. Still they were lingering doubts and suspicion in regards to my success as a filmmaker (You have to remember that back in the early millennium there were not a lot of urban movies in the U.K made to great success at the time. And coming from an African background I had to have a back-up plan because doing work in the entertainment industry wasn’t seen as good career move.)

My greatest inspiration to becoming a filmmaker was watching “City of God” in the cinema. It showed that a good script with good direction can take you anywhere, the fact that it got so much attention for the storyline and was not deemed a huge blockbuster style movie made it all the more amazing. At the time I was soul searching, as I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted to do. But this film inspired me to go out and make good films.

My first attempt to make a short film was both a setback and a learning curve. The experience showed that I wasn’t competent enough to be a director yet.

This was a rude awakening that took me back to a lesson learned many years ago.

I was a young student at primary school when I took part in a competition to write the best story for the school assembly. With great enthusiasm I did what I knew best  “action , action and action”. On the day the winner was announced, my name wasn’t mentioned, not even as a runners-up.

Disappointed but with curiosity I wanted to know why I lost. Outside the headmistress’s office on her noticeboard, I learnt three new words ‘short , subtlety and simplicity’. This made an impression on me. And to rectify and justify the lessons learnt from my previous attempt in film I decided to make another short film called “Signs” and several film festivals, nominations and award winning years later my confidence was back.

I’m proud to say I learnt being a film director on my own. Shooting my short films back to back independently was the best film school I ever had.

Its similar to jumping off a cliff and assembling an airplane all the way down.

I love what I do and I’m grateful to share my work with the citizens of the world”

Sunny King
Sunny King

He also shared his favourite quote with us:

Without pain, there would be no suffering, without suffering we would never learn from our mistakes. To make it right, pain and suffering is the key to all windows, without it, there is no way of life.” – Angelina Jolie

Vote UNSPOKEN in Film 1 and Film 9 category for Best Director and Best Short Film at the BEFFTA AWARDS 2013 here


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