All of us at City Academy are delighted to welcome actor and filmmaker DeObia Oparei, as our Artist-In-Residence in 2022/2023.
As an actor DeObia has appeared in some of the most iconic Film and TV shows of our times: Moulin Rouge, Game Of Thrones, Sex Education and Marvel’s LOKI, to name but a few. And as a filmmaker he is only just getting started. Having recently written, starred in and directed his first cinematic offering, G I A N T S, which will have its debut screening at a major film festival later on in the year.
In the next year DeObia's exclusive mentorship programme, will offer creative guidance to passionate and driven individuals on an artistic journey, and we are really excited at the level of passion and energy DeObia will bring to our students.
City Academy mentorships are intimate and focused monthly sessions aimed at helping promising talent achieve their potential - personally guided by some of the most innovative and accomplished voices in the arts. The Mentorship Programme is in particular designed to support creators from a rich diversity of backgrounds, and from communities that have so far been under-represented in the arts.
DeObia will also be presenting the first in a new series of talks exploring key issues in the British and global creative industries. CA TALKS will kick off with a panel discussion on the question: In a post George Floyd world, what is the state of Race & Representation in the U.K. Arts & Media Industry?
Earlier this year, we sat down with DeObia to discuss the mentorship programme, his career, his approach to art and the importance of driving representation in the creative industries...
This programme is open to passionate, committed, driven creatives and individuals at whatever stage of their artistic journey. This program is for actors, writers, film and script editors, storyboard artists, costume designers, stylists, photographers, camera operators, stand up comedians, dancers, singers, poets, set designers, producers, directors, stage managers and creative managerial and administrative staff.
When I started out I had powerful mentors along the way who believed in me and poured that belief into a focused attention on me that made me come alive and persevere even in my most despondent moments.
This program will provide a once-a-month session with me where specific tasks and targets are set. Along with an accountability check-in every other month throughout the year. And when I’m in London, advance notice will be given, for an in-person session. Where I will provide constructive feedback and creative guidance as you birth your projects into life. Lastly, there will be an opportunity for the most talented amongst you to be cast in or employed to work on one of the exciting projects my newly formed production company, MADE BY GIANTS, has slated for production this year.
Behind the scenes of 'G I A N T S'
Since living in America, I’ve noticed that everyone has a voice. No matter how raw and untutored. In the states speaking up is seen as a fundamental right and not a privilege.
As an out of the closet, queer, black, creative and resident of the United States. I bear witness to the irony that, for centuries, in the land of the free, people who look like me were held in bondage. And those people who share the same intersectional identities as mine are still not free. Thus I have had to learn pretty quickly not to wait for people who have never acknowledged me to suddenly “discover” me.
Finding my voice and using it has set me on a path to determining what I want my future to look like. It’s given me the courage to make it impossible for anything else to come to pass.
My life changed when I stopped asking for permission or waiting for green lights. My circumstances drastically changed when I got off the couch and started actioning the work for myself by myself. This is a central tenet of this mentorship program: get it done. Don’t wait for someone to do for you what you can do for yourself.
If you would like to find out more and apply for the mentorship programme, click button below.