- Hello Dorothy A. Atabong, Please can you present yourselves to our readers who do not still know you?
- Can you summarize us your route (course) up to here?
- Through your biography we learnt that you had a license (Bachelor’s degree) in biochemistry at the University of Michigan before giving up everything to begin studies of theater. To be in the universe of the movie was it girl’s dream? Or were you tired of the chemical formulae?
- You are involved in numerous realizations (movies, television series, spot (spotlight) of the magazine Newsweek in 2001.) and received numerous rewards. What are the ones which stood out to you until now?
- You are a woman with multiple caps: producer, director, and actress. What cap do you prefer and why?
- Your movie » Sound of tears » is certainly the most known because it was not only nominated for the » better narrative short film » to the festival of the Pan-African movie of Los Angeles but also thrown in the latter as well as in that of the movies of the world of Montreal in 2014. Of what do you think that this success is due?
- This movie approaches the theme of the marriages settled especially between people of the same cultural area. We know that this phenomenon remains spread in Africa in spite of the globalization and the development of the liberties, is it a shape of raising awareness? Why to slander it badly more than another one in your movie?
- You are very known in North America and invested in Stephen Lewis’s foundation to fight against the AIDS in Africa. Do not you envisage a return on your native land and to invest here, in Cameroon?
- Finally, what advices do you have to give to the young scriptwriters who toil to arrive where you are?
I am an actress, writer and filmmaker who grew up in Limbe, Cameroon, currently leaving in North America who studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City.
I have a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry from Michigan USA. I have always wanted to be an actor ever since I was a child. I began pursuing this after graduation by working in local community theatres in Michigan. Some of these you can see on the internet. I also took acting classes in the evenings after work. I remember one day my acting coach suggested I apply to The Neighborhood Theatre in New York. It is extremely hard to get into this program. The school accepts less than 85 students a year (who come from all around the world) and only invites about twenty-five students back into the second year. I had no family in New York at the time and I had never even visited the city before. It was a fulltime program leaving no room to do anything else. It involved intense acting classes, stage combat, Speech classes, jazz and modern dance and Shakespeare and even ballet. I finally applied late after much speculation and got on the waiting list. One morning while working in the lab as a chemist I got a phone call that I had been admitted and had to be in New York in 3 days. I freaked out. But you know if you want something bad enough you will find a way to get it done. I was in New York City in 3 days ready for my first day of school. That was when my life changed. Acting is a calling. It is not for everyone. Those that are called into it, have no choice but to pursue it. It is not about glamour and glitz. It is hard work.
Acting is that one thing that has always been in my blood and consistent.
In a business where you are as successful as your last project, it is sometimes hard to gauge where you belong when sometimes you work hard and believe in a project and unfortunately it goes nowhere, and lacks the impact that was intended. I have always loved theatre. It brings me back to my foundation. I welcome challenges and roles that take me out of my comfort zone.
Acting is my core. It is what fulfills me and nothing can take its place. However I do love producing because I love to stir the ship of a script I believe in from development to Post production and distribution and see to its realization.
The film ‘Sound of Tears’ has exceeded my expectations. After its premiere at the Montreal World Film Festival, It has shown in numerous other film festivals. It was nominated for Best Narrative Short at The Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, Won a Platinum Remi Award at the WorldFest Houston Festival, Nominated for Best Film and Best Director at the Yorkton Film Festival in Canada, and now we have been nominated for Best Short Film in the Diaspora at the Africa Movie Academy Awards which will be held in September in South Africa. I had a great team. My cast and crew where professionals willing to work long hours to realize this film, to tell its message. Without a strong team this film would not have been successful.
This movie carries a powerful message. That message is the right to choose and choose freely. Many women around the world lack this opportunity. This movie is to raise awareness on honor based violence and the suppression of women.
Absolutely. Cameroon is my home and there is no place like home. I have given back to my homeland and always looking for new initiatives to invest in my country.
Never give up. Focus and listen to your heart. Train so you are the best in what you do and surround yourself with a strong team. Listen to what others have to say but let the decisions you make stem from you.
Thank you for having answered our questions.