Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with the Successful Film Producer Toland Samba

Toland Samba is an African Producer/Director, lived in South Africa for many years where he studied, and worked as a fashion model, casting coordinator, French freelance voice-over artist and translator for BORN FREE MEDIA (Broadcast HIV Africa), a program on HIV AIDS awareness for youth which was broadcast in most francophone countries in Africa drawing from his linguistic skills, ever since his passion for film took its course.  
He then moved to New York to study film at the New York Film Academy, Where He directed/produced “Jocelyn the Muralist” which won an award at Hollywood international Documentary Film Festival, and won his second award at DOCSWITHOUT BORDERS.  
Prior to pursuing his Film career in the US, He completed a Diploma in photography at THE PHOTOGRAPHY INSTITUTE. 


Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Film Producer Toland Samba

NY Elite: What made you pursue film making?

Toland Samba: I was working on my photography last project as a student, while taking photos downtown Johannesburg (South Africa) I came across great characters with compelling stories, and I realize the best way to convey they stories it’s trough moving images (Film making).

NY Elite: Do you have your own production company? Tell us about your creative vision.

Toland Samba: No! I don’t own a production company yet, my creative vision is to own a production company with a niche of portrait, and landscape photography. Eventually help  those less fortunate around me by getting them involved. 

NY Elite: What do you consider your greatest achievement till date?

Toland Samba: My biggest accomplishment is standing where I am right now. I believe life is a perpetual work-in –progress all that moments, the huge ones and small ones all make  up who I am.

NY Elite: Tell us about your current/latest project.

Toland Samba: My current or latest project is titled SOMALIA IN MAINE (feature doc, in development).  

NY Elite: What drew you to this project and what excited you about making this film?

Toland Samba: What drew me and excited me about this project:  it’s related to me somehow, I am from Africa, the film is shot in Africa and it’s about an African story.

NY Elite: What is the theme/subject of the film?

Toland Samba: It’s about life in Galveston, Amine, where a large group of Somalis has taken residence.

NY Elite: Who are you collaborating with on this film?

Toland Samba: I am collaborating with ANTONIO TIBALTI (THY FATHER’S CHAIR director).

NY Elite: What other projects have you worked on?

Toland Samba: I have worked on several projects such as: WAYS, PARIVERA, THE INVISIBLE WORM, THE FOURTH KINGDOM just to name a few….

NY Elite: What film have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?

Toland Samba: A film I directed/produced/edited has been the most inspiring or influential to me, because it was a 1 man show. It’s a verité style film, the protagonist was in a quest of achieving her goal along the way facing conflicts and obstacles eventually everything resulted in some sort of resolution, I had to follow her around with a camera and, most of the shootings were held at night, I had to multitask: Set up lights, sound and camera alone, It was very challenging.

NY Elite: What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?

Toland Samba: What makes a great film from my point of view is the emotional impact…. a great story , the story has to be compelling, interesting and also interesting characters. When it comes to qualities the director has to have a good vision and be able to create scenes that are believable and enjoyable to watch.

NY Elite: Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?

Toland Samba: The book I love to make a film out of one day is: BROKEN GLASS from Alain Mabanckou

NY Elite: Can you tell us about the greatest moment in your film career?

Toland Samba: The greatest moment in my film career is when one of my project I directed/produced/edited was selected to be included in festival and been invited at live screening and awards ceremony, It’s one of my proudest achievement.

NY Elite: Which particular filmmaker has influenced you the most?

Toland Samba: The particular filmmaker who has influenced me the most is Kevin Macdonald.

NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life creating film?

Toland Samba: Be sure to build a good strong team of passionate, dedicated, humble people who share the same vision as you and have a similar work ethic, be realistic about the scoop and audience for your project, be confident,

NY Elite: NY Elite: Can you tell us more about your upcoming projects.

Toland Samba: I have an upcoming project titled GLIMPESES (SCOOP). A docu-series of short real life scenes from the paradigm (perspective) of characters revealing different lives of people. The objective (purpose) is that people can experience for a short period of time, what is like being a politician, deaf, homeless, soldier and so on….


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