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Five Inspirations: Ayo Akingbade

"The crippling fear of success, failure and legacy were my main inspirations."
Notebook
Five Inspirations is a series in which we ask directors to share five things that shaped and informed their film.  The series Becoming and Belonging: An Ayo Akingbade Focus is exclusively showing on MUBI in many countries starting July 21, 2021.
Fire in My Belly (Ayo Akingbade, 2021)

INSPIRATION #1
Homework (Abbas Kiarostami (1989)
Schoolchildren. Coming of age. I liked the interview set-ups and how naturalistic it all felt. I heart Kiarostami.

INSPIRATION #2
The Heptones
One of my favourite rocksteady reggae bands, I listen to them often. Whilst filming the party scene in Dear Babylon their song ‘Love Me Always’ was played non-stop.
INSPIRATION #3
Land (Annabel Elston, 2013)
I had the pleasure of assisting Annabel a few years ago—her work is brilliant. I deeply admire the book, which features photographs partly shot in and around Homerton, Hackney in the late 90s and early 2000s. That’s how I remember the place to be.
INSPIRATION #4
Richard Dumas' portraits of Alaïa's Kitchen (1989)
I came across this series years ago and recently visited the Galerie Azzedine Alaïa in Paris - it's so beautifully designed.
INSPIRATION #5
Being an Art student
Although I’m no longer a student, my time at graduate school has positively enriched my practice. The Royal Academy library is the main setting for Claudette's Star and it features current and ex-students. I wanted the film to act as a living document of a certain place at a particular time. The crippling fear of success, failure and legacy were my main inspirations.

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