Seven Questions with Omar Derby

Omar Derby is the director of Anna v Anna. During a live TV interview for her second book release, a shy, successful author faces an identity crisis with a confrontational interviewer.

1. Who are your film influencers?

Antoine Fuqua, David Fincher and M. Night Shyamalan.

2. What are the toughest aspects of making a film today?

Raising funds is by far the toughest aspect especially when crowdfunding is now common. It gets harder to get people to pay attention to yours.

3. Best advice you’ve received as a filmmaker?

Focus on telling the stories that move you and are most authentic to you.

4. What does it mean to you to be a Black filmmaker or to create films with black stories or characters.

It means getting a chance to give a different perspective on the struggles we face. Even though there are still a lot of external challenges for us, I like to focus on the internal battles we fight to be a part of society.

5. What does it mean to you that your film is on Aspire TV and other platforms?

Anna v Anna playing on Aspire TV means the world to me. I’m honored to be a part of such a reputable channel’s programming. I love what the channel represents as well as its quality of content.

6. Advice you would give the next gen following you?

It’s OK to specialize. If you’re very good at a certain genre of film, then focus on refining it. I believe it’s the best way to build an audience and get noticed as a filmmaker.

7. Are there any inspirational films, articles or books that you would recommend to go deeper into the topics and themes in your film?

Here’s a list of my inspiration for Anna v Anna:

– “The Cost of Code-Switching” Harvard Business Review, Online Article

– “As A Man Thinketh“, James Allen, Book

– “Know Thyself” – Ancient Greek saying

I’m a black woman where to change your name to get ahead professionally” Huffpost, Online Article.