Photo Credits: Gabrielle Lindsey and Maba Ba
Maba Ba is a Senegalese-born, New York-based actor and filmmaker who loves sports just as he enjoys acting. He played basketball while in high school and football in college but his passion would lead him to the stage and film. His work can be seen in front of and behind the camera in films being presented this year at the Black Harvest Film Fest. He stars in Kiara C. Jones’ short film MEN OR MICE and PARAMOUR, a film in which he serves as producer and lead actor.
PRIDEINDEX: What do you want people to take away from PARAMOUR?
MABA BA: I want people to always follow their dreams and visions, If you love something and you believe in it don’t let anything or anyone stop you, go for it. There is no place for doubts, no time for hesitations. Just go, act and the universe reacts!!
PI: How did you come up with idea for this project?
MB: A friend of mine in the fashion industry asked me to make a commercial for his clothing line I answered that I would make a film and put his line in it. He asked me what the story was going to be and I told him the story of PARAMOUR that same day. I promised to give him a script by the end of the week but ended up sending him a first draft by the following Wednesday and everything else is history.
PI: Give a brief bio for each film you have produced and the inspiration for each.
MB: PARAMOUR is my first and only film that I have produced so far, I got in the game as an actor and stumbled into film making.
Per the film’s website, PARAMOUR is the story of “a young fashion designer named Adam who just wants to follow his dreams. His girlfriend Lisa helps along the way until the day she cannot face his failures anymore and leaves him. He is lost until he meets Eva, a young photographer full of life and passion.” It will be presented with other short films about the highs and lows of love in the series, “LOVE AFRICAN AMERICAN STYLE,” showing on Friday August 19th at 6:15PM and Wednesday August 24th at 8:30PM.
PI: Your career includes work on the stage and in films which one do you enjoy most?
MB: The stage is my first love. I will always go back to the stage, I love people and the feeling I get when I’m on stage. I feel the energy of the entire audience, we connect it’s like the strongest drug that I know of. I’m addicted to performing on stage. Film is very cool, just the fact that you immortalized in many moments, they will be there forever; I love that about film. But my heart is in the theatre.
PI: Where did you receive your formalized training as an actor and filmmaker?
MB: I didn’t study filmmaking, I stumbled into it. I was lucky to be casted in Kiara C. Jones’ film “MEN OR MICE” a few weeks before we shot PARAMOUR. She allowed me to come to a few of her production meetings; it helped me a lot, along with research and just having the belief in myself that I was capable of doing it. And that’s one thing I want people to get from PARAMOUR, if you have a vision, go for it and don’t let anything discourage you especially yourself. Most people are their own worst enemy. Be brave, blind and run full speed ahead until something stops you. You’ll learn that obstacles are nothing but new opportunities.
PI: Name at least 3 people who have influenced your artistic style?
MB: Life, Life , Life
PI: If you were given the opportunity to make only one of your short films into a feature length movie, which one would you make?
MB: I only have one short so that would be an easy answer. I have a Sci-Fi script that I thought about making into a short film at first, but now I’m working on finishing up the feature, it’s called LOVE & FORGIVENESS. I believe it has the potential to be a very great feature.
PI: I understand that you were an All American Division I football player how come you decided to become an actor/filmmaker rather than pursuit a career as a professional athlete?
MB: I wasn’t an all American but I did play Division 1 football. I have a strong passion for sport, I grew up in it, from tennis to martial art, basketball and swimming. I ended up with American football. I believe that sport shows a lot about ones character; it helped me build mine. That was a stage of my life that I loved it. It taught me a lot but I’m an artist at core and I wouldn’t give that away for nothing even a professional sports career.
PI: Tell us a little bit more about some of the other projects you have planned.
MB: I’m working on producing OTHELLO off-Broadway. I love the character. I have a pilot in pre-production, think of, “How To Make It In America” mixed with “Californication.” I’m excited about it and my Sci-Fi feature. However I’m really taking my time with both, no rush, I want them to be flawless. And even though “they” may say that it’s impossible, it’s possible. I believe imperfection is the beauty of art.
PI: Hypothetically speaking, a major deep pocketed Hollywood studio has approached you with a blank check to either: (A.) Work in front of the camera in the role of lifetime. or (B.) Work behind the camera with access to any actors, writers, producers or directors of your choosing. Which option would you choose?
MB: That’s an extremely difficult question for me to answer. I started with acting and I love what I do, I also have a deep passion for storytelling. At this stage of my career I would take the acting role first but it won’t necessarily be the same in a decade or two.
To watch the PARAMOUR trailer click here http://www.paramourlemovie.com/
MICE OR MEN will be shown as part of the SEX AFRICAN AMERICAN STYLE series showing on Friday August 26 at 8:30 PM and Wednesday August 31 at 8:45 PM. Filmmaker Kiara C, Jones will be available to answer questions about the film. To watch the trailer click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lYFX_AoCbY