Faraday Okoro is a New York City based Nigerian-American filmmaker. He graduated cum laude from Howard University and is currently pursuing an MFA in filmmaking at NYU Film School. Okoro’s debut short film Full-Windsor has screened in 14 major film festivals, including the Los Angeles Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Chicago International Film Festival and the Seattle International Film Festival. His latest short film Blitz premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival and was also accepted to the Palm Springs International Shortfest. Additionally, his work has aired nationally on PBS Television and GaiamTV, and is streaming online via Indieflix.
How did you break in or get your start in screenwriting? I wrote short films in college and grad school. I also directed those scripts and that helped me better understand the craft of screenwriting. After writing and directing seven short films, I began writing feature spec scripts.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? The biggest lesson I learned was that a writer should write what they know. Consequently, if a writer doesn‘t know a particular topic, they must do adequate research.
What’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge? I just finished writing a script set in Lagos, Nigeria. The script was extremely difficult to write, because it took place in a world I wasn’t familiar with. So in order to familiarize myself with it, I traveled to Lagos on several occasions and spent nearly a month living there.
Do you have a favorite or memorable experience at Austin Film Festival? My favorite moments where my conversations with Scott Z. Burns. We ran into each other nearly everyday during of the 2014 festival. Also, I loved the Film Texas BBQ Supper event.