Joy Gharoro-Akpojotor made a couple of short films at Queen Mary University and while lending her expertise to a few friends, realised that this was a job she could do and was good at. She had to convince her family that her vision of being a filmmaker was indeed a genuine career choice but knew that she was onto something worth pursuing if she ever wanted things to change, on and off screen.
Up until a couple of years ago, Joy made low to no budget films, having to beg, borrow, steal and hustle to make it work but it was really her breakthrough work on Rapman’s Blue Story that made her feel as though her risks were paying off. She learned quickly on the job about how to be a creative producer, how to enable others to do their jobs and ultimately helped to deliver a film that under-represented audiences were desperate to see, including herself.
Joy thinks being honoured as a BAFTA Breakthrough is recognition from the industry as well as an assurance that she is on the right track, and she’s got a long list of people who she hopes will be able to guide her, especially on her path to becoming a director.