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Bozeman filmmaker brings Black experiences to Montana film industry

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Posted at 5:02 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-26 17:38:44-05

BOZEMAN — A 25-year-old MSU graduate came all the way from Nigeria to Bozeman with one motive, and that’s to tell his story so others can benefit.

“I’m here to use my difference to make a difference. Being someone who was born in Nigeria and living in Montana and not just as a Nigerian but also as a Black man, I bring an interesting perspective,” said Bozeman filmmaker Nnamdi Kanaga.

A perspective shown in his latest film, The Hail Mary.

Bozeman filmmaker brings Black experiences to Montana film industry

“I try to tell the story about a man who left his family because he was fighting for America,” Kanaga said.

A relatable storyline addressing big issues within the Black community.

“I tried to refocus the absent Black father narrative. What most Hollywood films do is they don’t tell you the story about the father. They don’t tell you why he left. They don’t give you anything about the father,” he said.

Kanaga has been in Montana since 2016 and says he has faced his fair share of obstacles and challenges.

“I knew I wanted to make a film about Black people, and so the first challenge was where do I find Black people to make a film in Montana. The pandemic was the hugest challenge of course. Everything was shut down,” said Kanaga.

But he found a way to persevere and make The Hail Mary possible, for one reason.

“I feel like my films would present the real-life experiences of people like me here. Films that are being made here are not really diverse, and it makes sense because of course they cater for the needs of the people that are majority around here,” Kanaga said.

The virtual premier for The Hail Mary will show Saturday, Feb. 27. For more information, visit here.

(NOTE: An earlier version of this story had an incorrect date for the virtual premier.)