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  • Writer's pictureWFTV

Meet the Member: Christiana Ebohon-Green, Director

Updated: Apr 24



Christiana is an award-winning NFTS trained drama director and former WFTV mentee who was selected for the BAFTA Elevate 2017 scheme to promote female directors.


Over the last twenty years she has directed episodes of  ChampionThe Pact II, Outlander, Vera, The Mallorca Files, Grantchester, Soon Gone:  A Windrush Chronicle, Call the Midwife, Father Brown, Holby City, Doctors, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and EmmerdaleHaving built up such a strong body of experience, she is now focused on high end drama and feature films.


She has also directed a number of short films, including a Creative England supported short, Some Sweet Oblivious Antidote starring Sir Lenny Henry, Wunmi Mosaku, Colin Salmon, and Fatima Koroma. Some Sweet Oblivious Antidote was longlisted for the 2018 BAFTA Awards. It won Best in the Festival at Triforce 2018 and Earl’s Court Film Festival. She directed Film London Calling Plus short called Support.



 


Q: Tell us a little bit about your journey to directing. Did you always want to work in this industry?

 

I loved stories – reading them, writing them, telling them and acting them out, but I knew nothing about the industry or directing growing up. I wanted to be a dancer but wasn’t going to be a Prima ballerina – cost/access etc. I attended an after-school photography club and learnt to appreciate image and form. I was desperate to have a career I loved, which led me to a degree in Media Production. My A-level English teacher thought I was mad (as I knew no one in the media). I just decided that I could be anything I wanted, if I worked hard.


At University, we made short forms of media. I was hooked and now knew what I wanted to do but wasn’t sure how to get there. I discovered the NFTS in the Uni library. It was a three-year course and gave me a brilliant foundation in fiction direction. I thought that industry doors would fly open when I graduated. I had a difficult childhood but have gotten to live an impossible dream and am not done. It’s been a long road, but I’m grateful for the allies and opportunities that I’ve had. My younger self would be amazed.





Q: What do you love about working in film and television? 


I love collaborating with creative people and bringing words on a page to life. It amazes me that we are able to push and pull scripts, through performance, camera, production design, location, wardrobe, makeup, editing etc to enrich a story and breathe life into it. I have a vision for a project and it’s exciting to share this with others, who add to it. By the time we (the army of creatives) are done, there is a finished drama that hopefully reaches and touches an audience. We make magic for the enjoyment of others and that’s a real privilege. I also love putting an audience in someone else’s shoes and asking them to go on a journey from this other viewpoint.


Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?


In 2015, I was a WFTV mentee. It was and still is a great scheme and I highly recommend it. One of the best pieces of advice that I received was - think about yourself as a business and to act accordingly. This meant that I had to learn to focus on my networking and contacts, rather than just my craft as a director. It was made clear that unless I got out there and made myself visible, no one was going to know how talented I was as a director.

 

I had put little or no effort into networking and saw it as a bit of a dirty word. This advice made me see that there was more that I should be doing. Also, it meant that rejections were business, not personal. This advice helped me grow a bit of a thicker skin - though I’m still working on it.


Above: Chirstiana with the cast of Outlander

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?


Some of my biggest challenges have been unseen, but that’s usually the way that sexism and racism work in our industry. Few have been openly rude. My intersectionality has meant that I have often been seen as a risk (despite twenty+ years of directing experience). Apparently, I am still ‘emerging’ and still have to convince people that I am capable of doing my job. It’s a shame not to have been given the benefit of the doubt on numerous projects that I would have loved to do. Despite this, I have persevered and refused to give up. Determination is my middle name – well, it’s not, but it is engrained in me and is possibly my superpower.


Things have shifted in recent years and finally I have had a number of chances to direct HETV. I seized these opportunities that exceeded what others thought was possible for my career. I have loved directing HETV and look forward to doing much more. I’m walking my own path and will continue to break the glass ceilings. Sad that isms held me and others back for so long.

 

Q: What’s next for you?


I’m currently developing TV and film projects, having meetings, networking and keeping up to date with my contacts - being a business. My outlook is to keep pushing forward and see what gives first. I should also be doing some writing, so need to get my head down and get on with it. Life as a freelancer is often challenging, but it’s too late to become a Prima ballerina at this point.

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