Cyprien Kodjo, a one-time homeless African student, strives to make it in New York City. Despite all his challenges, Cyprien is determined, for his dream of getting ahead in Cote d'Ivoire is much stronger.

  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Cabbie, Crime Time, A Tour
  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Cabbie, Crime Time, A Tour
  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Cabbie, Crime Time, A Tour
  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Key Cast
    "Cyprien Kodjo"
    A Tour
  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Cabbie, Crime Time, A Tour
  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Cabbie, Crime Time, A Tour
  • Cyprien Kodjo
    Sound Designers
    Cabbie, Crime Time, A Tour
  • Adrian Trevino Duran
    Music Composers
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 53 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 20, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    1,540 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    New York City
    United States
    May 26, 2016
    North American Premiere
Director Biography - Cyprien Kodjo

Cyprien Kodjo: A Personal Biography
As far as I remember, I always wanted to be an intellectual or a government functionary. To be a physician or an engineer sounded more respectful to me than being a painter or a singer. Frankly, I wanted to follow the steps of my late father, a telecommunications engineer, instead of those of my mother, a tailor.
While growing up, I became more interested in art, especially theater and acting which I enjoyed doing every summer camp. My father even gave me a small radio designed like a pack of cigarettes for graduating with honors from middle school. Back home, in Côte d’Ivoire, seeing a play or going to a movie theater was a luxury, even for a young man from the middle class like me. So, I listened to radio programs and watched TV shows a lot. I was a brilliant student, but I lost interest in education, therefore I dropped from school. A difficult decision that hurt my parents, but for me it was a call. I had something to say. Instead of getting drunk and arguing with my parents as usually, I saw filmmaking as the perfect tool to express my opinion. Despite my interest for filmmaking back home, I couldn’t shoot a single short film to express my feelings on subjects that matter to me such as the injustice that African people are suffering from their leaders. Most African countries are naturally rich, but their leaders keep the populations poor. They themselves undergo the pressure of developed country leaders. I think this needs to stop.
Film was once a powerful art, critically, commercially and politically in Côte d’Ivoire. Directors such as the late Désiré Ecaré and Henri Duparc, my mentor, had a great impact on my decision to become a filmmaker. Like them, I want to be an influential director in Côte d’Ivoire. In the fall of 2014, I joined the BFA in film and video at CCNY for its hands-on program, but I actually never shot a fiction even as a BMCC student. To me, documentary is a great way to learn the craft of filmmaking and tell stories that matter to me: immigration, homelessness, struggle, love, etc. I’m glad I’m now doing my MFA in Film at CCNY.
As a leader trained in the CUNY system, the President of the MFA Film Alliance and the 2017 Bert Saperstein Scholar at CCNY, I would like to develop a personal style that captivates the audience. I want the audience to feel the urge of solving the issues exposed in my films. This is the dream that I carried over to NYC when I came in the USA in 2009.

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Director Statement

I have always been fascinated by every aspect of filmmaking, from the interaction between creative industries during pre-production, production and post production to the audience’s reception of the films. A keen amateur of drama and other film genres, I chose to pursue an education in filmmaking in order to gain a thorough overview of theory and practice in visual storytelling. Having built a solid foundation of the media, I’m now aiming to gain more specific practical knowledge of filmmaking that will allow me to effectively influence the film industry.