Interview with March Diversity Initiative Winner- Aimiende Negbenebor Sela

March 04, 2019

Interview with March Diversity Initiative Winner- Aimiende Negbenebor Sela

How long have you been writing and what made you want to write in the first place?

I think I began writing screenplays around 2011/2012, but I've always written; for as long as I can remember. From poems to short stories and small plays, I've always been inclined to write. It began as a way for me to deal with issues in my life, a way to work out emotions I didn't know what to do with and grew from that into a way to explore and try to understand the human condition a little bit.

What genre do you prefer to write in? What draws you to that genre?

I like writing drama and I find that I am drawn to writing stories that lean a little bit into the fantastical/surreal or even psychological drama. What draws me to writing this drama is again, trying to find a way to understand; a way to explore themes that I don't feel one can explore literally (unless you find yourself in that situation.) If someone asks me what I would do if I found myself in a situation where I had to choose between one of two of my kids to save (I don't have children), I wouldn't even begin to know how to answer that. But, on paper, on screen, we can have Sophie's Choice and others like it.

Who are the writers that inspire you?

I love Toni Morrisson, the way she paints emotions with words is incredible; Geraldine Brookes, Sue Monk Kidd, Caleb Carr, Paulo Coelho, Uwem Akpan, Mariama Ba, Jhumpa Lahiri, Kurt Vonnegut, sooooooo many more. These are all novelists, I love getting lost in books. When it comes to screenwriters and playwrights, I can't begin to name them, so I'll leave you with my incomplete list of novelists :)

Share something you're currently digging.

Russian Doll (Watch it! Netflix)

What interested you about Roadmap's Diversity Initiative?

The fact that it's a diversity initiative and that it was created in honor of Coletta Preacely-Garcia, a screenwriter of color who passed away recently. These were the first things that got my attention and then I considered the opportunity presented here: to be able to learn how to pitch my work - that's an invaluable tool. I'm very interested in that.


You can find Aimiende @aimiende on Instagram, www.facebook.com/aimiende, and @AimiNSela on Twitter.





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