Film student creates alternate world


Faruq Oyekan creates alternate worlds in his short films. Photo courtesy of Faruq Oyekan.

by David Ayala , Staff Writer

The voices on the television continue to speak, as the man makes up his mind and enters the room.

He wields the knife behind his back and locks his stare on the woman.

“Hey we need to talk,” he said.

“Let’s talk,” she said.

The video titled “Perfect Shot,” ends.

San Diego State film student Faruq Tayo Oyekan, creates short films that convey a wide range of characters and themes.

“His work is very artistic, deep and universal,” Crystal Ciara, a local actress and model, said. “He can do a film that can induce certain feelings in so many different people and that is very powerful.”

Ciara has appeared in several of Faruq’s works, including “Perfect Shot.”

Oyekan was born and raised in San Diego to Nigerian parents. As a kid, he was a fan of films, but it wasn’t until high school that film and screenwriting became his passion.

“I really liked Kevin Smith’s ‘Clerks.’ I loved the writing of that [film] and basically, I read the script, and from reading that screenplay I got really interested in screenwriting.”

“Clerks” became a template for Oyekan, who began to model much of his style based on that film.

Oyekan focuses much of his style on dialogue, themes, and characters, as seen in his short, “Perfect Shot.”

Many of his other shorts have the same focus and much like “Clerks,” have an indie touch.

Much of his work can be found on Vimeo and YouTube.

During his high school and community college years, Oyekan began writing his own work.

“I made my own scripts,” Oyekan said. “I would write little sci-fi stories in the vein of the Twilight Zone, kind of like that.”

Science fiction has come to be one of his favorite genres.

Oyekan has also modeled his style after films by great directors including Richard Linklater, who directed the critically acclaimed film “Boyhood,” and Martin Scorsese.

But no other movie scene has caused an impact on Oyekan’s work like that of Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi film, “Blade Runner.”

“Toward the end [of the film], the main villain android is about to die, facing the protagonist, but before he dies, he delivers one of the best monologues in film history regarding existence and humanity,” Oyekan said. “It’s a very powerful scene.”

The scene from “Blade Runner” has influenced many of Oyekan’s shorts. It is a common trope for characters in his shorts to deliver emotional monologues.

Themes of humanity and existentialism have carried on into his works, like his longest and most passionate film, “Together.”

“‘Together’ is about a man whose wife passed away so he hires a woman so she could just pretend to be her, it’s kind of like a romantic comedy,” Oyekan said.

The film has become his most enduring product and the one he is most proud of.

“It’s [a film] about losing love, finding it again and unveiling a world,” assistant director Ciara said. “It is a very touching and universal film, anyone can watch it and feel the theme. At the screening there was a very diverse audience. Old folks, young folks, the majority of people cried during that film, I was so caught up and I was so happy of the teamwork and execution of everything.”

But for the great detail and quality of his work, no one can truly know the artist behind it.

“He is beyond professional,” Ciara said. “He improves so much and he is a very mature person. He is a very calm to be around and everyone around him feels his energy and can bring their best to the set.”

Oyekan said filmmaking is the ultimate storytelling device. It allows him to create worlds and alternate realities.

“It’s compelling, it creates conversation and it’s magical,” he said. “It’s given me purpose in life by providing me with something to be passionate about.”

Oyekan said his admission to the university has opened many doors for him. 

“My experience at State is awesome,” he said. “I love the community, I love the environment and the equipment we have access to. The professors give you really good advice. There is great guidance here.”

Oyekan’s filmmaking has even been used on campus by the administration.

One of his shorts films “Party Scenario,” details the different possible scenarios where a fun night of partying can go wrong.

His short has been used by the university to caution freshmen about the dangers of unsafe partying.

“The film program is pretty much the best in San Diego because they give you so many opportunities to really explore and make your own type of films,” he said. “It really encourages you to be creative and to be experimental.”

Although gratful for its lessons, Oyekan said that SDSU only highlights the beginning of his career.

“After I graduate, I plan on moving out to L.A.,” he said. “Hopefully I get to direct small experimental films or TV 1-hour dramas.”

Oyekan is currently working on a documentary based on Poway’s allegedly haunted McKamey Manor.