Sonia Oduwa Aimy

If there is anyone who can persuasively bring together African cultures with the rest of the world through music, productions, and action, it is Sonia Oduwa Aimy. With her voice of shimmering velvet, her energy and soulful appeal, Sonia spreads joy as she irresistibly blends afro-jazz, afrobeat, highlife, and the African griot call-and-response tradition.

Her infectious joie de vivre and indomitable spirit shine through in her performances and her recordings – her 2021 album Reconnect (Slammin Media/Saimy’s Art) 2017 album Nigerian Spirit (Saimy’s Art distributed by Believe).

They resonate as well through her most recent project, the film TRACE: Tracing African Canadian Extraordinaire¸ which premiered in May 2023 at Cannes Festival Pavilion Afriques. She was executive producer and director of this ambitious film, which recognizes the selfless efforts of seven African Canadians from across the country – leaders in business, academics, the arts, philanthropy and advocacy issues – whose remarkable accomplishments, hitherto mostly unsung, have made a strong impact on the community.

Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?

My project, TRACE: Tracing African Canadian Extraordinaire, is a film that recognizes the selfless efforts of seven African Canadians from across the country. These individuals are leaders in business, academics, the arts, philanthropy, and advocacy issues. Their remarkable accomplishments have made a strong impact on the community, and this film aims to celebrate their achievements and inspire others.

What are your ambitions with your project?
My ambitions for TRACE are to bring attention to the inspiring stories of these African Canadian leaders and to create a positive impact on the black community, particularly the younger generation. I hope to challenge stereotypes and encourage more representation of black role models in the mainstream media.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
 The shooting process for TRACE was a wonderful experience. I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm and openness of the individuals we interviewed. They were excited and honored to be part of the project, and their willingness to share their stories made the filming process enjoyable and rewarding.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?

TRACE is targeted at a wide audience, including the black community, the younger generation, and anyone interested in learning about the inspiring stories of African Canadian leaders. The film aims to educate, inspire, and challenge stereotypes.

Why should distributors buy your film?

Distributors should buy TRACE because it tells important and inspiring stories that deserve to be shared with a wider audience. The film has the potential to create a positive impact on viewers and encourage more representation of black role models in the mainstream media.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
My work is characterized by its focus on storytelling, blending various artistic elements such as music, dance, and narrative. TRACE is a unique film that combines these elements to create a powerful and engaging experience for the audience.

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?

I decided to become a filmmaker to share my passion for storytelling and to bring attention to important issues affecting the black community. My background in singing, songwriting, acting, and production has allowed me to explore various creative avenues and use my talents to make a difference.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?

I find inspiration in the stories of everyday people, particularly those who have overcome challenges and made a positive impact on their communities. I also draw inspiration from my own experiences and the rich cultural traditions of African storytelling.

Which topics interest you the most?

I am most interested in topics that explore the human experience, social issues, and the power of art and creativity to inspire change.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?

My greatest achievement in my career so far is the creation of TRACE, a film that celebrates the accomplishments of African Canadian leaders and has the potential to inspire and educate audiences.

What do you consider most important about filming?
The most important aspect of filming is capturing the essence of the story and the emotions of the characters. It's crucial to create a connection with the audience and evoke a meaningful response.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?

Current filmmaking offers a diverse range of stories and perspectives, but there is still room for improvement in terms of representation and inclusivity. I believe that filmmakers have a responsibility to challenge stereotypes and create opportunities for underrepresented voices to be heard.

What can disappoint you in a movie?

I can be disappointed in a movie when it fails to create an emotional connection with the audience or when it perpetuates harmful stereotypes and misrepresentations.

Who supports you in your film career?

I am grateful for the support of my family, friends, and mentors who have encouraged me in my film career. Their belief in my abilities and passion for storytelling has been instrumental in my success.

What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends, and family)

The reactions to TRACE have been overwhelmingly positive. Spectators, film critics, friends, and family have praised the film for its powerful storytelling, engaging visuals, and inspiring message.

Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?

Yes, TRACE premiered in May 2023 at the Cannes Festival Pavilion Afriques, which was an incredible experience and a testament to the film's impact and appeal.


What are your future plans in filmmaking career?

My future plans in filmmaking include producing a TRACE series for TV and screening platforms, as well as working on another feature film. I am committed to continuing to tell inspiring stories and using my talents to make a positive impact on the world.