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Meet Rebecca Ugo

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rebecca Ugo.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Rebecca. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
As a teenager, I began to notice that most of my favorite movies, TV shows & books were not diverse; So much so that when I began to write, it was almost natural for me to wonder if my characters needed to be white as that was the creative norm. I noticed that whenever people of color like me were shown, it was always as an anomaly or a token character. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to share stories, meaningful and impactful stories. I believe that sharing stories with diverse characters should be normal because that is the world we live in. People of color are often anomalies in the media. But that’s not how the real world is. If we’re not anomalies in the real world, then we should not be anomalies in the media. Our stories should not have to be exoticized in order to be considered.

I was born in Nigeria, where I spent my childhood years. I left Nigeria at a young age to the United Kingdom, where I went to Secondary school in Scotland. I have lived in the U.S for quite some time now and I am now an American citizen and have a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas of Austin in Radio, Television and Film.

I am a Writer, Director & Author with a desire to empower people who look different through sharing authentic stories that represent them adequately. It is the norm in the media for white people to be the lead characters and to be superheroes in a “normal world”. I think it is time that the norm changes where diversity is not only used as a marketing ploy.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. I made my first feature film while I was a full-time student at UT and decided to start my production company senior year. With little to no resources, I decided to take a leap of faith and jump into my passion. My first film was MOSTLY independently financed. I directed, edited, sound designed and set designed during the entire course of the project. I had to juggle several things at once, working 12-hour days with a butt-load of courses and deadlines. I completed the movie last year as I was graduating college. We have since had several private screenings of the movie around the U.S and the support has been overwhelming. Based on the private screenings we have conducted with thousands of Generation Z (age 10-22), we have thousands of young people raving about this film. With no external marketing, our first trailer on IG generated thousands of organic comments of GEN Z adamantly expressing their desire to watch “NO STRINGS” on a bigger platform. We are currently considering a few distribution options for the movie to make it available to a larger audience.

No Strings is a romantic drama that follows the life of a young girl who is saved from child trafficking but loses her mom in the process. To avenge her mom’s death, she enters relationships with guys in order to break their hearts. This continues until she meets Caleb, an intern counselor who knows her history. Puzzled and confused, he confronts her and challenges her to “play him” and they both set out on a journey. Will they fall for each other? Well, you have to see the movie to find out, but you can watch the trailer right here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B8OtHYGnxli/?igshid=1nvmkqt9pyxww

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Rugo Film story.
My company is called Rugo Film. I founded Rugo early this year to create meaningful and impactful content for young people. I believe that the young are the future of our generation. With young people consuming media at an alarming rate, I think it’s important that the media they are intaking is both unashamedly entertaining and fearlessly meaningful. Our first film produced under Rugo, “NO STRINGS” has received an immense amount of positive reviews from thousands of young people expressing the impact it had on their lives. You can visit our website on https://www.nostringsthemovie.com/ to read some of the feedback.

What sets RUGO apart is that our mission is to inspire young people of all ethnicities to Reach Up and Go On. We focus on three things; Empowerment, diversity, and inspiration. We make movies to make a difference in society, not just to make a quick buck.

We are also not doing what the rest of the system is doing by incorporating diversity in our business or trying to understand young people to make sales. Diversity is at the core of our Identity from staffing, to production, to the big screen. We understand young people because we are young. It’s a business that prides itself on employing an influx of the young generation.

I recently directed a documentary on the “Black Voice,” which will be out in the coming months. I have several scripts in the works and look forward to sharing these compelling stories with the world. 

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the next five to ten years, I see the industry moving toward diversity not just of different races but of creative thought, ingenuity and leadership processes. For the longest time, Hollywood has utilized the race they believed would make them the most money, and for the longest time, they have idolized white people to be that, but now they are moving towards inserting diverse characters instead. The hope, therefore, is that upcoming movies will consider diverse stories and leadership in their casting. I believe that a solution starts when people begin to see one another as equals and begin giving each other a fair chance, but not just for monetary purposes, but for cultural enlightenment and advancement.

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