Search Results for: Carolyn Okomo

Gabriel Kane Day Lewis Photoshoot and Interview with FAULT Magazine Preview





Art Direction & Photography: Leonardo De Angelis & Eric Francis Silverberg 

Stylist: Marc Anthony George 

Groomer: Roberto Morelli

Stylist Assistant: Evan Grotevant

Location SplashLight Studios NYC



Words: Carolyn Okomo


While music appears to be the emerging pop crooner’s chosen love, the Day Lewis hasn’t cast off the idea of trading a microphone for a script, though he admits he still has much to learn about the artform.


“I have, and I do want to act. It just has to be right. The right director, the right cast, the right screenplay.  I want to be in something noteworthy” he says. “But before I just throw myself into acting I want to take classes and learn. I feel it’s important for all artists to go through a certain learning process, regardless of talent.”


Day Lewis recently spoke with FAULT about his influences, regret, bullies, and forging his own unique brand of celebrity.


How did you discover your passion for music?


I wouldn’t say that I discovered music. It was a gradual thing, and it’s definitely been ingrained in me for as far back as I can remember. I’ve just always loved everything about music, and as I got older I started showing a pretty natural interest in the hands on aspect of music, and picked up the piano and guitar.


The first song I wrote was for my babysitter Kelly. I was five,  I think. The song was called “Pretty”, and it was basically me singing the word “pretty” over and over again to the tune of “Twinkle twinkle little star”. Wrote my first “original” song when I was eleven or twelve. I’ve been writing songs since.



Who are some artist you’d like to work with?


It’s hard to pinpoint, the youth is crushing pop at the moment. So many new faces, and insane amounts of talent. Everyone’s doing their thing and it’s really cool. I’d like to work with James Bay, his vibe is really what I’m about at the moment. Ed Sheeran would obviously be a dream collaboration. He just writes the most incredible songs.


You’ve written off your hip hop-influenced video, ‘Green Aura,’ as a misrepresentation of you as an artist. Do you feel the same way about it? How do you think you’ve grown, and what do you feel you’ve learned, since making that video — good and bad?


Green Auras. I used to always avoid questions about the viral music video I made when I was eighteen because it was still somewhat of a fresh wound, if you will. But now that I’ve been able to distance myself and completely come to terms with all the shade the internet threw at me back then, and look on it with some perspective from life experiences I’ve had since then.


I don’t really have anything I regret. If anything it was a valuable lesson and I learned it early on. The internet us a playground for bullies. In the track for that video, I made my biggest mistake by opening up about some real personal issues I hadn’t addressed back then, and people were just flat out mean about it. I was young and didn’t think the video would ever get the attention it did. I don’t care anymore, it blew over and it’s in the past now.



How did growing up in NYC influence you as an artist?


NYC has been just as good for my creativity, as its been stifling. What I love about the city is it’s constant flow of energy, the diversity. There’s always something to do and people to meet.  It feels so familiar to me. There’s something about the city that makes me feel on top of the world. That feeling of being unstoppable with infinite possibilities. It becomes energy that can be processed creatively. But I had to take a break from New York, it was wearing me out. I’ll be back soon.


What is your FAULT?


Hopeless romance.


Olivia Holt cover shoot for FAULT Issue 29 Screen section

Olivia Holt X FAULT Magazine

Olivia Holt - FAULT Magazine Issue 29 - Screen section cover

Photography: Benjo Arwas | Styling: Courtnee Scully @lalaluxe | Make-up: Tonya Brewer | Hair: David Stanwell @thewallgroup | Post-production: Nadia Selander | Director of Photography: Scott Smith | Editor: The Pioneers | Production: Kiley Coleman | Thank You to

By most standards, actress and musical performer Olivia Holt appears to be on the precipice of a career breakthrough.  With her new role as Dagger in Marvel’s latest superhero incarnation, Cloak and Dagger, alongside co-star Aubrey Joseph, the 20-year old, Mississippi-bred talent is very quickly establishing herself as an on-screen force with the talent and fortitude to portray characters substantially more complex than audiences have previously seen from her.

In addition to her new show, Holt has been working daily on writing and recording her brand of music, which she describes as pop that pays homage to her soulful, Southern roots. The success of her recent single, ‘Generous’, which gained one million views in just five days after its release in late 2017, should serve as teaser to fans of what to expect.

Holt recently took the time to talk with FAULT about the new show and her unguarded approach to her career and to life.

FAULT: Can you remember the very first performance you ever put on for an audience?
Olivia Holt: It was an audience of four as a kid: my mom, my dad, my brother, my sister. That lasted for a very long time until they were totally over me forcing them to sit down and watch me perform. But, I’d say for like a legit audience the first thing I ever did was ‘Annie,’ I think. I played an orphan and I loved every second of it.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

Full shoot and interview available exclusively in FAULT Magazine Issue 29 – available to pre-order now!

How did you prepare for the role of Tandy?
Olivia Holt: Tandy has a lot of layers. She’s not just one note. She is a cynical human being. A lot has happened to her and she experienced something very traumatic as a child and is sort of living in survival mode and with that a comes lot of responsibility. She’s sort of the parent in her mother-daughter relationship. She’s having to take care of everything and everyone around her and I think that’s a lot for a teenager to deal with. So she have a lot on her plate.

I would remember being a physically and emotionally exhausted at the end of some of the days just because of some of the stuff that Tandy is dealing with, whether that be her relationship with her mother, or addiction, or sexual assault. So, preparing was not an easy thing, and I think I’m still preparing. But, I think she was learning and so I was learning too. We were sort of finding where we fit in our lives. That was that was an interesting journey to go on.

How was it like working with your co-star Aubrey Joseph?
Olivia Holt: He is a gem of a human being. He is just so down to earth, talented — a great scene partner but an even better friend and I feel so grateful to work with somebody who has this insane work ethic and who is genuinely nice and so passionate, not just about his character but  about the story that his character and my character share. I just think we have an awesome, special connection and the fact that both of us get to tell that story is so surreal, and I think we’re both forever grateful for it. But, I love working with him.

What can we expect from you musically later this year?
Holt: I’ve been in the studio almost every single day writing and recording this year. I actually feel like I’ve been able to prioritize music rather than bouncing around and trying to balance both acting and music. This year has really been focused on honing in on the music and making sure that I’m involved in putting in the work to find my sound and, lyrically, what I want to do. And, it’s been an incredible journey just exploring all of that. I have a few things coming up this year that I’m really excited for people to hear.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

How would you describe your overall sound and what are some of your influences, musically?
Holt: I’m making pop records but I grew up in the South so I’m very drawn to organic instruments. So there’s a little bit of soul, a little bit of alternative — it’s artistic and cool and it just really showcases my energy and my personality and the way I talk. They are all stories coming from my real life experiences or things that I want to experience. So it’s all very personal and vulnerable and that’s my creative outlet for my specific headspace, in hopes that people are going to be able to relate and feel things when they hear my music.

Olivia Holt for FAULT Magazine Issue 29

What is your FAULT?
Olivia Holt: Acting and music are my creative outlets. It’s a way for me to escape and a way for me to be vulnerable and have that space to connect with people. But I want the projects that I work on and the music that I make to move people and make them feel alive and to keep curious and to thrive and to live so fiercely… I want to change people for the better and I want them to live a fulfilled life and hopefully I can do that through what I love to do. I want to create an environment for people to feel wanted and loved. I think that’s my fault.




FAULT Magazine in Conversation with Rainbow Arabia



For more than a year and a half, Tiffany and Danny Preston, the duo behind LA-based electronic band Rainbow Arabia, worked tirelessly to create the follow-up LP to their 2013 album FM Sushi to no avail. Though prolific in their production of tracks, what the creative team’s musical efforts ultimately lacked was thematic cohesion.

The problem, according to Danny, was that the band’s earlier experimentation with a more techno-based sound consistently lead to dead ends.

We were experimenting with but it didn’t really work vocals that well, or it didn’t have enough melody,” says Danny. “So we’re trying something new but it wasn’t really working.”

Rainbow Arabia eventually enlisted the services of Matt Boynton, the Brooklyn-based audio mixing veteran who has counted acts as diverse as Norah Jones and Sonic Youth as clients.

“We both made the decision that this record wasn’t going to get done unless we made an appointment with Matt Boyton,“ says Tiffany.

Almost immediately, all the disjointed parts of Rainbow Arabia’s vast-but- unreleased body of work began to piece together.  Under Boynton’s wing, Rainbow Arabia was finally able to accomplish in two months what they’d struggled to do for almost two years. The end product, LA Heartbreak, is perhaps Rainbow Arabia’s most revealing album yet. Aesthetically, Danny’s complex musical arrangements propel the band further away from the world music-inspired sounds of past albums, and closer to the 80s synth-pop, metal and punk influences of their youth. Lyrically, Tiffany brutally honest vocals expose some of the more emotionally trying moments in the duo’s marriage and creative partnership in a way unparalleled in previous LPs.

Following the official release of LA Heartbreak this past November, Rainbow Arabia will debut their new material to audiences in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest before eventually moving further out on the road in 2017.  The pair recently took the time to chat about creating LA Heartbreak and the challenges of being a couple act.


FAULT: To what extent is LA Heartbreak autobiographical?

TIFFANY: You know, it was interesting because in our lives we’d been sort of dealing with a lot of stuff in our relationship. There was a time when we were trying to have a baby, hence the baby bottle on the cover.  Things just weren’t working out for us. I feel like, mentally, we were kind of in a really dark place when I was writing it, so the lyrics kind of just came out. I really improvised a lot of my lyrics.

Through making the record I feel like, when we finished it,  it really was a therapeutic thing for me because we were going through couples therapy, too. All of a sudden, as soon as we finished the record everything sort of came together for us in the end. We’re doing much better, but the title LA Heartbreak was kind of a reflection of our relationship and the life struggles that we’re going through at the time.


FAULT: Is it difficult to listen to the album given where it came from and how personal it was for you at the time?

TIFFANY: No. I think that sometimes struggle in life can be a tool to make better music. I think that, you know, that’s just a part of me.  It’s very easy for me to  kind of tap into and reveal dark parts of myself. So when I listen to it, I’m like, ‘OK that was me then, and it’s fine,’ you know? It’s easier for me to write a sad song than a happy song though for sure.



FAULT: LA Heartbreak seems certainly more personal than your previous albums. Do you expect this to be the direction that the both of you go creatively from now on?

TIFFANY: Kind of. I feel like with both of us it’s so unpredictable. I feel like when we start working on songs it just changes. Every time we have a clear direction on what we want to do, it always comes out different. So, I feel like I can’t predict that.

DANNY: The tone and mood is only going to be about how you’re feeling at the time.

TIFFANY: It is really unpredictable. What I can predict is that I think we both learned a lot from this record about things we want to improve on in our songwriting and vocals — technical things that we want to improve. But I can’t predict the tone of our next record. It’s really a headspace and where you are at that time.


FAULT: So Tiffany, back in 2011, following the release of Boys and Diamonds, you told the L.A. Times how you and Danny actually stopped communicating after you finish that album, which is incredible.

TIFFANY: [chuckles] After every album.

FAULT: Is it difficult beginning a project when you already recognize the kind of pressure it creates for the both of you personally?

TIFFANY: Yea but we we’ve been married for a long time. I’ve seen couple bands go through the same dynamic that Danny and I have.

DANNY: Usually they break up.

TIFFANY: Yea, a couple of them have broken up. But, we’re in a few dynamics. We have a label — we’re label partners. Then we have our band — that’s another dynamic — and then we’re married, that’s another dynamic. So, any sort of pressure or anything that goes on does tend to seep through everything.

But, the one thing that’s gotten better — it’s just like when you’re married for a long time or you’re in a band for a long time. — is that you get through things and then you start to deal with them better. And I feel like, definitely on this record, once we made a deadline and we kind of put our minds to it, we actually got through it pretty good at the end. And when it was finished it was different. It was more relieving and we actually were much more happier when we completed this album.

DANNY: Yea, I think the end project of Boys and Diamonds was more dissatisfying than this record.


FAULT: The influence of world music is much more apparent in your earlier records than it has been more recently, particular since Boys and Diamonds. What inspired that shift?


DANNY: Well, the thing is that our influences and inspiration constantly changes. We both love all kinds of music and get inspired by — I mean, it’s limitless, the music out there.

So I still love world music and there’s still so much more world music. I mean, that’s a huge world to get into. I think just at the time when we started, that’s what pushed us in influence. Our first two EPs — The Basta and Kabukimono — those were very world-influenced.

We have our sound but we’re never going to stay sounding the same because that’s who we are as people. We like to dig in other places and have new inspiration. We’re not closed in a box. We always like to be inspired by news things.


Words: Carolyn Okomo




FAULT Reviews: ‘And Every Day was Overcast’ – An Illustrated Novel by Paul Kwiatkowski


Memories of childhood humanize us as adults. With age, our version of that time is deformed then reassembled. What fragments bleed through are tailored to a narrative designed to hide vulnerability.”

-P.K., And Every Day Was Overcast

 and every day was overcast2

If the absence of vulnerability is a hallmark of adult self-retrospection as the first three lines of Paul Kwiatkowski’s debut novel, And Every Day Was Overcast, suggests, then the candid recollections of book’s protagonist, P.K., certainly break the mold. The narrator’s willingness to cast aside vulnerability in the service of brute honesty is all too evident as he recounts the ten years of his youth spent in Loxahatchee, Florida during the 1990s. P.K.’s youthful exploits are told in such nerve-bearing detail that not much is left to the imagination.

Take, for example, P.K.’s account of how he willingly exposed himself to a drifter to score alcohol for him and his friends. Another section of the book describes how P.K. witnessed an acquaintance commit a random act of cruel violence against the school outcast, then abandon the victim’s unconscious body outside a 7-Eleven. The friendless, unfortunate boy, named Cobain, is never to be seen or heard from again, leaving the P.K. to ruminate in remorse through the course of his young adult life.

Worse than my guilt and fear was the relief I felt” laments P.K. “I told myself that his evaporation was a small death that had brought him to a better place.”


Yet another passage from the book describes the 40 hours of court-ordered community service P.K. spent under the wing of an HIV-positive ex-drag queen named Cody, who introduces him to the secret lives of supposedly straight, well-to-do yuppy men who cruise for sex in drive-in theater parking lots and dingy gas station bathrooms in their off-hours away from work and home. Such are the types of memories many would try to bury as far into the depths of their psyche as possible. Instead, they are brought to light by the narrator in a graphic novel that reads like a yearbook from one of the most dysfunctional high school experiences imaginable.

Kwiatkowski’s Florida is more than just the sunny, resort-ladden getaway destination its tourism department would have one believe. Its magic and charm are certainly not lost on the author, though both take a form that is much less that of the Disney variety. The author admits it took him leaving the state to fully realize just how much Florida’s topography influenced his adolescent experiences, though he’d always had it in the back of his mind that the state functioned on a plane quite different from other places.

I grew closer to the Bahamas and Jamaica than I did Georgia” says Kwiatkowski, who is currently based in New York. “So I think when you grow up in that cultural landscape you’re aware that you’re a little bit distant from the rest of America.” Shows like America’s Most Wanted, which Kwiatkowski says never ceased to showcase Florida’s pedophiles, rapists and murders, only helped to validate the author’s suspicions about the Sunshine State.

 and every day was overcast3

Narratives like the vignettes found in And Every Day Was Overcast have been told countless times. Kwiatkowski’s book calls to mind Larry Clark’s seminal film Kids (1995), which drove a slegde hammer into the whimsical, John Hughesian notions of young adulthood many had often considered the norm. The novel continues this tradition,recounting the awkward and often ill-advised exploits of listless teens, though it exchanges the New York’s skyscrapers, yellow cabs and rushed pedestrians for everglades, palm trees and alligators. Still, the novel’s presentation is quite ground-breaking in its own right. And Every Day Was Overcast blurs the lines between fiction and memoir by juxtaposing countless photos taken by Kwiatkowski (most between the ages of 13 to 18) with vivid prose. Its narrative is as much dependant on the text as it is images to fully tell P.K.’s story.

I didn’t want it to function as just a photo book where people would be like ‘Oh these photos are really pretty.’ I realize that they’re snapshots and that they’re nothing special,” says Kwiatkowski. “I’m sure a lot of people have the exact same types of pictures from their past.”

As a whole, Kwiatkowski’s novel succeeds in doing much more than simply conveying the isolated experiences of one idle teenager with a penchant for drugs, pornography and reckless sexual encounters. Through a marriage of images and words, the novel illustrates the result of adolescent malaise against Florida’s eerie, subtropical backdrop. Perhaps less noticeably, And Every Day Was Overcast is also the story of a man fortunate enough to have actually made it out.

and every day was overcast


Words: Carolyn Okomo
All Images: Copyright 2013 Paul Kwiatkowski/Black Balloon Publishing.

FAULT Favourite: designer Gabriella Marina Gonzalez

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez35061 (Medium)

FAULT Favourite London-based accessory designer Gabriella Marina Gonzalez’s new collection, ‘Nigredo E’poche’, is every bit as haunting as her last seven. While its name is derived from the French phrase La Belle Époque – a golden era in Europe’s cultural history – her morose artistic ethos bleeds through each meticulously constructed piece.

‘Nigredo,’ which means blackening, can be defined as the first stage of self-awakening. Gonzalez’s unique spelling of ‘E’poche’ combines both the French term ‘Époque’ –meaning ‘era’ – and the ancient Greek term ‘Epoché’ – a philosophical notion that challenges one to suspend judgment of commonly held beliefs through conscious detachment.

In this sense, ‘Nigredo E’poche’ permeates throughout not only Gonzalez’s newest designs, but also her approach towards her work. She openly describes her carefully-crafted leather goods as targeting the ’emotionally dispossessed’. It’s the sort of phrase that one would normally associate with heavy irony but, in Gabriella’s case, it seems to have been meant in earnest. She seems to genuinely lament the plight of consumers – her customers – in an increasingly frivolous and superficial society. It’s a peculiar – but fascinating – standpoint for someone operating in an industry so completely in thrall to celebrity culture.

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez3784 2 (Medium)

It is a finely balanced stand-off: even if Gabriella can’t help but acknowledge, through the words she uses to describe her collections, the precepts of the dark era in which we live, her work stands as the ideal response. Its honesty and raw integrity evokes the words of Edna St. Vincent Millay when she famously declared “Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare./Let all who prate of Beauty hold their peace…”

‘Nigredo E’poche’, which features hand-molded leather shin guards, harnesses and bracelets adorned with special-made brass fixtures by product designer Michael Antrobus, turns Gonzalez’s alchemically philosophical musing into a reality.

Gabriella Marina Gonzalez3670new1 (Medium)


In your last interview with FAULT Magazine (FAULT Issue 13), you said that you don’t really follow other designers, or even take notice of celebrities that wear your clothes. In an industry that often idolises fame and celebrity, what barometers do you use to measure your own success?

Gabriella: I’ve never desired to become part of something too far removed from the artistry. I do not feel that belonging to a particular circle measures my success, nor do I want to surround myself with certain types of people in order to confirm it. It’s limiting. I made an active decision very early on not to fall into a lifestyle that created any illusions about what part I really play in this world.

‘The Celebrity’ is a strange phenomenon to me, a modern religion, manifesting idols from projected persona’s. How can one identify with a stranger in pictures without comprehending the journey? I guess because they like the clothes? It’s fun, don’t get me wrong, but is it sufficient? I find it unnerving that people don’t want to peek behind the curtain. It’s a distracting frivolity that makes reality a little more bearable. [One should] Actually trace the development of the idea. Try to understand the hard part instead of the part that is suspiciously handed to you.

My reality has never been glamorous, it’s not what I’m in for. By the end of a collection my hands are swollen from weeks of leather working and the last thing I want to do is pretend to not be physically and emotionally exhausted. I use my craft as a means for exploring my (understandably obscure) thought processes. Each collection becomes a sort of personal research project of my mind. If through this I achieve a better understanding of the world and those around me then this is all the success I need.

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What piece from your collection are you the most excited about?

Every piece evokes totally different associations and sets of emotions for me. I have a soft spot for the halo [headpiece] this season because it’s so stylistically different to my usual work.


You partnered with product designer Michael Antrobus for this collection. How did you hook up with him?

I approached Michael about a potential collaboration about seven months ago. We brainstormed for a while. Finally, I decided I wanted to do something with bells to symbolise a temporal map of one’s movements through vibratory frequencies. We spoke and I explained that all the bells I was sourcing were too reminiscent of reindeer and he suggested making the bells for me. The end product is a perfectly functioning bell with a great sound in Michael’s signature simplistic style. There is no pretension in his work, it’s just raw and I find a lot of beauty in that.

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How do you know when a collection you’re designing is complete?

Nothing is ever complete. I have to force myself to be satisfied with however far I have taken a concept. It continues to unfold in my head but I may not explore it again in a collection.


What can we expect from your next collection?

I’ve had a craving to make garments lately. I enjoy taking advantage of the fact that I haven’t limited myself to a specific discipline so I’m playing with the idea of a full on knitwear range. It will continue to be individually handmade, and available from the newly launched online store.

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Words: Carolyn Okomo
Photography: Olivia Richardson
Styling: Arndt Stobba
Hair: Dave Noble
Makeup: Nicola Moores
Model: Billie @ Select
Special thanks: Beyond Retro

FAULT Focus: ‘Vogue Africa’ visionary Mario Epanya


Mario Epanya, the man behind the mock Vogue Africa covers that commanded the fashion world’s attention, hasn’t lost his zeal for showcasing talent from Africa and the diaspora. In fact, in the three years since he posed the question of why no Vogue edition exists for a continent with over 1 billion inhabitants, his dedication to this slice of the industry seems only to have grown.

Fashion is not only Paris, New York and London” says the Cameroonian-born photographer. “There are so many people who have their own interpretation of fashion and I want the world to know that.”

Mario Epanya photography

Mario Epanya photography

Building a Vogue Africa is no longer a crusade Epanya is pursuing, though certainly not for lack of interest. The photographer has come a long way since the period in 2010 he now refers to has Vogue Africa-gate: during that year, he lost his bid to acquire a Vogue Africa license, though not without creating a huge buzz over the potential for an African edition of the venerable glossy. His photography was the centerpiece of GLAMAZONIA, an exhibit that debuted at the annual FashionAFRICANA event held in Pittsburgh this past December. He says he’s even been asked to acquire the license for African American fashion and culture publication Honey Magazine, though it’s still yet to be known whether he will take up the offer.

Like Epanya, those tied to the African fashion industry aren’t waiting to receive Vogue’s blessings. London-based quarterly Arise Magazine, for one, has been published since 2008 and organizes an annual fashion week. Other publications include Paris-based FASHIZBLACK and Lagos-based FAB Magazine, which partnered with Africa Fashion Week London to run the event back in 2012. The internet has also seen the growth of Africa-focused fashion and culture blogs and online publications like AfriPOP!, Africa Style Quarterly and African Fashion Guide — a site that promotes sustainability in Africa’s fashion and textile industry.


Mario Epanya photography

Mario Epanya photography

Mario Epanya photography


To this day, Conde Nast maintains a position that Vogue Africa is not yet commercially viable, though Vogue Italia’s May 2012 ‘Rebranding Africa’ issue certainly deserves a nod. Its editor-in-chief, Franca Sozzani, continues to play a pivotal role in promoting African creativity in fashion; she’s also mirrored Conde Nast’s view, expressing on many occasions that greater investments must be made in the continent before an African edition of the publication can be established.


Mario Epanya photography

Epanya calls Vogue Italia’s Africa edition “a beautiful beginning,” though he adamantly opposes Vogue’s posture that it’s too soon for a Vogue Africa. In fact, the photographer has been working with another global trend purveyor — the L’Oreal Group — to create packaging geared towards its African consumers since March in light of promising sales figures. Other initiatives, such as United Nations-sanctioned Ethical Fashion Africa, have employed high fashion designers like Stella McCartney and Vivienne Westwood to connect fashion houses to African artisans and create jobs. Another Ghana-based organization, The WEB-Young Designers Hub, was created with help from the French Embassy to support fashion designers in the country. With the world evidently taking notice of Africa’s potential as a high fashion player, only time will tell when the Vogue franchise will follow suit.

“I think sooner or later, there will be [a Vogue Africa]” says Epanya. “I don’t when — maybe in ten, twenty years. I don’t know. But, they will have to do it.”


Mario Epanya photography

With his personal pursuit for African recognition through the Vogue brand well behind him, Epanya now dedicates whatever time he can spare on his own publication, Winkler Magazine. It’s hard work, he admits. At times, he’s even considered abandoning the project altogether, though he hasn’t done so quite yet. He hasn’t because, to Epanya, the work is necessary in demonstrating Africa’s potential as a prominent high-fashion and cultural hub.

“Of course, there are problems in Africa — I’m not denying it,” Epanya says. “But there is also beauty. There is also creativity, and you’ve got to take time to look at it.”

Words by Carolyn Okomo

Images by Mario Epanya

FAULT Focus: filmmaker Michael Mohan (‘Save the Date’ director) on his latest short, ‘This Is How You Die’

Imagine a machine existed that could tell you exactly how you will die. The machine, as commonplace as the automatic blood pressure monitors one finds in pharmacies, takes a small sample of your blood and, upon examination, discharges a small slip disclosing your mode of death.


Michael Mohan, the 33-year old filmmaker behind 2012 romantic drama Save the Date, explores this theme in a series of short films he adapted from the upcoming anthology This Is How You Die, edited by Matthew Bennardo, former film school buddy David Malki ! and Ryan North. The book of fictional tales — released this past Tuesday (July 16th) — is the second volume to 2010 best-selling anthology Machine of Death (or something along these lines). . The shorts, now featured on Funny or Die, are the first film project Mohan’s released for some time, and one he’s unabashedly excited about.

“I’m very lucky to have surrounded myself with a team of people who just have my back whenever I try to make something, no matter the budget” says Mohan, who co-wrote the script with Malki ! and tapped his network of friends help complete the project.

And, the shorts are about as short as short films get. One clocks in at just 23 second, to give you an idea. The death scenes depicted in Mohan’s shorts are so gratuitously violent they possess the creative sensibilities of an Alanis Morissette music video remixed by Quentin Tarantino; each death becomes a new punchline in the jocular narrative of a rather dark but humorous anthology of short stories.


In the first 47 second-long short, a young female on a jog comes across a death machine, decides to give it a go and receives a slip reading ‘old age’ as her cause of death. Delighted at the prospect of having many years ahead of her, she continues her jog only to be hit by a car driven by a confused old man.


Mohan says his favorite short is the final and most absurd of the bunch, titled BEAR. In this short, a man receiving a white card with the word ‘bear’ printed on it goes about his life fearful of bear-shaped honey jars, camping trips and gummy bears. He’s eventually killed during a routine day at the office when a bear jumps out of a recycling bin and attacks him. Mohan’s only regret as far as releasing these shorts online — BEAR in particular — is that he won’t be around to see the reactions of his audience.

“With that one especially, I would love to be in a packed theatre to hear the groans at the end,” says Mohan.



The addition of the This Is How You Die film adaptations to Michael Mohan’s body of work speaks volumes about the young filmmaker’s versatility. His cinematic endeavors — which also include visually-striking music videos and even a racy and emotional short film, Ex-Sex (2011) — make it difficult to pigeonhole him. More telling of his vision is that, despite very formidable professional alliances (Mad Men’s Alison Brie and Party Down’s Lizzy Caplan were both featured in Save the Date; New York Times best-selling comic Jeffrey Brown created the movie’s illustrations), Mohan still actively explores more obscure themes and styles in his work.

Mohan is certainly no household name; he’s not a filmmaker chasing fame, either. Yet, given his talent, commercial success could very well find him.



Words by Carolyn Okomo