Home Entertainment Film Festival Will Promote National Unity –  Duker

Film Festival Will Promote National Unity –  Duker


By Deji Abdulwahab

Abuja – Fidelis Duker, the Founder, Abuja International Film Festival, says the festival will improve the industry and assess films that promote peaceful co-existence and national unity.

Duker said this on Monday night in Abuja at the 19th Abuja International Film Festival with the theme “Challenges and Prospects of Digital Streaming Revolution Globally”.

“One of the things we did with the festival this year was to also assess films that try to bring unity as the 2023 election is coming in the next couple of months.

“We can see disunity in the country. One of the sub themes of the festival is to look for films that unite Nigeria and show oneness.

“Even in our diversity, we have Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa but we are one Nigeria. We live together in harmony.

“People marry from different parts. I’m from Cross River, my wife is Yoruba from Lagos we live together as family and I schooled in the north. So, you can imagine.”

The founder said that the film entries that came in were over 600 from around the world.

“We need to begin to bring such films under one umbrella. Film is a potent tool and makers are using films to tell our story to the world.

“So, we can use film to tell the world that Nigeria is a united country and we have been united until recently,” he said.

He urged Nigerians to forget tribal sentiments and begin to look for most competent person to lead the country.

“Our problem is not tribe. I will support a Hausa man or Igbo man or Yoruba man who has competence to lead this country.

“I think film has a major role to play that is why I’m appealing to the government to put more interest in the film industry.

“This will help us in having an industry that is stronger, vibrant and potential of boosting our economy,” Duker said.

According to him, the festival is to celebrate films and filmmakers. The idea is to bring films under one umbrella so that people can see these films and appreciate what filmmakers are doing.

“At the end of the festival, we will also give awards to the filmmakers. The whole idea is to celebrate their achievements on what they did in the last 18 months.

“What we intend to achieve is to see how we can make Nigerian filmmakers see films from other parts of the world and see how they can begin to collaborate and work together.”

According to him, the festival intends to bring innovation; this year, we have foreign filmmakers with challenges of security, especially in Abuja.

“We have two filmmakers that came from UK and US. When I asked them, they said that they came because Nigeria has a potential of giving them opportunity of knowing us better and it is not as bad we portray it.

“So, every year, we try to improve the number of entries we bring in, building capacity for our young filmmakers.

“We brought Segun Arinze and others to come and train these filmmakers on their experience of over 30 years.

“They have been making films all these years and how they impact on the younger ones.

Also, a three-decade actor Segun Arinze, called on the government to invest more in the film industry.

Arinze said that though Bank of Industry (BOI) had funded the industry, other relevant banks should complement the efforts to boost the industry.

He also urged young actors to be hardworking, focused and never be in a hurry.

“What we have now in the industry, a lot of young actors are in a hurry.

“They say we just want to do a movie and make big money and blow. You don’t blow like that.

“When you plant a seed, it has to germinate. Rain has to fall on it, sun has to shine on it and it begins to grow up.

“So, problems with most of our young actors are that they are in hurry. They need to slow down, understand their businesses and know what they need to change,” he said. (NAN)

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