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From Oscars, solid gold for Nigeria’s Aduaka, Akindele, Egbe, DKD

By Shaibu Husseini
02 July 2022   |   2:39 am
It is solid gold from the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Science (AMPAS) or Oscars for four notable Nigerian-born motion picture practitioners- Europe-based filmmaker Newton Aduaka

Funke Akindele

It is solid gold from the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Science (AMPAS) or Oscars for four notable Nigerian-born motion picture practitioners- Europe-based filmmaker Newton Aduaka, the actress Funke Akindele, the actor Daniel K. Daniel and the producer, director and writer Blessing Egbe.

These practitioners made the list of 397 members of the global film community invited to join the Oscars as voting members both for the nominees and eventual winners. While Funke Akindele and Daniel K. Daniel made it on the list under the acting category, Newton Aduaka, best known for ‘Ezra’ and Blessing Egbe, best known for ‘Lekki Wives’, made the list under the directing category.

The other members invited from 53 other countries include Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Gaby Hoffmann (C’mon C’mon), Robin de Jesus (Tick, Tick … Boom!), and director Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard).

Aduaka, Akindele, Egbe and Daniel will join fellow compatriots—Ramsey Tokunbo Nouah Jnr, Mo Abudu and Nigerian-born but United States-based photographer and director Andrew Dosumu who were among the 395 new members admitted into the Academy class of 2021. They will also join practitioners including Omotola Jalade Ekeinde, Nigerian-born British actress Wunmi Mosaku, filmmaker Femi Odugbemi, British-Nigerian film director Ngozi Onwurah, veteran filmmaker Tunde Kelani, actress Genevieve Nnaji, movie director, writer and actor Akin Omotoso and British actress and singer Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo, who were appointed Academy members in 2019 and 2020 respectively.

Moviedom salutes Aduaka, Akindele, Egbe and DKD whose membership in the Academy represents a new career height and recognition of their immense talent and outstanding abilities as motion picture practitioners

Newton Aduaka
ONE of Nigeria’s best-known filmmakers internationally, Newton Aduaka was admitted as a voting member of the Oscars under the directing branch. A trained and accomplished filmmaker and one of the very few filmmakers of Nigerian descent in the professional class, Aduaka was born in Ogidi, South-East Nigeria.

An alumnus of the London International Film School, Aduaka wrote and published stories while working in the UK as a sound mixer. A well-medaled filmmaker, who in 1997 set up Granite FilmWorks with Maria Elena L’Abbate to produce personal, cutting-edge and uncompromising films, Aduaka has helmed a number of critically acclaimed movies including short films such as Carnival of Silence (1994), Voices Behind the Wall (1990) and On The Edge (1997), which won him three prestigious awards and numerous special mentions. But it was his debut feature Rage (2000) that put Aduaka on the world movie map.

Rage was released to huge critical acclaim and it entered the history books as the first independent film by a black filmmaker to gain a national release in Britain. The movie was also very successful in international film festivals around the world, winning many prizes, including Best Director at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles.

Aduaka’s next feature Ezra, a film that gave an African perspective on the disturbing phenomenon of abducting child soldiers into the continent civil war, released in 2007 was another hit. The movie fetched 28 awards for Aduaka globally, including an award from the United Nations and winning the grand prize—Stallion De Yennenga at the 2007 edition of the Festival of Pan African Cinema in Ouagadougou (FESPACO). Since then Aduaka who is based in Europe has helmed a couple of productions including Essie (2010), One Man’s Show (2012) and Katarina (2012).

Funke Akindele
POPULAR Nollywood actress Funke Akindele made the Academy list of new invitees. The prolific actress and content producer was invited under the acting branch. Indeed, Funke deserves to be honoured for her passion and commitment to the craft.

Currently, one of the hottest actresses and producers on the turf raking in credits and awards as she runs along, Funke has proven with her numerous offerings that she is cut out for acting and the business of motion picture production. A multi-award-winning actress, she has received all the major industry awards that are there to receive including the Future Award, the Best of Nollywood Awards for best actress, the Afro Hollywood Award, the African Magic Viewers Choice Award (AMVCA) and the prestigious Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA).

In her movie pouch are other hit flicks such as Final Whistle, Osella, Jenifa, and lately Omo Ghetto, which was declared as the highest-grossing movie of 2020/2021.

Blessing Egbe
PROLIFIC writer, producer and director Blessing Effiom Egbe was admitted under the directing branch. A busy content producer, the actress and former model who is best known for directing and producing the popular series Lekki Wives have continued to lead her production outfit B Concept Network to produce critically acclaimed productions including, Two Brides And A Baby, Iqou’s Journal, This Thing Called Marriage Series, She Drives Me Nuts Series, The Ten Virgins Series and Coat of Alms. This recognition by AMPAS is clearly a new height for Egbe’s shimmering career.

Daniel K. Daniel
A MULTIPLE award-winning actors, model and voice-over artist, Daniel K. Daniel was nominated in the actor’s category. Best known for his portrayal of Boss Man in the movie titled A Soldier’s Story for which he won both the AMVCA and the Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) as best actor, Daniel started out as a model but branched out to acting about a decade ago. His first acting job was in the television series All About Us. Popular as DKD, his other movie credits include Sarah’s Choice, The Child, Ivie, 76 and others.

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