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Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film

MEET DAVID AKWARA A YOUNG FILMMAKER UNITING AFRICA THROUGH FILM

The greatest desire of an average African over the years, has been the advancement of the continent, like her western counterpart.

 

Its not been possible because of the differences in economic interests, policies, and styles of governance, of the various nations that makes up the continent.

 

On March 21st 2018, leaders of the 55 nations that makes the continent, met at Kigali Rwanda as arranged by the African Union ( AU ) body, to discuss the advancement of Africa.

 

The meeting birthed African Continental Free Trade Agreement which has since been signed by 54 of the 55 nations that comprise Africa.

 

This agreement require each of the member States to remove tariffs from 90% of goods, allowing free access to commodities, goods, and services across the continent.

 

The African Continental Free Trade Agreement birthed a body called African Continental Free Trade Area ( AFCFTA ), that oversees the enforcement of the free trade agreement between African nations.

 

Operations of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AFCFTA ) took full effect from January 2021. Several measures have been taken by the body to get African traders and entrepreneurs aware of the initiative.

 

One of which  is getting film makers to produce various documentaries to enlighten African traders, and entrepreneurs, about AFCFTA, what they stand to gain from the free trade agreement, and how it would contribute to the advancement of Africa.

 

 

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

 

One individual that has been on the forefront of using documentary to educate people about AFCFTA, is David Akwara ( CEO David Akwara Films ), a young award winning filmmaker from Nigeria. What got our attention
to him was the
sacrifice he made to ensure this project was a success.

 

 

David Akwara hails from Delta State, and grew up in the city of Warri as the 4th child of Mr Lucky and Mrs Joy Akwara, alongside 6 other siblings.

 

Growing up, he admired the great lawyer Gani Fayemi, who used his office to defend the poor and oppressed in the then Nigerian economy, as a human right activitist, so he aspired becoming a lawyer.

 

Along the line, he joined a drama group called KINGS DRAMA GROUP in a bid to build his vocals, which according to him needs improvement if he must become a human right activist like his mentor.

 

After several trips with the drama group, he realized he could be a voice to more people and touch more lives as a filmmaker since movies goes further than public speaking.

 

 

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

When it was time to finally pick a profession, he chose filmmaking and enrolled at the Film And Broadcast Academy ( FABA ) Ozoro, Delta State, in 2010, to study Film And TV Production.

 

 

There he got the basic training he needed to become a filmmaker. When he was sure he has had enough basic knowledge in filmmaking, he proceeded to Ghallywood Academy Of Film Acting, Ghana, for further training between 2012 and 2013.

 

 

As a filmmaker, David Akwara has several movies and documentaries to his Credit. His movies include: KINGDOM ABLAZE ( shot in 2011), REMISSION OF SIN ( 2012 ), SAMBOTITI ( 2013 ), THE WEEK BEFORE OCTOBER 1st ( 2014 ), IMPALES ( 2016 ), and WORDS ON MARBLE ( 2017 ).

 

 

The following are his documentaries: BEFORE 40 ( shot in 2019 ), CELEBRATING UNITY ( 2019 ), 40 YEARS A MEMORY ( 2019 ), THE PITCH ( 2020 ), BOXES OF HOPE ( 2020 ), and ABOUT AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA ( 2021 ).

 

DaviD Akwara’s movies and documentaries has won him a place among the 100 most Influential Youths of Delta State origin and several awards including Indie Wise Movies Convention USA ( 2018 ), and MTN Shortz Award ( 2018 ), and ZI Prize For Empathy and Creative Genius ( 2021 ).

 

They have also been featured on several local and international film festivals including Kenyan International Film Festival, Afro Film Festival Columbia, TIF Video Challenge Cyprus, PACAS Spain, RPL Short Film Festival USA, Miami Epic Trailer Festival USA, CBC Africana Studies Independence Film Festival USA, RTF Nigeria, In Short Film Festival Nigeria, STIFF Italy, Cefalu Film Festival Italy, and many others.

 

His recent documentary titled ‘THE RISE’, a self funded project as supported by his family, loved ones and friends, ABOUT AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA, is inline to being selected among a few documentary films, that would be used to  create awareness across Africa.

 

A double trailer of the documentary which is scheduled to be premiered today December 2nd, has already been released on his official Youtube handle, David Akwara Films.

 

 

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

Tanroses.com had the privilege of a one on one interview with this great filmmaker as relayed below:

 

INTRODUCE YOURSELF AND TELL US WHY YOU CHOOSE THE FILM MAKING PROFESSION

My name is David Akwara. I am an award winning Nigerian filmmaker, from Warri, Delta State.

 

Film making was not my first choice for a profession while growing up. I actually dreamed of becoming a Lawyer as everyone around me including my parents encouraged i pursue the law profession because i was very expressive.

 

I admired the efforts of the great human right activitist and lawyer Gani Fayemi, in lending his voice to underrepresented Nigerian citizens, through his office, and aspired to be like him.

 

Along the line of my efforts at becoming a lawyer, i discovered i had to work on my vocals, so i joined the literary and debating society of my school and became the president of the club. There, i met someone that introduced me to a drama group called Kings Drama Group.

 

I was assigned some roles in different plays by my then director Maro Idukwu. We performed at different venues where we reached a great number of audience. From my experience with the drama group, i realized i would do more correcting the wrongs of the society, as a creative artist. So, i decided to become a filmmaker.

 

This is not to demean the law profession. What i mean is, with film, i can become anyone i want to become. I can correct the wrongs of the society from a doctors angle, a lawyers angle, and the angle of every individual in the society.

 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE PROFESSION OF FILM MAKING? WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FILM MAKING? ALSO TELL US ABOUT THE NOTABLE PROJECTS YOU HAVE ON YOUR PORTFOLIO.

My first movie ‘KINGDOM ABLAZE’ which i screened in my bedroom with a few family and friends, was shot in 2011 so i would say i have been in the profession for a decade and running.

 

Like i earlier said, i chose filmmaking so i can correct the wrongs of the society, from the perspective of different individuals.

 

I have a lot of notable projects on my portfolio as a film maker, which are classified as either feature or documentary films. All of them had been featured on several local and international platforms including: Kenyan International Film Festival, Afro Film Festival Columbia, TIF Video Challenge Cyprus, PACAS Spain, and many others.

 

For feature films, i have SAMBOTITI, THE WEEK BEFORE OCTOBER 1st, IMPALES , and WORDS ON MARBLE.

 

For documentary, i have BEFORE 40, CELEBRATING UNITY, 40 YEARS A MEMORY, THE PITCH , BOXES OF HOPE, ABOUT AFRICAN CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA, and the sequel titled ‘THE RISE’ which would be premiered today 2nd December. Both selected among the official documentaries, to be used in the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AFCFTA ) awareness campaign.

 

‘THE RISE’ which would be premiered today December 2nd, is one of my biggest and most challenging projects so far, as i went to several African countries, interviewing various prominent personalities on their views about the free trade agreement and how it would contribute to the develoment of Africa.

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

 

 

WOULD YOU SAY YOU ARE FULFILLED AS A FILM MAKER?

I think fulfillment is a journey, personally. I grow with every project that i undertake. Filming ‘THE RISE’ gave me a sense of fulfillment that makes me feel it will open doors for other projects that would take me to other continents.

 

I have always wanted to impact on peoples lives through film making, by being a voice that will inspire change in the society. ‘THE RISE’ gave me that opportunity on a bigger scale to add value to my continent and contribute to its growth.

 

I think with what we will achieve with that documentary, my children would be proud of me. Also i will inspire others to build on what we have started.

 

HAVE YOU EVER IN ANYTIME GIVEN UP ON YOUR DREAM OF BECOMING A SUCCESSFUL FILM MAKER? WHAT DID YOU DO TO GET BACK ON TRACK WITH YOUR DREAMS?

There have been times when i have been tempted to give up, but it didn’t last for 24 hours. I have always seen myself as a leader that would pave the way for many generations to come. From childhood, i have always dreamed of inspiring the world with my journey. This has been my motivation to keep my dreams alive, even when things were tough.

 

I worked for a month to get money for my admission form into the Film And Broadcast Academy, in 2010. One Mr Kelvin seeing my efforts, helped me with the balance i needed. The steps i take myself before undertaking any project has been the major motivation for every sponsorship i have gotten, over the years.

 

GOD and his son Jesus Christ has been my major support on the spiritual angle.

 

On what i do to stay inline with my dreams, i have been consistent. Consistency never stay out of style. Consistency has been what has brought me this far. I am a big fan of being consistent with every goal i set to achieve. There is something called the STAYING POWER. I think there is a scripture that says “If we look unto the LORD, we will be lightened. In some translations, ‘CONCENTRATE.’

 

We started filming ‘ABOUT AFCFTA’ in December 2020 for the regional awareness campaign. Its completion and successful launch led to the filming of its sequel ‘THE RISE.’ I left Nigeria in April for that project and this is November. Staying consistent and the positive feedbacks i get from people appreciating my works has kept me going.

 

 

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

WHAT WERE THE NOTABLE CHALLENGES YOU FACED BEFORE BECOMING A MASTER IN FILMMAKING?

I don’t know if i can agree that i am a master in filmmaking. I think i am headed for mastery. One cannot say him or her is a master in their field, except people that have attained the Master Status in that field, adress them as one. I think i am still on the way to becoming an authority in my field. The dream has always been to leave a footprint as a legendary filmmaker.

 

Its obvious that in a couple of years, i will be an authority in my field. As for now, i am still that guy who is working very hard to make a mark.

 

Speaking on challenges, every project comes with its challenges. My challenges are unique to me, so are yours. One thing am going to say to young filmakers and anyone that is pursuing any big dream, both young and old, is, there are certain dreams you will pursue that would require all the strenghts you can summon, alongside your attention to stay at it. There will be different levels of discouragement.

 

If you are coming from a third world country like am from, there will be financial issues, educational gap, skill gap, team recruitment issues, and many other challenges you will have to face.

 

For me, i believe if you are pursuing anything extraordinary, you have to have a personal relationship with your creator. Am a Christian and i like to put it out there that i pray a lot and my prayers work. It helps to keep me inline with my dreams to know that i have the backing of the one who put those dreams in me.

 

Like the manufacturer of a product who create a manual that guides the user on its operations and uses, GOD through his son Jesus Christ, guides me through my challenges as i commit them to him in prayers and put in the needed work.

 

I won’t lie to you, if you have a big dream to achieve something extraordinary, you will meet people that would write you off, rub your dreams on the floor and tell you it can never be done. Some will even want to use you as a springboard to where they are going. I got a lot of rejected mails but it didn’t stop me. It shouldn’t stop you.

 

What i did to overcome. like i said earlier, i am a very prayerful person. I pray a lot and believe. I have faith in what i do and put in the work believing GOD will take me to my dream destination. Also, i take inspiration from my victories and the positive feedbacks i get from my works.

 

IF YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE DREAMING OF BECOMING A FILM MAKER LIKE YOU, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Grow, grow, and grow. There are three main ways you can grow. Surround yourself with people on the same life path with you. It can either be those that are already there or those that are on their way like you.

 

Its easier to connect with those on their way like you. Whenever you have the oportunity to connect with them, don’t miss it because they might get to the dream destination before you and be the ones to carry you along.

 

Another way you can grow is by staying consistent to your dreams. Focus on one area and be the best at it. I don’t buy the jack of all trades idea. You should be a master of one. Let people know you for one area you are very good at. It should be the area you project on all your social media handles. Let people see your growth on your timeline, over the years.

 

There is something called ‘THE POWER OF CONCENTRATION.’ You have to be concentrated for light to come out of you.

 

The third way you can grow is by connecting yourself to the divine force that rule the universe. I don’t know how you will do it, mine is through Jesus Christ. Believe it or not, days will come when you will need some help and it would take a the force that rule this universe to pull you through.

 

 

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS FROM NOW?

In 10 years i see myself in the place of authority. I mean sitting in a table with very influential people of which i am one, driving change for Africa. I am very passionate about Africa and her development.

 

In 10 years i should be speaking in a lot of events as an advisory member of a lot of organizations. I should be working in some international organizations as a senior adviser. My status must have risen to the height where people value my opinions in the various issues i lend it to.

 

IF YOU HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE ONE THING OR PERCEPTION ABOUT FILM MAKERS WHAT WOULD IT BE?

One thing i would have loved to change is the wrong perception a lot of people have about filmakers, that we are irresponsible. I think its already changing.

 

 

You can reach David Akwara via the following Channels:

INSTAGRAM – @davidakwara.films
FACEBOOK – David Akwara
LINKEDIN – David Akwara
YOUTUBE – David Akwara Films

Websitehttps://davidakwarafilms.com/

 

Meet David Akwara An Award Winning Filmmaker Uniting Africa Through Film…

Got anything to say about this post? Feel free to comment below. Thanks for reading.

 

READ ALSO: Samson E Ogaga A Young Pan African Film Maker Release A Movie Everyone Is Talking About

 

 

Tanrose

I am a writer that uses my platform tanroses.com to get people informed and enlightened through my daily reports and stories. Feel free to surf my blog

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