Fidelis Duker is a big name in the movie industry. He is one of those who have paid their dues in the industry. He has this annual Abuja International Film festival he organises annually. This 16th edition is set to hold next week.
Citypeople spoke to him a few days ago on what to expect at this year's event.
Below are excerpts.
Tell us about your forthcoming event In Abuja What do we expect?
This is the 16th edition of the Abuja international film festival that started in 2004 and we have consistently kept to upholding the global standards of any festival.
This year, the festival will feature screenings of 129 films from 56 countries over 4 days .... The films cut across different genres and it will run from 22nd to 25th October at the silverbird cinemas Abuja. The festival will have its conventional panel discussions and workshops cum masterclasses. The festival will not devoid of its regular industry parties.
How will this year's event be different?
Normally film festivals follow a normal pattern of screenings and discussions. However we are bringing a twist to it this time around with two masterclasses in script development and acting. This year the festival will also afford us the opportunity to rebrand the film festival.
What did you set out to achieve when you started years back. Have you achieved it?
At inception, the idea was to give young filmmakers a platform to exhibit their films because before the ABUJA INTERNATIONAL film festival, there was no PLATFORM for them because then, no one saw their films and we decided to give them a PLATFORM.
Also prior to 2004, Abuja was only about politics....no form of entertainment and we were able to bring filmmakers to Abuja and 16 years down the line, the film industry has grown tremendously in Abuja with the vibrant film industry. Interestingly the city has several CINEMAS which were nonexistent 16 years ago. I think we have been able to achieve some of our objectives. The FESTIVAL has also attracted tourists in good numbers
How have you coped with funding issues
Like most events and projects ... funding has been a challenge for us and I can confirm we have been under this global challenge affecting the festival circuit. However, I can confirm we have devised creative ways of surmounting this challenge. I can confirm we have not received any major support from the FCT even though the festival has been endorsed by the FCT
What will you call the achievements so far?
As I mentioned earlier, the festival has contributed to opening the entertainment and creative industry space to talents in Abuja and beyond. We have contributed to developing the tourism landscape in ABUJA. Talent discovery has been one of our major achievements. So many young filmmakers debuted at Abuja INTERNATIONAL film FESTIVAL and are today some of the best in the industry today. In short, we have contributed to building capacity and talent for the industry