Joseph Duke was Tuesday announced as the winner of Sahara Group’s ‘Grooming Film Extraprenuers with Kunle Afolayan’.

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Duke, a budding filmmaker, won with a documentary entitled ‘Give Us This Day’.

His documentary, which beat entries from 20 finalists, highlighted the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, including a story about caring for special needs children.

Over 150 entries were received in the competition which began in June 2016 following the partnership between Sahara Group and the award-winning filmmaker Kunle Afolayan, designed to identify and empower young filmmakers in Nigeria.

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Chinenye Balogun and Alabi Kayode emerged first and second runners-up respectively, with entries that showcased the creativity and resilience of Nigerian entrepreneurs.

The overall winner will undertake a six-month internship with Afolayan, while all the three top finalists will attend the 2017 Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France with the support of Sahara Group.

The competition also attracted entries from outside Nigeria. Two of the stand-out foreign entries are Daniel Ecwalu (Trash Cash – story based on taking children off the streets and empowering them) from Uganda and Akshay Makar (Climatenza – The happenings of Climate Change).

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Executive director/co-founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, winner, ‘Sahara Group’s Grooming Film Extrapreneurs Competition’, Joseph Duke and producer/director, Kunle Afolayan
Executive director/co-founder, Sahara Group, Tonye Cole, winner, ‘Sahara Group’s Grooming Film Extrapreneurs Competition’, Joseph Duke and producer/director, Kunle Afolayan

While announcing the winners, Tonye Cole, group executive director, Sahara Group, congratulated all the 20 finalists for rising up to the challenge of taking their craft to the next level.

“You are lucky your generation has this kind of opportunity which Kunle Afolayan and I never had. When you get this kind of opportunity you take it seriously. At Sahara we are willing to go the extra mile to take entrepreneurship to a different level. That is why we created the Extrapreneurship platform to facilitate a meeting point for talent and opportunity.

“We believe you have the potential to be the best in the sector as well as change the narrative of Nigeria and the entire continent through your films,” he said.

Afolayan, who led the screening of the entries, said he was impressed by the documentaries which were assessed based on sound, lighting, production design, and quality.

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“I feel privileged to have seen all the documentaries. I believe you all have the potential to do even much more. You are the next big success stories we expect to emerge from Nigeria.

“There are a few things I observed. I saw a common trend in the entries where you all concentrated on telling stories which is common in Nollywood. However, there are certain elements that are vital achieving success in filmmaking. What is very important is the production value. If your production value is poor your story will never fly no matter how good it is.”

Duke, the winner, described his success as a pleasant surprise, saying: “I am very happy to have won the competition. I wasn’t expecting this at all. I am grateful to Sahara Group for the opportunity. I look forward to working with Kunle Afolayan”.

 

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