SVAFF Awards

Filmmaker awards

2013 SVAFF Africa Reel Award Winner

Newton Aduaka, Director & Producer (NIGERIA)

Born in Ogidi, Eastern Nigeria, in 1966, Newton Aduaka moved to Lagos in 1970 after the Biafran War, and then to England in 1985. Following a diploma course in video arts and post-production, he studied film history, art and technique at the London International Film School, graduating in 1990. He wrote and published short stories while working as a sound mixer on a wide range of productions.

In 1997 he set up Granite FilmWorks with Maria Elena L’Abbate to produce personal, cutting-edge and uncompromising films. As a director, his short films include Voices Behind the Wall (1990), Carnival of Silence (1994) and On The Edge (1997), which won him three prestigious awards and numerous special mentions.

His debut feature film Rage (2000) was released to huge critical acclaim, becoming the first independent film by a black film-maker to gain a national release in Britain. It was also very successful in international film festivals, winning many prizes including Best Director at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles. In 2001-2002 he was Filmmaker in Residence at Festival de Cannes’ Cinéfondation in Paris.

Since then he has directed commercials and a further short film, Funeral(2002), commissioned for the Cannes Film Festival alongside similarly-themed work from internationally renowned directors such as Walter Salles, Arturo Ripstein and Amos Gitai. Between 2005 and 2007, he co-wrote, directed and executive-produced Ezra, his first non-independently funded film, for Arte France. The film won the Grand Jury Prize at several film festivals, including FESPACO, Durban, Amiens and Balafon, and was an official selection at Sundance and Cannes. Newton is currently resident in Paris.

Newton’s latest film One Man’s Show (2013 Critics Award winner at FESPACO) will screen as the closing film of SVAFF 2013 on Sunday, October 13 at 5:00PM (Newton will be in attendance).