Biografie Newton Aduaka


Newton Aduaka was born in 1966 in eastern Nigeria. As a result of the Biafra War, his family was forced to flee the capital of Lagos in 1970. At the age of 18, Newton Aduaka went to Great Britain, first graduating with a degree in video art, and subsequently studying film history, cinematography and film production at the London International Film School. As he lacked the financial means to realise some of his ideas, he initially worked as a sound engineer and scriptwriter for television stations and other employers. He also wrote short stories on the side.
After making several video films, he made his first short film "On the Edge" in 1997, which was awarded the prize for best short film at the 16th FESPACO in 1999 in Ouagadougou. After the success of this film, Newton Aduaka ventured the shooting of his first full-length feature film "Rage" with the independent production company Granit Filmworks, which he founded with Marie-Elena L` Abbate. The script was based on experiences the director had himself collected as an immigrant in the London district of Peckham and while conducting extensive research on the hip hop scene in the British megacity. The film was awarded the Best Debut Film award at the 17th FESPACO in 2001 and having been originally shown at the „Out of Europe VII” festival in Cologne in 2002.
Newton Aduaka was also invited to present his two latest films in Cologne. The short film "Aicha" from 2004 is a poetic look at the connection between love and death, depicted with surreal night-time shots in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.
His feature film "Ezra" won Newton Aduaka the main prize "Etalon d’or de Yennenga" at the pan-African film festival in Ouagadougou in 2007. The film tells the story of child soldiers and the idea came to Newton Aduaka "over twenty years ago, as I also grew up during a war." The conflicts in Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Chad, Mozambique, Angola and Rwanda provide current evidence of the urgency of confronting the subject. It’s worth noting that Aduaka’s film doesn’t address the issue using the usual clichés, but rather as a subplot – during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission trials where the war-scarred Ezra was made to explain his actions – which reflects the societal circumstances that allow children to become brutal killers. "My aim was to strike a balance between making an art-house film and also not alienating the audience", Newton Aduaka explained in an interview. "Otherwise we take the risk of making films that in no way provoke changes to be made, but ones that merely feed our ego."
In recognition of his outstanding work, both in terms of the subject matter addressed and the cinematic experience, Newton Aduaka received the 1,000-Euro "Panascreen Award" from FilmInitiativ at the "Out of Europe X" festival in Cologne. (The prize was initiated by filmmakers in Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria in 2008 and is to be awarded by various African film festivals. FilmInitiativ Köln was asked to award it for the first time. In the coming years, festivals in Senegal, Botswana and Ethiopia are expected to follow suit.)

Filmografie (Auswahl) zu Newton Aduaka

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