Film about West Africans in Western Sydney wins DigiSPAA feature film award

Two film-makers from Sydney’s Blacktown have won the DigiSPAA feature film competition winner for 2012, a competition that highlights independent, digital film-makers.

Daniel Okoduwa wrote and produced the film Kemi, which cost $11,000 to producer while Michael Kang directed it.

Okoduwa told Encore: “Kemi is a reaction to the lives of the West African community in Sydney. There is so much drama in Western Sydney. I have made films before, but for this I wanted to take it to the next level. I wanted a multicultural film – Kemi is about the gossiping, the good and the bad and race relations of African people coming to Western Sydney.”

The film-makers have won $15,000 cash, $20,000 worth of post-production, with the film screening on the Movie Extra channel and a return trip to Los Angeles’ American Film Market in 2013.

Okoduwa told Encore: “I’m very excited. Our film is getting into Australian society, and out of the suburbs. I want to bring the African flavour into the Australian film and TV industry.”

Okoduwa was this year awarded the 2012 African Entrepreneur of the Year at the African Professionals of Australia awards earlier in the year.

Antony I Ginnane, DigiSPAA co-curator and judge, along with producer Renee Black, Geoff Brown, executive director of SPAA and producer Daniel Scharf, said: “We congratulate Daniel Okoduwa and Michael Kang on their win and the rest of the team on a brilliant cocktail of romantic, criminal and bizarre activities of the Ghanaian and Nigerian residents in Sydney’s Blacktown suburb. All four finalists this year showcase the talent of independent filmmakers, but Kemi stood out for its humour and its narrative.”

The other three finalists were The Astronaut by Adam Lemmey, The Sorrows by Phoebe Gittins and Arty Papageorgiou and Final Move by JD Cohen.


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