Cass alumna Destiny Ekharaga recognised for film achievements
Director and Cass Film and Broadcast Production alumna Destiny Ekharaga has been presented with an Africa Together award by Cambridge University's African Society for her achievements in the film industry.
The award was presented to Ekharaga in August to recognise her achievement as the third British black woman to have directed a feature-length film given cinema distribution in the UK.
Gone to Far
Ekharaga's film Gone Too Far! was released in cinemas to positive reviews in 2014 before being released on DVD and shown on film four the following year. It made it into the top ten in the Nigerian Box office.
The movie, which had a successful run in cinemas earlier this year and earned fours stars in Time Out, is a coming age story written by the award winning Bola Agbaje, based on her play of the same name, which won an Olivier Award. Eschewing cliched urban narratives of gun crime and drug use, 'Gone Too Far!' focuses on two estranged brothers over a single day as they meet for the first time and struggle accept each other for who they are.
Ekharaga was profiled in The Guardian where she described her specific challenges as a black female film director - only the third to complete a feature. “Are we saying black women don’t make films? That’s ridiculous. We’ve all got stories and they deserve to be told. I hope we reach double digits by next year.” Featuring Ekharaga on their front page, The Voice suggested Gone Too Far! is, "Finally a film that tells our story". There has been positive coverage in the Nigerian press too.
BFI London Film Festival
The film had it's world premiere at the 57th BFI London Film Festival where Destiny was shortlisted for the award of Best British Newcomer which highlights new British talent and is presented to an emerging writer, actor, producer or director. Destiny went on to be named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit.
Since the release of Gone Too Far!, Ekharaga has also directed Danny and The Human Zoo for the BBC, based on a semi-autobiographical screenplay by Lenny Henry, Lolly Adefope's Christmas for Sky Arts, aired on Christmas Day 2015 and a Luther Sports Relief Special starring Idris Elba and a host of sports stars.
IMAGE: Destiny Ekharaga (Right) on set of Gone Too Far with writer Bola Agbaje