By Leslie Dolsak
Six Finalists will duke it out in front of a live panel of industry judges and a voting audience at the Annapolis Film Festival’s First Shorts Challenge: Pitch Contest. The winner receives a $30,000 in-kind production package to produce their short film which will premiere at the 2019 Annapolis Film Festival.
Watch the Shorts Challenge Live, Saturday, March 24 at Maryland Hall Theater. Get your tickets and vote for who you think should be the winner! http://bit.ly/2G3X02K
Here’s an interview with Shorts Finalist Chuckwunonso Dureke with “The Bride Price”
Annapolis Film Festival (AFF): Are you a new filmmaker or evolving?
Chuckwunonso Dureke: I am a new filmmaker in Graduate school at the only HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] with a Master’s in Film Program, Howard University.
Annapolis Film Festival (AFF): What is your background in film?
Chuckwunonso Dureke : I come from a strong background of serval generation of Igbo storytellers. Film is my platform of choice through screen-writing and directing. Storytelling is a major part of my identity and heritage.
AFF: How did you hear about this Shorts Challenge?
Chuckwunonso Dureke: I had the pleasure of finding out about the Shorts Challenge as a student member of Women in Film DC. I am truly blessed to be a member of Women in Film DC. It keeps female filmmakers like myself know what is going on in the industry locally and globally.
AFF: How did you come up with your idea?
Chuckwunonso Dureke: My film, “The Bride Price,” is my thesis film at Howard University that I have been developing for the past two years. But truthfully, as a Second-Generation Nigerian-American woman, navigating through life and cultural expectations, I believe the story has lived in me all my life waiting to be told.
AFF: How are you preparing to WIN this?
Chuckwunonso Dureke: All I am going to do the day of the competition is go up there and tell my story and speak for other women like me who have not found the proper platform to speak-up. I plan to tell my story with passion and purpose because the time has come for women to write and direct their own stories without the male gaze hovering over our shoulders. I hope that when I tell the stories of “The Bride Price” people will not only connect with the story but do something to be moved enough to raise our daughters and sons equally.
AFF: How will winning this change your life?
Chuckwunonso Dureke: If I win this competition, God willingly, it will reinforce the notion that I am going in the right direction in my field and the type of non-conventional stories I want to tell fellow women and young girls such as myself. I truly believe this Shorts Competition will help [me] as a film student gain the proper assistance in financially and creatively developing “The Bride Price” in the colorfully inspiring and coming of age story it is, with the help of The Annapolis Film Festival. Overall, I am just grateful to be given a platform to tell new stories.