Cross River born filmmaker honoured by US film school

Cross River born filmmaker honoured by US film school

By Agnes Madakor, Lagos

Cross River born journalist and filmmaker, Obaji Abung Akpet was recently recognised as student of the month at Master Class, a film school in San Francisco, United States.

Akpet was honoured for effectively understudying award-winning documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns and applying principles he leant to produce and assist coordinate documentaries currently being broadcast on different global media platforms in Europe, with ZoomIn TV being top of them.

According to a touching story by Akpet posted on MasterClass website for global audience, Obaji was forced to flee his hometown in southern Nigeria after reporting a story that exposed corruption in his local government. That’s when his journey began.

He was a journalist at the time. After fleeing for safety, he began traveling incognito around Africa, taking the road-less travel to assure he couldn’t be tracked. Throughout his journey, he felt deeply inspired to tell the stories of the people and places he encountered. He wanted to tell them through film, but there was a problem:

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He had no resources – no money, no camera equipment, no internet, nothing. But he had an idea.

“What good is an idea if I have no resources?” Obaji thought.

He picked up gigs with Al Jereeza and BBC as a Fixer, eventually saving up enough money to invest in his filmmaking knowledge. He bought MasterClass.

“I was immediately attracted to Ken Burn Documentary class. I only got through a few lessons, until he said something that ignited a fire within me.”

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You don’t need resources. You need ideas

He immediately started writing down all his ideas, and pitching them. Two weeks later, he was commissioned two grants to make his documentaries.

@Obaji_Akpet is now a full-time filmmaker based in Lagos, Nigeria and makes beautiful documentaries telling the stories of Africa for Zoomin.TV (and other international media).”

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