AS Africa's first documentary film fiesta, iRepresent International Documentary Film Festival, kicks off today at Terra Kulture, Victoria Island, Lagos, four foremost documentarists both on television and photography have been slated for honours. They are Brendan Shehu, Adegboyega Arolugun, Tam Fiofori and Olu Holloway.
These personalities have contributed immeasurably to the cinematic and photographic heritage of chronicling certain socio-cultural aspects of Nigeria. A statement from the organisers said recognizing them would pave the way for younger practitioners to aspire to do even better to lift the practice of documentary whether in film or photography.
CHIEF Olu Holloway was one of Nigeria's first filmmakers. He started filming as a hobby, using still cameras, when he was a young man. From doing still pictures, he bought a small 16mm hand wind movie camera and his hobby grew. By the mid to late 1950s, he was filming all sorts of events and news stories, with little opportunity to process the footage he shot. There were no laboratories in Nigeria at the time; so once a while, he sent the films abroad, and they were processed.
By the late 1950s and early 1960s, while working with the Public Relations Department of Nigeria Railway Corporation, his talent was discovered by the top management, and sometime in 1962, he was sent on a short filmmaking course in the UK. This was the beginning of his professional life as a filmmaker. He soon started to produce documentaries for the corporation, including the very popular railways TV commercial in the 60s, which had a jingle, 'you don't know Nigeria, if you haven't travelled by rail travel North, and travel East, its the very best way..!!!'
BRENDAN S. Shehu (OON), ace filmmaker and TV producer, was born in Minna on November 23, 1940. He had his primary education at St. James Anglican School - Gimi Dabosa near Zaria, from 1950 to 1953. Between 1954 and 1956, he was at St. Theresa' s Catholic School Guni - Minna. Brenda's primary education took place at St. John's College Kaduna between 1957 - 1961. From 1964 to 1966, he studied film production, script writing, directing and editing at Overseas Film & Television Training Centre in London. At the same school, between 1977 and 1978, he obtained an Advanced Diploma in Film Production, specializing in film directing.
His career began with the Broadcasting Company of Northern Nigeria (BCNN) Kaduna in 1962, where he started to learn the ropes, as a Studio Assistant. Some of those productions include; Looking Around, Tit Bits, Know your State, Events of the year in focus, etc.
ADEGBOYEGA Arolugun was born on October 1, 1934 in Ibadan. Educated at Baptist Boy's High School, Oyo (1952 - 57), School of Agriculture, Moor Plantation, Ibadan (1958 - 59), Overseas Film and TV Center, London, (1968), Sender Freis Berlin (West Germany) 1976, and the University of Lagos (1976 - 77) session, Arulogun possesses adequate professional and management training that has stood him in good stead in his public and professional career.
He attended the Management Appreciation Course of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM) in 1978, Industrial Relations Course for Collective Bargaining (1971) at the University of Ibadan, the Advanced Management Course by the Royal Institute of Public Administrators (RIPA), London, for NTA at Abeokuta in 1982 and the Advanced Management Course for Public Enterprise by the Administrative Staff Collage of Nigeria (ASCON) Badagry, in 1983. He also attended a Special Management Course on Civil Service Reforms for Commissioners, Directors General in 1990; it was organized by the Federal Government and held at Gateway Hotel, Ota.
In his Television career, he managed the Production Services of the Nigerian Television Authority between 1977 and 1987 till he was appointed the General Manager of NTA Channels 5 and 10 in Lagos in 1987. Later that year, he moved to NTA Ikeja, Channel 7.
TAM Fiofori is a filmmaker, photographer, writer and media consultant; he hails from Okrika in Rivers State. He was a film consultant to Rivers State Council for Arts and Culture and director, Rivers State Documentary Series. He was also consultant/scriptwriter to NTA Network on Documentaries. He was foundation executive, Photographers' Association of Nigeria (PAN).
Fiofori is a well-travelled photographer, covering many exhibitions both in Africa and abroad. He was at Odum and Water masquerades 1974 exhibition at FESTAC '77, Tampere Film Festival, 10th FESPACO, Ouagadougou, 1987, OAU-PAN African Writers Association (OAWA), Accra, Ghana. His most recent exhibition is 1979: A Peep into History and Culture last year.