Pride Interviews Adeyinka Akinrinade – the new director of BUFF

The British Urban Film Festival has appointed Nigerian native, Adeyinka Akinrinade as its’ new festival director.

Born in Ibadan and raised in Bedfordshire UK, Adeyinka becomes only the 2nd festival director in its’ 11 year history succeeding Media Icon recipient, Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe who Founded BUFF in July, 2005.

The former BUFF protege (who worked her way up through the ranks at the festival in 2013 and 2014) will take up the post on June 18.

Adeyinka, who arrives at the company from her position as trainer producer at the Full House Theatre in Bedfordshire, will oversee BUFF’s communications strategy, working closely with the BUFF patrons, film producers and other key partners.

She will report to Emmanuel Anyiam-Osigwe who becomes CEO. Also joining the festival team behind the scenes will be Chanice Hird and Semaicy Crabbe both of whom worked on the festival in 2015. Chanice will be working on her 3rd film festival having started out with BUFF in 2014. 

Pride Nigeria caught up with Ade (otheriwise known as Addie to friends and co-workers) to find out what she did before BUFF and what direction she wants to take the festival in. 

  1. You were born in Ibadan, Nigeria. What are your earliest childhood memories?

I have the fondest memory of sitting on my grandma’s lap and looking at her in amazement as she spoke Yoruba to me. I have no idea why, out of all my earliest memories, that one stands out for me.

  1. When did you move to Bedfordshire and what has it been like growing up as a migrant in the UK?

I moved over to Bedfordshire when I was very young and so growing up in the UK is like growing anywhere else. You adapt and become a part of the culture. I’ve done everything here, school, college, university, work, career.

  1. Congratulations on your new post as BUFF Director for the 11th year film festival. Tell us about your role

Thank you! I’m still quite overwhelmed by it all, but extremely grateful for my position. My role will be to oversee the day to day running of the festival, BUFF’s communication strategy, as well as working with our patrons, film producers and other key partners. But my overriding aim is to make BUFF 2016 the best it’s been yet. I’ve got some rather big shoes to fill after Emmanuel. 

I’m also very excited to working alongside Chanice Hird and Semaicy Crabbe who both worked on the festival in 2015.

  1. What did you do before becoming the Festival Director at BUFF?
    Before, my main role was a Trainee Theatre Producer with Full House Theatre. However, as a creative person I tend to want to do everything, and so I was working on a variety of other projects/events on the side also.
  1. What’s your favourite film of all time?

I don’t actually have one favourite film, there’s far too many great films to choose from. I have a selection of films, that I ‘go to’ depending on my mood or how I’m feeling. I don’t know how anyone could have only one favourite film!

  1. Diversity is such an important topic this year. What female influences will you add to the film festival?

Diversity is an important topic every year and I’m almost tired of talking about it, I just want to see it happen. For me, it is very important we include films that are about and are made by people who come from ALL walks of life. 

In terms of influences, I don’t know who I’ll be adding into the mix just yet, but there are so many talented women writers, directors, producers, DOP’s, actresses, composers, creatives (the list could go on) out there I can’t wait to meet them and start to build networks with them.

  1. Film festivals are about selections based on the board and patrons expert opinions, tastes and likes. In your opinion, what makes for a festival worthy film?

A great story. When done well, and I mean very well, filmmakers can be beautiful storytellers. So for me, a festival worthy film has to make me feel something. As cliché as it sounds, it has to trigger a reaction, whether good or bad.

  1. For a young girl, doing her GCSEs looking up at you, what advice would you give about getting into the film or media industry?
    Find yourself an industry mentor. Sometimes as young people we get overly excited and want to do things on our own. There is nothing particularly wrong with that, however having a mentor will save you a lot of time and trouble. Trust me. Having an industry veteran means they are able to offer you advice as a result of their own experiences. YOU can learn from THEIR mistakes.

But pick a mentor very carefully and wisely. You need to make sure you pick someone who genuinely has your best interest and wants to support you.

I’m always more than happy to have a chat or offer advice or even just be a pair of ears. You can find me on twitter at @addielena

  1. Do you have any plans to visit Nigeria in the next 12 months?

Of course I do! I haven’t been back in so long, but I’m aiming to go back for a minimum of two weeks! Maybe once the festival is over I might treat myself to a holiday to the motherland!  

  1. What’s the best thing about being a woman in media?

This is a tricky one because the best thing about being in the media has nothing to do with the fact I’m a woman.  The best thing is that I’m in a industry that I’m very passionate about. I come across so many people who are unhappy in their field work, whereas I wake up each morning with a smile on my face. I love it. I hope as a young black African woman in the media I inspires those who might reluctant about the industry. 

If you have the slightest urge to be involved in the creative industry, just got for it. 

Interviewed by Dr Clare Anyiam-Osigwe for Pride Magazine NG.

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